Eco Warrior News
Eco Warrior news update February 2020
Eco warrior school work set during lockdown 3 has enabled the warriors to continue caring for the planet with enthusiasm!
Work on “ trees” encouraged planting of acorns and an appreciation of the wonderful job trees do capturing carbon , tackling climate change and providing habitats for lots of creatures. Eco Warrior leaders wrote to Englefield Estates to ask for some professional advice on how to care for their planted acorns to insure the grow into healthy saplings for planting.They were delighted to receive a video teaching them what to do and also to invite them to come and plant their saplings on the estate hopefully between October and March. This year we will plant some saplings we have been donated until the children’s acorns grow big enough to plant out. We really hope that this will become an annual event and that every child at St John’s school will plant an acorn every year.
Letters written by Bethan year 2 and Alice year 1 to Englefield Estates.
A second piece of eco school work on Biodiversity challenged eco warriors to firstly think of ways to increase biodiversity in the school grounds and secondly to design a rainwater catching system for the shelter to water the flower beds during the summer months whilst using the roof space to increase biodiversity.
There were some extremely imaginative, creative and elaborate designs for the shelter coupled with numerous ideas on how to increase biodiversity in the school grounds. Ideas included ponds, solar fountains, water butts, bat houses, bird house, bird tables, plant fruits & vegetables, herb garden , lavender, bug & bee hotels and lots and lots of plants etc.
We are delighted to say that with some generous donations from Rosebourne garden centre of seeds, bat boxes, ladybird hotel, a bird table and funding from AWE we will be commencing work on this project very soon! It will be an exciting project that will be a mix of all the children’s exciting ideas!
Here are a few of the many designs for the shelter.
Eco Top Tips
Eco Warrior leaders were tasked with writing their ‘top ten eco tips’ for the Village Eye magazine, in the hope that it may inspire others to make eco changes to help the environment. Here are Charlotte and Phoebe’s tips from Y2 and Jack’s from Y1.
Habitats and endangered animals
Whilst researching what an animal needs to survive children had to think how the animal would feel if their habitat was destroyed. This led to them researching what animals are endangered and what they could do about it. The majority of children wanted to donate money to help animals and they wanted to teach other people about these endangered animals. The Eco Warrior leaders were tasked with voting for which animals they wanted to help. It was decided to use money earnt from Terracycle for recycling pens to donate to WWF to adopt an elephant, rhino and polar bear and to Shark trust UK to help basking sharks.
The Eco Warriors will be coming up with ideas to ask other school children to join their campaign to recycle pens , save them from Landfill and at the same time help endangered animals. More news to follow on this soon!
Eco Warriors are passionate about keeping our village clean and protecting the wildlife. Here are some photos of Eco Warriors in action. One Eco Warrior has taken this a step further.Together with his mum, they are keeping a blog on Instagram of their litter picking. Eddie says “ I started litter picking because I would see lots of rubbish thrown on the ground and not in the bins. People even throw their household rubbish in the woods! It’s important to pick up litter because it makes our village look cleaner and it’s good for the environment and wildlife.” You can follow Eddie and his mum at #ecowarrioreddie
Eco Blue Peter Badge
We are very proud that 2 Eco Warriors have earnt their Eco Blue Peter badge. Well done girls. Search on the Blue Peter website to see how to earn one!
December and January Eco Warriors of the month
Eco Warrior news update Summer 2020
We are delighted to announce that in March we were awarded a coveted Green Flag from Eco Schools. We had to submit environmental reviews, photos, videos and evidence of all the changes we have implemented at school with regard to bio diversity, waste, litter, water and global citizenship. Eco schools is an international award that has been empowering children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness and improve the school environment too!
So well done St. John’s and thank you to our Eco Warrior leaders for their hard work.
ECO WARRIOR LEADERS
Children from Year 1 and Year 2 were invited to complete an application form if they wanted to become an Eco-Warrior Leader and interviews duly took place . There were some incredibly amazing application forms and some equally enthusiastic interviews, which made this task very difficult! We are delighted to advise that the following children have been selected to be our Eco Warrior leaders:
Badger class – Etta T and Jack M
Deer class – Alice P and Samuel V
Fox class – Phoebe S, Mabel Q and Bethan R
Hedgehog class – Lottie M, Molly N and Ranulph J
Eco Warrior - Spring 2020
The children have had a busy week learning about ‘why water matters!’
They thought about how much water we use in a day and possible ways of reducing this usage.
The children were also very lucky to have assemblies on the water cycle’, how much water the average person uses in Tanzania, energy and climate change and recycling!
Everyone took part in various activities over the week including reading the water meter and working out how much water we use at school, composting, making wax food wraps, making fat seed balls for the birds and making wild seed bombs for the garden. The children have also been building a pond out of a sink and bee water trays for our biodiverse garden, writing down ways to reduce how much water we use, making posters to
encourage people to look after our world, reading books about plastic and writing to the Prime Minister.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteer helpers that came into school to help with the activities and to deliver the assemblies. We all had a great time!
Eco Warrior - December 2019
We are extremely proud to advise that we have received our Silver Eco-Schools Award
The children have been thinking about how they can help other people less fortunate than themselves at Christmas time. The Eco-Warrior Leaders wanted to help people without homes and also children who, at Christmas time, may not have any presents.
We were delighted to present Sarah from Homestart Reading with all the wonderful toys and books that had been collected at school. These kind donations will make a huge difference to many families this Christmas.
The donations of socks, pants, hats and gloves that were collected for the homeless have been given to ‘Bed for the Night’ in Reading.
Eco Warrior - September 2019
Eco Warrior monitors
We decided to introduce weekly Eco Warrior monitor roles in each class. Their jobs include checking lights are switched off when everyone leaves the classroom, taps are turned off, waste is put into the correct bin, scrap paper trays are used and any ‘dead’ pens are collected and sent off to Terracycle for recycling.
