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Successful Eco Summit for Chichester Schools at Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

Mon 26 Sep 2016

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Pupils hanging their feedback comments

On Monday 26th September The E.Y.E. Project held its first Chichester Eco Summit event for local schools which was hosted by The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.

Over 100 Eco Warrior pupils from seven schools in the Chichester area attended the inaugural Chichester Eco Summit event for a variety of environmental and sustainability themed workshops covering a range of themes including Energy; Water; Waste; Biodiversity; Global Citizenship; The Ocean and Food. Pupils learnt about important environmental and sustainability issues in fun and interactive ways including creating; planting; experimenting; food tasting; games and quizzes.

Pupils from Chichester High School; Slindon College; Boxgrove CofE Primary School; Jessie Younghusband School; Tangmere Primary Academy; Oakwood Preparatory School and Fishbourne CE Primary School took part in the day held in the beautiful and historic grounds and buildings of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.

“It was great to engage with schools to the far west of West Sussex at our inaugural Chichester Eco Summit event held at The Weald & Downland. With such lovely surroundings pupils were able to gain real insight into how we used to live, and learn from some of the far more environmentally friendly ways of our past, whilst learning about the issues that the world faces today and how we can all make a difference. We would like to thank The Southern Co-operative for their continued support of The E.Y.E Project and for their successful ‘Explore the Food on Your Doorstep’ workshop which was a great hit with pupils, to The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum for hosting this event, and also to The Ernest Cook Trust who gave The E.Y.E Project a grant last year helping to make this event possible.” - Clare Sutton, Project Officer, E.Y.E. Project.

The assemblies where all pupils were gathered together were held in the Museum’s award-winning Downland Gridshell Building which was the first timber gridshell building to be constructed in the UK.

A Key note speech was given by Rachel Carruthers from the West Sussex County Council Waste Prevention team entitled ‘Lets Talk About Rubbish’. Pupils learnt that the UK produces over 200 million tons of rubbish every year and that 60% of our waste can be reused or recycled. Pupils were informed that there is no such thing as ‘away’ - when we throw anything away it must go somewhere! By following the 3 R’s of waste management ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ pupils learnt that they can all help, and some practical suggestions were given such as to buy and use less, use reusable rather than throw away items, and to recycle and compost waste. Pupils also learnt what to recycle, how to recycle and where to recycle items.

Tim Loughton, M.P. for East Worthing and Adur, Founder and Patron of the project, attended the day and welcomed attending Chichester schools to the ‘E.Y.E. Project family’ - " It was great to welcome pupils from schools in the Chichester area in to the EYE Project family as we continue successfully to extend this excellent environmental engagement initiative to every corner of West Sussex. As with the Worthing/Adur and Littlehampton Eco Summits it was particularly good to see the enthusiasm of so many of the children wanting to learn more about how they could do their bit to help the environment locally and thus help the cause of sustainability for future generations globally. We are very grateful for all the new workshop providers especially who made the day such a great success at such an inspiring new venue and we look forward to returning to Chichester next year when the EYE Project celebrates its tenth anniversary bigger and better than ever."

Pupils then split into small groups where they attended a number of fun and interactive workshop sessions given by number of local Environmental Educators along with various local organisations keen to connect with school children on these important issues including: The Southern Co-operative; Your Energy Sussex; The Body Shop; Staunton Country Park on behalf of Portsmouth Water; Chichester Harbour Conservancy; Transition Chichester, Steve Savage and Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.

·         In a workshop run by The Southern Co-operative, sponsors of the E.Y.E. Project, pupils got to learn about food miles, where from around the world our food comes from, and the importance of buying locally produced food. Pupils were involved in map work and were able to try some of the tasty locally produced food from the Southern Co-operative’s Local Flavour range.

·         Pupils explored the kitchen gardens of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum and learnt how foods are made, what is needed to produce them, what was grown and eaten in our past and how this was more sustainable. They were involved in making drop scones that were cooked on a griddle over the open fire in the cottage, and then got to taste this simple but delicious food.

·         Pupils played a ‘Living Wage game’ in a workshop run by The Body Shop focusing on the human side of sustainability looking at low wages in developing countries, which illustrated how some difficult decisions have to be made by families affecting the whole family every day.

·         Transition Chichester ran a workshop focusing on growing in which pupils learnt about the importance of Pollinators and also how to identify herbs along with their uses in cooking and medicine, They then prepared a windowsill herb garden out of recycled newspaper to take back to their schools.

·         Staunton Country Park ran a Water themed workshop looking at the importance of water conservation, the water cycle, and different types of water. Pupils carried out a water filtration experiment investigating which material is best to filter water.

·         In a workshop run by Chichester Harbour Conservancy pupils learnt about the natural environment of Chichester Harbour and its key habitats through engaging activities.

·         Your Energy Sussex and Sussex Green Living gave an energy matters workshop about various ways energy is misused and how it could be used more wisely.

·         The One Ocean Project workshop explored how we are connected by the global ocean and how it moderates our climate. Pupils produced an infographic on what they had learnt.

There was a reuse competition where pupils were invited to look at the things they throw away at home and think what else they could be used as instead of just putting them in the bin. Pupils were asked to create something with their rubbish that would be used and used (and used and used again!). Arundel Wetland Centre kindly donated two family tickets and these were awarded during the afternoon assembly to Isla from Oakwood Preparatory who used two old swimming costumes to make a reusable shopping bag, and Jhenna from Chichester High School who made a storage bucket from a 5l water bottle and ribbon from a shopping bag.

