School & Eco Councils
At Wheatfield we want to make sure that every child's voice is heard as we plan for their future and develop our school. Our School Council and Eco-Council are an elected group of children who represent their class, attend meetings, seek opinions and plan events. To find out more about their work, read on ...
What is Eco School?
The Eco-Schools programme is an international initiative that encourages pupils to engage with environmental and sustainable development issues. Pupils take key roles in decision making and participation in order to reduce the environmental impact of their school.
Eco-Schools extends learning beyond the classroom and develops responsible citizenship attitudes both at home and in the wider community.
At Wheatfield Primary school we elect a new team of children each year and have one child per class to ensure a representation of different ages. The Eco Committee meet regularly and work together to make a difference!
Children can choose to apply for the Eco Council once per year. They have to complete an application form to explain why they feel they'd be best suited to the role and how they believe they can make a difference.
Eco Committee members have a responsibility to share their topics, projects and learning with their class to influence others to make eco-friendly choices which also embed our school value of taking responsibility. There are always plenty of opportunities for everyone to be involved with the Eco Committee including school grounds days, class topics and events throughout the year. If you're reading this and feel inspired to do more - come and speak to us in school!
Mrs Brown and Mrs Boyes would love to hear about your ideas.
Eco Schools Green flag award
At Wheatfield, we are currently working towards the Eco-Schools green flag award.
At the start of the year, the Eco Council completed an environmental review to see which of the ten areas we most need to improve on. Our review can be found here.
The Eco Council then chose three topics as our focus for the year:
Biodiversity, Energy and Waste
Our action plan is a working document showing the actions we have planned to take throughout the year on these topics. It can be found here.
News June 2023
We are pleased to announce that we have been successful in gaining our first Green flag eco award! Well done to this year's Eco Council for all of their hard work. We received some great feedback from the Eco-Schools programme assessors.
News October 2023
Our new Eco-Committee has been elected! Well done to our 2023-2024 Eco-Councillors. We had a fantastic amount of applications and it was hard to choose but here are a few of the things they said:
"I care about our planet and I want to look after it."
"I want to help save the wildlife and the planet and will do my best."
"I am good at saving insects and I care about nature."
"I want to be a part of Eco-Committee to protect our neighbourhood, our school, our planet and live our lives with consideration of environmental and climate changes."
"I want to make the school more eco-friendly to try to stop global warming."
Throughout the year, year groups cover different environmental issues during their topic work.
In term 2, Year 4 looked at Polar Biomes, learning about the effects of global warming. They looked at the question "Why is climate change a threat to polar regions?' An example of their work can be found here.
As part of their work on the rainforest, Year 5 look at the causes and implications of deforestation. They held a debate around the question "Should people be allowed to destroy the Amazon rainforest?" with children representing all sides of the argument.
Year 2 took inspiration from the book A Planet Full of Plastic by Neal Layton to look at recycling and what happens to the plastic that gets thrown away. They designed posters to encourage others to recycle more.
In November 2022, the West of England Metro Mayor visited us at Wheatfield to present us with his Bee Bold award which recognises businesses, organisations and schools that are taking positive action to support bees and pollinators. He was taken on a tour of the school grounds, spent some time on the allotment and met with the Eco Council.
Earlier in the year, Mrs Anstice showed us where the meters are for gas and electricity and explained how she monitors the energy usage throughout the school. We compared the energy usage form the school year 2022-23 with the previous year 2021-22.
We recycle lots of different things in school, from the usual paper to pens and ink cartridges. With the help of the Friends, we also redistribute school uniform and recycle clothing. Here's what we have recycled this year.
In September 2023, we were a finalist in the Avon Wildlife Trust's School Wildlife Gardening Competition. We were pleased to be runners up. The judges were very impressed with our Blue Heart Trail which showcases some of the wildlife and eco-friendly measures we have taken in the grounds. See our outdoor learning section for more details.
The Eco Council wrote our school's mission statement. It outlines Wheatfield's commitment to becoming. a greener, more environmentally-friendly place.
Here are some of the things that the Eco Council have been up to:
In October 2022, Dan Norris, the West of England Metro Mayor, visited the school to meet with the Eco Council and present the school with his 'Bee Bold' award in recognition of the work that has been undertaken to support pollinators at the school. A local news article can be found here.
In May 2023, we were visited by a representative of the Bradley Stoke Zero Carbon group who was working in conjunction with Bradley Stoke Town Council. This was part of a wider South Gloucestershire hedgehog Heroes project. The children created clay hedgehogs which were put on display in the town library and the jubilee Centre. More information can be found here.
November 2023: The first job of the new Eco Council was to undertake an audit of the class paper recycling bags. We found a few things in them that should not have been and reported back to teachers. We made posters to help the classes remember what should and should not be put in the paper recycling bag. Here are a few of the things we found: plastic bottle, pencil, paper towels, offcuts of laminating, fruit peel. The next week we did a litter pick outside the front door and near the bike sheds. We filled Mrs Brown's bin with all the litter we picked up!