Eco-Schools March 2014 Newsletter West St Leonards Community Primary School Dear Frances Robinson and the Eco-Committee, Welcome to your March issu

 
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Eco-Schools March 2014 Newsletter

West St Leonards Community Primary School

Dear Frances Robinson and the Eco-Committee,

Welcome to your March issue of the Eco-Schools newsletter

Can we interview you for our birthday celebrations? Keep Britain Tidy turns 60 this year, it is also the 20th birthday of the international Eco-Schools programme. To celebrate we want to publish a series of short interviews with teachers, children and alumni of our 17,000 Eco-Schools. Please get in touch with the Eco-Schools team via eco-schools@keepbritaintidy.org if you would like to share your Eco-Schools story.

As always, we are keen to support our Eco-Schools as much as possible, so if you've got any queries or questions just get in touch. Email us eco-schools@keepbritaintidy.org, call us on 01942 612 614 or tweet us @ecoschools

Best wishes,
The Eco-Schools team

P.S. Just a reminder, If you have colleagues, friends or family who may want to read this newsletter too, they can now sign up to receive it each month. Forward this link to anyone who may want to sign up for the newsletter.

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What you can find in this March update: (click on the titles to jump to the sections)

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big bumblebee discovery

Has your school signed up for The Big Bumblebee Discovery?

The Pod are calling on young people across the country to help with this mass observation of bumblebees. This exciting project has been developed in collaboration with the British Science Association to help inspire a new generation of scientists.

The first 3,000 schools that sign up to take part (and nearly 1,000 already have) will be sent a fantastic engagement pack including stickers, posters, log books and recycled pencils, plus a lavender plant. There will be lots of curriculum linked teaching resources as well as games, podcasts and an engaging online data collection tool.

It’s a great way of taking learning outside of the classroom and something that the whole school can participate in. Click here to find out more about The Big Bumblebee Discovery and sign up.

Waste Week Pack 2014

It's Waste Week!

Waste Week is happening now and running for the whole of March – nearly 2,000 schools have already signed up, but there are some free packs remaining if you've not registered yet. Follow schools' progress through the campaign via the Waste Week blog.

The focus of this year's Waste Week is plastic waste. The Pod have created brand new resources to explain the problems caused by plastic waste, the science of plastics and the different types of plastics for recycling, plus a new activity Bottle Stoppers to help students reduce the number of plastic bottles thrown away. View all the Waste Week resources here, whether you want to get your own knowledge up to scratch, deliver an assembly for the whole school, or run some quick activities with your Eco-Committee, the Pod has resources to help.

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ictr logo

We are delighted to announce our new partnership with ICT refurbishment Ltd. ICTR can offer schools a secure, green option for your old computer equipment and its associated data. And to launch the partnership ICT Refurbishment are pleased to offer limited time discounts to Eco-Schools.

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We have created a new litter resource and fundraising pack for primary schools. The pack (which contains an assembly, lesson plans, resources, stickers and more) has already been sent to a number of Eco-Schools around the country and some schools are already planning their sponsored litter picks and other fundraising activities. If you'd like to get involved too visit www.keepbritaintidy.org/letstalkrubbish to download the resources or request a hard copy of the pack.

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Empower your students by helping them gain skills to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

The Wastebuster Primary Earth Summit focuses on the issue of plastic waste and its effect on the environment, especially on the world’s oceans. Pupils are encouraged to consider solutions to help reduce plastic waste, which could be a sculpture, poster design, play or packaging design.

Pupils from 20 shortlisted schools will have their voices heard by a panel of politicians, scientists and industry leaders in Parliament. The top four solutions will then be selected by the panel to become a reality. The Summit is open to both primary and secondary schools in England.

Find out more at www.wastebuster.co.uk/primary-earth-summit

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Thinking of starting to grow your own in school, or improve an existing garden? We've produced some resources that may help, including guides to growing fruit and vegetables, and some general gardening advice. We've even produced some guides specifically for younger gardeners. Browse and download the resources here.

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EcoSch cartoon

We are currently developing our strategy for 2014 and beyond and we want as many people involved as possible.

We've already shared ideas, collected feedback and been inspired by two of our strategy forums, in Northallerton and Birmingham. Our education manager, Morgan, is delivering his strategy for the future of Eco-Schools and asking for feedback. We still have spaces left for these free events in London (21st March) and Wigan (18th March), find out more and book your places here.