There was also a celebration of various ‘Eco activities and initiatives’ of some of the attending local schools such as recycling; charitable recycling; growing food; Fairtrade awareness; creation of water use awareness books; Eco Schools Green Flag renewal; eco messages at Christmas time including making Christmas tree decorations from recycled items; enjoying the school grounds; running a forest school and revitalising a school pond.  

Pupils were asked to collect and bring plastic milk bottle tops  for a charity collection which will be delivered to the collection point at St Paul's Church in Chichester who are collecting the bottle tops to raise money for Chestnut Tree House.

There were stands run by a number of the organisations involved in the day and at the end of the day workshops and pupils were involved in a ‘Show and Tell’ session which summarised what pupils learnt and the activities they were involved with during the day.

Head of School, Mr Nicholas Brown at Chichester High School said: "The 1st Chichester Eco Summit was a fantastic opportunity for 60 of our new Year 7 students to meet with other students, from local schools, to share an experience that impacts us all, our environment. Students loved the range of activities. A superb day which we cannot wait to host in 2017!"

Here are some of the comments made by pupils at the end of the day:

Reduce Reuse Recycle!! Today has been an amazing day. I am proud to have been involved in the first E.Y.E Project in Chichester.”  Chichester High School pupil.

“I’ve really enjoyed today at the E.Y.E. Project. I especially enjoyed doing the food tasting and finding out about the local food.” Chichester High School pupil. Food tasting in ‘Explore the Food on your doorstep’ workshop run by The Southern Co-operative.

“I thought that the whole day was very good, it was very well thought through and it was very fun, exciting and informal. I would love to do it again. My favourite was the cooking. Thank you.”  Oakwood Preparatory school pupil. Involved in cooking drop scones (on open fire) in workshop run by Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.

I would love to be a Eco Leader for CHS because I love to recycle things and I can show lots of other children how easy it is to recycle.” Chichester High School Pupil.

“I enjoyed learning about recycling and saving energy. In the future I will turn off electricity after I’ve finished using it. And how I can recycle more than I thought.” Chichester High School Pupil. ‘Energy Matters’ workshop by Your Energy Sussex/Sussex Green Living.

“I will save water as much as I can by having showers instead of baths.” Chichester High School pupil

E.Y.E. which stands for ‘Eco, Young & Engaged’ is a sustainable learning project helping local schools and young people within them to make a positive difference to their environment. The E.Y.E. Project aims to bring local schools together to focus on the importance of caring for our planet. It is planned that the Chichester Eco Summit will become an annual event hosted by Chichester High School.

As well as holding this Chichester Eco Summit, the E.Y.E. Project has been arranging Eco Summits for Worthing & Adur schools for the last 9 years, the last which was held in June for 250 pupils from 17 Worthing & Adur schools and had a Climate Change theme; and has also arranged three annual Littlehampton Academy Eco Summits for their Primary Feeder schools. The E.Y.E. Project is sponsored by The Southern Co-operative and supported by the Ernest Cook Trust. If you would like to find out more about E.Y.E please visit> or contact Clare Sutton at<>

Chichester Observer Article Link:


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Pupils playing the Living Wage game in 'A Day in the Life of...' workshop run by The Body Shop which focused on the human side of sustainability and looked at low wages in developing countries.
Pupils learning about food miles and the food on the doorstep in the 'Explore the food on your doorstep' workshop run by The Southern Co-operative.
Pupils learning about food miles and the food on the doorstep in a workshop run by The Southern Co-operative.
Key Note Speech from Rachel Carruthers from West Sussex Country Waste Prevention team.
Pupils in the Kitchen garden at The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum during the 'Food Production - Field & Mill to the plate' workshop run by The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. Pupils learnt how foods were made, what is needed to produce them and how we were more sustainable in the past. Pupils then made drop scones which were toasted on a griddle over an open fire in the cottage.
Pupils doing a water filtration experiment and learning about the water cycle, different types of water and the importance of water conservation in the 'Water is Life' workshop run by Staunton Country Park.
Children learning about the natural environment of Chichester harbour in the 'Chichester Harbour Habitat Challenge' workshop.
Boxgrove pupils with the herb seeds that they planted in newspaper pots during the 'Grow Your Own' workshop run by Transition Chichester.
Pupils planting herb seeds in newspaper pots during the 'Grow Your Own' workshop run by Transition Chichester.
Pupils learning about how energy is misused and can be used more wisely in the 'Energy Matters' workshop run by Sussex Green Living on behalf of Your Energy Sussex.
Charitable milk bottle top collection by the attending pupils at the Chichester Eco Summit.
One of two winning pupils of the Reuse competition being presented by Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing & Adur, with a family day ticket to Arundel Wetlands (generously donated by WWT). Pupil made a shopping bag from two old swimming costumes.
One of two winning pupils of the Reuse competition being presented by Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing & Adur, with a family day ticket to Arundel Wetlands (generously donated by WWT). Pupil made a storage container from an old water bottle and handles of a shopping bag.
Pupils creating Info-graphics about the ways that human impact/benefit from the ocean during the 'One World One Ocean Project' Workshop run by Steve Savage.
Pupils carefully separated their waste from the day into waste, recycling and composting containers.