Recently some members of the Eco Committee went shopping to Wilko in Dunstable to spend a £50 voucher which had been very kindly donated by the manager to Vicky!
Most of the money went on a lovely new wooden bench but we also bought some fruit bushes because at the last Eco Committee meeting the children decided they would like to grow more fruit - what a healthy and responsible choice!
Friday 22nd March was World Water Day and at Richmond Hill West we had a colouring competition to mark the occasion, which was then judged by our School Council.
Across both sites assemblies were held informing the children of the importance of water in our world, we also thought about the different uses of water and the fun we can have with it in our everyday lives.
Year 4 are going to work hard in their gardening lessons to develop the area by the sandpit- this links well with their topic 'What a Load of Junk'. During this topic they are learning about recycling and caring for the environment.
Keep looking back for progress pictures...
Empty Classroom Day
As part of the science and eco schools curriculum the school took part in the Empty Classroom event on Friday 17th June. Empty Classroom Day is a day to celebrate and promote learning and play outside the classroom. Here are some of the things we got up to.
Citizenship - Our Year 1/2 topic was ‘The Things People Do’ which focused on the children learning to engage and interact with people who help them in their everyday lives and experience the impact these roles have on others. The children had lots of visits from people in the community who help us, such as nurses and the local fire brigade.
You can see more on Toucan class page here
Healthy Living - Our Year 3 topic was ‘Champions’ through which the children experienced various types of exercise & sports in order to live a healthy lifestyle. They explored healthy eating and how to be safe both in and around school.
Waste, Water & School Grounds - Our Year 4 topic ‘What a load of Junk’ focused on reducing, reusing and recycling different materials.
As part of the topic we learnt about different types of recycling bins, reducing waste, reusing materials and caring for our environment.
As a year band we visited a local recycling point, walked into the town centre and donated to charity shops and developed a quad area outside Emerald and Silver.
Healthy Living - Our Year 5/6 topic was ‘Fit as a Fiddle’ which focused on the children learning about healthy living through their diet, self care and exercise.
You can see more photos here
Each class made a scarecrow by reusing and recycling different objects from around the school and their homes.
The newly appointed school voice representatives voted for their winners.
You can see more photos here
Each Year Band held a Harvest Festival Assembly for the parents and governors. Everybody was very generous with their food donations and the school voice representatives took these to Luton Foodbank.
You can see more photos here
Citizenship - Our Year 1/2 topic has been ‘Where is Bear?’ The children had to adopt and look after a class bear. They took them on a journey travelling through the school and out into the local community. The children were supported to understand and role play caring for the bear and how to make them feel part of the class.
Citizenship - The Year 4 topic was ‘Let there be Light.’ Through this topic the children experienced a variety of customs and practices associated with a different religion. Children were given the opportunity to share their own personal beliefs with their peers and experience the differences between the many cultures and faiths within Richmond Hill School.
Biodiversity - Our Year 5/6 topic was ‘Winter Wildlife.’ As part of this topic the children got to know the names of different British animals and their habitats. They explored and started to identify the characteristics that enable them to survive in Winter.
Our main focus day across both sites was Wednesday 23rd November. On this day the children took part in activities that highlighted the importance of saving energy around the school and the School Voice Representatives carried out The Switch Off Survey across both schools.
Side by Side was our first whole school Art/Design Project that took place during our Expressive Arts sessions throughout the term. The aim was for every class to source something to sit on (chairs, stalls, a bench, deck chairs….anything goes) and then design and decorate the chair. Free expression has been encouraged so the design themes have been incredibly imaginative and in the hands of our children.
Once again the School's commitment to creativity was very much at the heart of this project, proving 'Creativity (really does) matter'. On Friday the 18th November we held the launch of 'Side by Side' where every class took part in a celebratory chair swap that took the form of a huge game of musical chairs.
Side by Side not only celebrates the creativity at Richmond Hill School but it also connects the children at Richmond Hill West and our newly opened Richmond Hill East, encouraging sharing and friendship. We were delighted to welcome parents and the children at neighbouring Wigmore School to see the Side by Side exhibition.
Biodiversity - This half term's topic theme in Year 1/2 is ‘There’s no such thing as a Gruffalo.’ This new topic allows the children to explore and learn about small animals, insects and plants.
Citizenship - Our Year 5/6 children through their ‘Black Culture’ topic will find out about some important historical events and people that have contributed to shaping black culture.
We received some feedback from our eco-schools assessor Claire after her visit last month. We thought we would share this lovely comment with you...
We are really proud of the eco work we do around our school. We haven't got time to sit back and relax though, we have more plans in the pipeline to keep us improving and moving forward.
We were re-assessed for our eco schools award, and thanks to the hard work of everyone at the school, we retained our award and can keep our flag flying high.
Our focus for Autumn 1 in our eco-schools agenda this year is 'litter and recycling'
At Richmond Hill, we do not have a litter problem - so on behalf of the school, year's 3/4 are going to go out in the local community to take part in the 'Keep Britain Tidy' litter picking campaign.
At RHS we try to recycle as much as possible - having a designated 'red bin' for recyclable objects. We also have compost bins for our fruit and vegetable peels from snack time and cookery lessons.
As part of their topic work 'What a Load of Junk', years 3/4 will be designing recycling posters. The winning design will be duplicated and displayed around the school to remind everyone to recycle when we can!
For part of Yellow and Sapphire class topic work, they made some African drums out of recyclable material for their 'Different people. Different lives' topic work.
Gold class made an eco-superhero as part of their 'Superheroes' topic work.
As you can see by the photos below, they really made good use of all the materials available to them.
The countdown has begun to the 20th of June when we will be turning off the lights AND computers for the day.
We have a bird box in school that is set up to entice Blue Tits to come and nest.
Last year we were lucky enough to have 8 eggs hatch. It was interesting to see what they were like and how they grew. This year, we can see some nesting has been going on, but no other action as yet. Click on the link to see the latest goings on.
Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life. To visit their website click here.
In 2008 Richmond Hill school begun their Eco-schools journey and by 2012 we had achieved the Green Flag award from Eco-schools.
This is our story...
We begun by composting our fruit and vegetable waste into a black compost bin in our neglected unused garden area and recycling paper, plastic, cartons, magazines, tin cans in red recycling bins in 2008 which we achieved the Eco-schools 'Bronze award'.
Then in 2009 we employed Vicky. Vicky had always had 'green fingers' and had just graduated with a Diploma in Horticulture. She was keen to start transforming our unused garden into an eco-friendly gardening area for every child in the school's use.
We were lucky to receive lots of help developing the gardening area with generous donations of paving slabs, timber and (most importantly), labourers from WATES, Volker Highways and The Prince's Trust.
In 2011 we achieved the 'Green Flag' from Eco-schools, after an assessor came in to see what work we do at Richmond Hill to help the environment. Most importantly, she saw the activities and involvement the pupils have in managing and maintaining our garden.
View our 'Green Flag' case study here.
Since achieving this award we have developed our own gardening curriculum with every class having a timetabled lesson with Vicky in the garden.
Some of the activities the children are involved in are: