July 11, 2008

School Flying the Green Flag for Its Eco Projects

By Nicola Fenwick

A SCHOOL has become the first in the county to be awarded a Green Flag for its efforts to become eco-friendly.

Leeming and Londonderry Community Primary School, near Bedale, won the award after a six-month drive to make the school environmentally-friendly.

Projects included creating an outdoor area so the children could grow flowers and vegetables, and recycling as much as possible.

Staff and children began to work towards the Green Flag after doing a project on the environment in January.

They reviewed everything the school did that was good for the environment and identified areas for improvement.

A litter problem in the playground was solved with a monkey- shaped bin for the children to use, and recycling bins have been installed outside and in each classroom.

The school also ordered 40 caterpillars in pots and gave one to each pupil to raise.

They looked after them and watched as they turned into chrysalises and then butterflies.

They will be released into the wild, but the school has built a butterfly house to attract them back.

Headteacher Rowena Sykes said: "The children have taken everything on board and they are so aware of what is going on.

"They are taking notice and becoming environmentally aware and I?m really proud of them.When we assessed, they were telling everybody about it and they understand the implications for the future. "

The school?s resident "ecowarrior", teacher Anne Barker, was instrumental in guiding the eco-projects within the school.

She said: "We are delighted we got the award. Everybody has got to be more aware of saving our planet.

"As a whole nation, we have to be like that. But it?s wonderful sowing that seed in the children and watching it grow.

"With some of the things we started, I wondered if they would ever come to fruition, but they have and it?s all come together. It?s been really good.

"The children have got lots out of it and the important thing is that they have involved their families as well and taken it back home."

Claire Capel, teaching assistant and school secretary, said: "It?s amazing what you can do. It?s benefited us that weare a small school because everybody is getting involved, from the head down to the reception children."

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