On Wednesday this week, the eco-group were lucky enough to have a visit from Aileen Salway who works for NESBReC (Biological Records for the Northeast of Scotland). She gave a presentation to the eco-group on the importance of recording sightings or evidence of plants and animal species in tracking and monitoring numbers, due to their impact on ecosystems. The pupils got to look at some examples of things they could record as evidence such as dead bats, feathers, owl pellets, bones, and wood gnawed on by beavers. Aileen took the pupils on a walk around the school grounds to see what they could record. The eco-group will regularly be monitoring sightings of plants and animals and Aileen kindly lent the group a nature camera to place in the school grounds. This information will help the eco-group to identify the areas of biodiversity that need a helping hand.
The Eco-group have been successful in achieving Green Flag status. This is the third year that the school have secured this status and the eco-group are committed and full of enthusiasm and ambition for renewing it every two years. We are very proud of the eco-group for all the hard work they have put in to earn this amazing achievement and they can be congratulated on their dedication to the environment, the school community, and the charities they support. Well done all involved and to the whole school, who have helped us to run successful events and projects. The eco-group have lots more ideas, projects, and schemes for their new action plan, so watch this space.
Here are the Eco-Group with their Fair Achiever Award certificate.
The Eco-group Halloween bake sale that took place on the last day of last term raised £201.32 for their chosen charity, Trees for Life (a charity focused on rewilding projects for the Scottish Highlands). Thank you for your support and kind donations in this event. The following poster was created by the Eco-group to raise awareness of what you can do with left over pumpkins instead of sending them to landfill.
To find out more about our chosen charity for this event, please follow the link https://treesforlife.org.uk/
We are delighted to announce that the school Eco-Group have been successful in their application to renew the Fairtrade Foundation Fair Achiever Award. The group renewed the award to ensure the Academy and Primary school keep their status as a Fair Achiever school. This is the final step in the Fairtrade Schools Award. At this point, the Fairtrade Foundation describe this as “the school have fully embedded Fairtrade into their daily life and work to raise awareness of Fairtrade in their local community”. We are proud of the Eco-group for all their hard work and success on this great achievement.
The Eco-group were out on Wednesday 22nd June planting some trees in the school grounds. These were left over from a planting scheme that was recently conducted at Murray Park and were provided by the Woodland Trust. The Eco-group have been working with a local ecologist, Nicky Penford, who has advised the pupils on which trees will help with biodiversity. The pupils planted around 50 trees, an assortment of oak, aspen and birch. Aspen is shown to have a lush undergrowth for biodiversity and can help with water retention. Birch supports a wide variety of woodland plants, birds and mammals. Oak trees support the highest biodiversity, in fact, around 2,300 species of plants and animals. Planting these trees is just the start of a programme of tree planting and wild flower meadows to help support biodiversity at the school. Nicky is already impressed with previous attempts to support biodiversity at the school, including the dense shrubs near the road and bus park and around the SUD (Sustainable drainage system) Scheme pond. The Eco-group plan to plant more trees in the Autumn, as well as supporting an S1 project to build bird and animal houses to encourage nesting. While planting trees today, the pupils learned about some of the wild flowers growing in the top meadow above the Astro pitch and learned about some birds that are nesting there, including willow warblers and yellow hammers.
One of our committed Eco group members and climate change ambassadors, Leah, recently attended a talk with naturalist, explorer and writer Steve Backshall MBE. The talk took place at Aberdeen Music Hall and was titled “Ocean – Bringing marine dreams to life”. Leah has a keen interest in the ocean environment and learnt more about what we need to do to save our seas from one of her nature loving role models. Leah will feedback all she has learned to the school Eco-group. Leah stuck around after the talk to get a signed brochure and a picture with her hero.
The Eco-group would like to make you aware of the Big Plastic Count. Households, community groups, schools and businesses are being encouraged to take part in order to show the government that it is time to commit to reducing single use plastic by 50% by 2025 by switching to reusable options that work for everyone – and ban sending waste to other countries. This is backed by the school’s Humanities Department who are carrying out the big plastic count in the faculty. The count takes place for a week and we would like you to do this between the 16th – 22nd May. Follow this link to find out more and to sign up. https://thebigplasticcount.com/
THE ECO-GROUP AND HUMANITIES DEPARTMENT TAKE ACTION ON PLASTIC
The Eco-group recently collected surveys from the S1-S3 pupils and found that most plastic bottles purchased by the pupils were for fizzy and sugary drinks; the most popular being Coca-Cola.
To help reduce these sugary drink purchases, the Eco-group have worked together to produce a lesson to educate pupils on the health issues associated with sugary and fizzy drinks. The aim is for this strategy to, not only educate pupils about healthy diets, but also to help reduce the amount of plastic that must be recycled from the Academy classrooms each day.
The Eco-group are working on the principle that ‘REDUCE’ is better than ‘RECYCLE.’
The Humanities Department will deliver a 10-minute lesson during Social Subjects and BGE classes.
In future the Eco-group will be looking at ways to promote the use of refillable water bottles.
The Eco-group would like to make you aware of various environmental competitions to take part in from ‘Keep Scotland Beautiful’. Any budding film producers, reporters or landscape designers? Visit the following links to find out more:
Young Reporters for the Environment – https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/education-and-learning/young-reporters-for-the-environment/resources-for-reporters/
Pocket Garden Design Competition – https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/education-and-learning/food-and-the-environment/pocket-garden/
Youth Climate Film Project – https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/youthclimatefilmproject
The Eco Group are looking for empty Quality Street/Roses/Celebrations/Heroes chocolate boxes/tins for reclaiming and making into pen/pencil recycling boxes to go in classrooms. If you have any left over boxes, that you are not using, we would really appreciate if you could bring them into school. Thank you, Alford Academy Eco-Group.