The E.Y.E Project was invited to join eco committee members at Thomas a Becket Junior School for one of their eco club sessions.
It was abundantly clear that the group of 20, year 5&6 pupils, were proud to be on the eco committee and were extremely enthusiastic about their eco club activities. They were proud to wear their new eco committee badges and excited to talk to the E.Y.E Project about eco activities at their school. One of the pupils who has attended an E.Y.E Project Eco Summit expressed “I love the E.Y.E Project – It’s so good!”
During the lunchtime session, a pupil read the recent diary entry of the eco club mascot, Buster, who reported on the different recycling bins found in Gozo whilst he was on holiday with one of the eco club members. Buster gets to go home with a different pupil each week and reports on his eco adventures in his diary! After hearing about Buster’s adventures, the eco club divided up in pairs to audit the eco signage around the school, including classrooms, staff offices, toilets and corridors. Pupils checked that each area had the correct signs including the school eco code; turn off light signs; turn off water signs; turn off computer signs; recycling monitor name sign; light monitor name sign. They also checked that every classroom had a pen recycling pot. Last year the school recycled 30kg of pens!
Thomas a Becket are a Green Flag Eco School, they have been an Ambassador Eco School and will now be in the Eco Schools Hall of Fame (along with The E.Y.E Project!). They are a large school with around 700 pupils. They run two eco club sessions each week during lunchtimes, one for years 3&4 and the other for years 5&6, with a total of 37 eco committee members. To spread eco engagement across the school there are separate groups of litter rangers and energy rangers (each with around 40 pupils). The rangers carry out their duties once a week during breaktime. There are also recycling and light monitors for every class, so around a quarter of the school are engaged in eco activities at any one time. All Yr 3&4 pupils also enjoy Forest School sessions.
The school takes part in Fairtrade Fortnight; Road Safety week; Walk to School week; Funky Feet Friday; and the E.Y.E Project Eco Summit each year. They are involved with the Learning Through Landscapes Polli:nation Project with other local schools. Details of their eco activities can be found on their website http://www.thomasabecketjunior.org.uk/eco-activities/. Details of the Polli:nation project and their Fairtrade activities can also be found under the ‘extra-curricular’ tab.
When asked what their favourite thing about being in the eco club was, one pupil said ‘everything’ while another told me that no one is persuading them to do it and it is great that so many pupils want to be involved and apply to be an eco-committee member, and another advised that it was the planting and seed bombing.
Pupils advised that they collect milk bottle tops (for Sight Support Worthing); plant flowers; make and throw seed bombs; find animals; draw animals; make homes for bees; enter loads of eco competitions; make items from Fairtrade products for raffles; make eco craft such as collages from magazines and newspapers; and write letters using persuasive writing skills. Some pupils have recently written to Theresa May encouraging her to consider Fairtrade in Brexit negotiations.
The energy rangers award points to classes, for example turning equipment off, and each term the winning class is announced in assembly and the class receives a poster and a pot of treats. There are also prizes for the weirdest thing found by a litter ranger during litter picking!
Pupils advised that being part of the eco club has made them more conscious of littering issues outside of school, that they turn off lights more at home, they recycle more at home, and they walk and cycle more.
It was a delight to meet the eco committee members from Thomas a Becket – thank you for involving the E.Y.E Project to your eco club meeting