Riverside School believes strongly in environmental issues.
In fact the school takes part in many different activities on this theme - mostly led by our active School Council.
Riverside School’s Eco-School journey.
Our journey towards becoming a Green Flag Eco-School began in 2007, 9 years later we have just been awarded our 4th flag. This achievement has taken hard work and dedication from both children and staff. We have found a model which fits our school and of course now children who began in nursery have gone through school to year 6 with the daily sustainable ethos of the school. Along the way we have had huge support from ‘Powerdown Pete’ who has spent days with us and inspired new cohorts of children coming through Riverside.
In 2009 we were lucky enough to be chosen from 9 Green flag schools in the UK to go to Kew Gardens to meet with the then Minister for Food, Farming and the Environment. We were given a theme to present on the day – water, coming from Tadcaster this was not an easy topic to cover! We were also helped along the way by Yorkshire Water who ran a project called Five Green Fingers, they sent a team to build us raised beds and an allotment which has been used to grow vegetables every year since. We also won a solar panelled greenhouse in a competition run by Npower.
To begin with the 9 themes of Eco-schools were very daunting, but by choosing 2 or 3 to do well we didn’t feel so outfaced! I keep a box under my table and through the year I put everything I can which is evidence into it and then when it comes to application time we put the headings down on the floor and assign the evidence to them! This becomes our evidence folder.
We run annual themes such as Walk on Wednesdays and Switch off day. At Christmas time instead of sending Christmas cards (waste of paper!) children are sent home with a paper cup to decorate for the tree, in it they put the money they would have spent on cards and this goes to a charity chosen by our School Council, this year we raised £1,500 for NSPCC. We have teams who empty the classroom recycle bins and then climb into the paper/card recycle dustbins to sort what should not be there! Our year 6 Eco team monitor our energy usage and show this on a graph for the whole school to see. We are in the process of re-labelling our light switches, green for ok to be on and red for do you really need it? Riverside is very lucky to have extensive grounds where we have a wildlife area with a pond, we bought the liner for the pond from money we made from recycling ink cartridges. We are also about to embark on a project called Modeshift stars which looks at sustainable travel and helps to renew the school Travel Plan.
Find out more about Eco-Schools by clicking on this link: http://www.eco-schools.org.uk/
In February we visited Howsham Mill for the day. This is our report with some lovely photos:
Also on the eco theme, our school is part of Generation Green, a new programme from Scottish Gas, helping our children do their bit to make the planet greener. As part of this scheme, the children undertake various green tasks to save energy and cut our carbon emissions. We earn ‘leaves’ for all these wonderful endeavours.
Pupils from Riverside Primary School meeting The Minister for Food, Farming and Environment recently at Kew Gardens.
We have eight people in eco maniacs and we split up into two groups which make four people in each group. We named our groups Jelly and Ice-cream. In our groups we pick up rubbish with litter pickers and buckets. Every week we swap over doing the litter picking according to the rota that we created.
In 2009 we were beneficiaries of two awards.