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As a regular feature for the Eco-Schools newsletter, we've been sharing tips about the Eco-Schools framework, to help you along your Eco-Schools journey.

We'll finish with Eco-Codes...

At Green Flag level the Eco-Code should be displayed in every classroom. But it's never too early to adopt this good practise.
Don't forget to display your Eco-Code in other important rooms too. Is it in your reception area? staff room? head teacher's office? kitchen? Your Eco-Committee could check where your code is already displayed and where it is still needed.
Does your Eco-Code need a refresh? Talk to your Eco-Committee about whether they are happy with your current code, or if they would like a new one?
If you are creating a new code its a great chance to involve the whole school in the process. Or to refresh your current code, why not run a whole-school competition to redesign a code poster.
The whole school should be aware of the Eco-Code and understand its meaning. Could you discuss your Eco-Code at your next eco-themed assembly, include it in your next newsletter or start your next staff meeting or registration with it?
Click here to find more and see some examples of Eco-Codes..

Next month we'll be starting a new feature in the newsletter, our Eco-Schools "problem pages". If you have an issue you'd like us (and our readers) to help you tackle just email us. Thanks to the Eco-Coordinators at Alexandra Junior School for suggesting this idea.

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Help us survey the most littered brands on England’s streets and we’ll use the data in our campaigns and our work with companies to reduce litter. It’s easy to take part, you could do it yourself or involve a small team from your school.

Simply download the recording sheet and guidance from our website; carry out your litter count, wherever you’d like, for just 30 minutes, any time from 21 March – 21 April. Find out more and download your recording sheet at www.keepbritaintidy.org/littercount

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Fairtrade Fortnight - 24 February - 9 March
The Pod's Waste Week - March
National Science and Engineering week - 14 - 23 March
Eco-Schools Strategy Forum - 18 March (Wigan) & 21 March (London)
SEEd Policy Forum - 26 March
Compost awareness week - 5 - 11 May
Walk to School week - 19 - 23 May
International Day for Biological Diversity - 22 May

For a calendar of upcoming eco-themed dates and events, download a copy of the Pod's year planner.

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Interested in becoming an Eco-Schools assessor?
Join our teams of Eco-Schools assessors around the country, who visit hundreds of schools each year to assess them for the prestiguous Green flag award. We just ask for a minimum of two assessments per year. We have free training coming up in London (27 March) and Eastleigh (24 April). Find out more and book your place here.

We also offer a selection of Eco-Schools training courses. For more information please contact our Training Team on 01942 612 655 or email training@keepbritaintidy.org.

Becoming an Eco-School Supporting you in guiding your school on its sustainable journey (one day) £199 + VAT per place 8 May - London, 17 June - Wigan
Going for Green Flag Be guided through the Green Flag criteria, application and assessment process personally by one of the Eco-Schools team (half day) £99 + VAT per place. 13 May - London, 26 June - Wigan
Engaging young people in environmental projects Enabling delegates to promote sustainable behaviour and effectively engage young people in initiatives to improve the environment. £299 +VAT per place 2 April - Wigan, 10 June - London

Can't find a course near you? Why not cut down on travel and time by hosting one of our courses. In return we will offer you one or two free places. Email training@keepbritaintidy.org for more details.

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Eco-Schools works with a range of partners to deliver money-saving, green alternatives to our schools. The schools services pages of the Eco-Schools website provides information on all the current offers and how to find more information.

ICT Refurbishment - a secure, green option for your old computers and data
Osprey - environmentally friendly water bottles for schools
EvoGreen Solar for schools - a new offer for schools interested in solar power
Evogreen Voltage Optimisation - technology to lower your electricity bills
Evogreen Biomass boilers - renewable energy with no upfront costs
David Luke Uniforms - eco-uniforms made from recycled bottles
Ecoprinters - a new printer offer, save on your energy use
Textile recycling - raise funds by collecting old fabrics or clothes
Display Energy Certificates - Eco-Schools can carry out your DEC assessments

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"During a Green Flag assessment the assessors will be on the lookout for litter - and they will not recommend the school for its award if there is a litter problem."

Is litter a problem in your school? Does it come from the school itself or is it blown in? Have you included ideas for tackling litter in your Action Plan? For ideas on tackling litter in our school visit our litter topic pages.

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