Eco Warrior of the Month
We encourage every child to be the best Eco Warrior they can be and send in photos of themselves ‘ in action’ or show us letters they have written to encourage others to make a difference to our planet. We love to see what they have done and such children have the chance of being awarded an “Eco Warrior of the Month award”! Check out the ‘Eco Warrior of the Month’ page to see who our inspirational warriors are.
Eco Warrior Leaders
Children from Year 1 and Year 2 were invited to complete an application form if they wanted to become an Eco-Warrior Leader and interviews duly took place. We are delighted to advise that the following children have been selected to be our Eco Warrior leaders:
Badger class – William and Matilda
Deer class – Eddie and Genevieve
Fox class – Oliver, Charlie, Eleanor, Oscar, Niamh G and Holly
Hedgehog class – Albert, Freddy, Amelia, Chloe, Mac and Poppy
Eco Warrior - October 2019
We have been continuing our focus on 5 topics which are waste, litter, biodiversity, water and Global Citizenship.
We are always looking at ways to reduce our waste and one of our Eco Warriors made a video encouraging people to bring in their empty, rinsed toothpaste tubes, old toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads and dental floss packets to school or to take them to Oak Tree Dental Practice. We then send these off in batches to TerraCycle who recycle everything properly.
We also collect writing instruments eg biros, felt tip pens, highlighters, whiteboard pens etc. Again please bring these into school and we will send them off to be recycled properly. Don’t forget to ask your friends and family too! Not only are we preventing these items from ending up in landfill we have also raised funds of £38 for the school.
Bag2school is a way of recycling your unwanted clothes, soft toys, shoes, belts, handbags etc. It is a great way of keeping clothes out of the landfill and raising funds for Mortimer St. John’s, Mortimer St. Mary’s and The Willink. We have a group of dedicated parents who pick up bags from outside the houses in Mortimer three times a year. To date, we have recycled 50,000kg of clothing and raised over £22,000 for the three schools.
We have harvested another batch of compost and this has been used in our centre bed in our garden. The Eco Warriors have also planted a donated tree into this bed, our aim is to plant lots of beautiful plants to attract a variety of insects and birds into our garden.
Reducing Use of Single -Use Plastic
The challenge to cut back on single-use plastic continues, the “Eco Warrior Party Pack” is helping to limit the cups going into landfill. If you would like to hire the Party Pack please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.
This year the P&F Bonfire Committee were determined to ‘go greener’ and sought the help of the Eco Warriors.
Their ideas included clearly labelled recycling zones, reusable cups, free refillable water for those that bring their own bottles, cleaner wood on the bonfire and replaceable batteries in the novelties. All of the pupils were shown three possible designs for the reusable cups and they had to vote for their favourite design. A £1 refundable deposit is required to use one of these beautiful cups. The Eco-Warriors then had to paint a sign for the “free water” and lastly design a recycling zone.
Litter is still a favourite topic with the children and they continue to keep their pledge to pick litter once a month for a year. It’s great to see our Eco Warriors in action.
The garden area continues with its makeover and has lots of new bird boxes courtesy of the ‘Buy Nothing Mortimer” group and also a wonderful handmade hedgehog house. Thank you for your amazing work Eco-Warriors!
During Religious Education lessons the children have been thinking about others less fortunate than themselves, especially at Christmas time. The children brainstormed to think of ways that they could help others and decided to give away toys to less fortunate children, however, they also wanted to help people without homes. After some research two local charities were chosen, Homestart and Night Shelter. Homestart will distribute any donated toys to families in the Reading area. Donations of brand new socks, pants, hats and gloves will be given to the Reading Night Shelter to pass on to homeless men or women when they visit.
The children have also supported Cancer Research by running their 2nd Race for Life this year. As well as enjoying ways to stay fit and healthy they raised over £2500 for this worthwhile cause.
In July the children chose to help protect African animals from poachers. We received these wonderful photos from the ‘Power Rangers’ showing us the equipment we helped purchase. They were also given a flag with all the donor’s names on it. Can you see Mortimer St John’s? Look at the photos below from the Enonkishu Conservancy in Kenya.
Eco Warrior - July 2019
We mixed some of our compost with sharp sand and bought compost to plant some tomato, bean and sunflower seeds in to sell at the May Fair. With some help from parents, we managed to have quite a few seedlings to sell alongside our ‘plant a pumpkin seed’p’ and our second-hand uniform stalls. We were delighted that we raised approximately £100.
A group of Eco Warriors met together to decide which charities they would like to make a donation to. They wanted to help keep the ocean clean and agreed to donate £35 to Surfers Against Sewage, so they can carry on their good work. They also gave £35 to help Rangers in the Masai Mara to keep poachers away from the wild animals. The money will be used to kit them out with boots, uniforms and walkie talkies.
With the glorious weather in June, we experienced a huge problem with unwanted flies. As we are still in our first year of composting, we are learning all the time, a lot of what we do is trial and error. We were delighted to get a grip on the situation and hope that if this problem arises again we have the right tools in place to resolve it. Sometimes it’s tricky to be ‘green’!
A good Eco Warrior shares the knowledge they have gained along the way and we were delighted to be asked to help Wokefield Park’s ‘Green Team’ build a bug hotel to attract wildlife to their grounds. We used this opportunity to share our knowledge of composting and to try to encourage Wokefield Park to engage in composting. The children thoroughly enjoyed putting dead leaves, straw, bamboo etc into each layer of the bug hotel. They then made seed bombs which they threw at the bug hotel so the seeds would scatter all around and grow into wonderful wildflowers which will attract lots of wildlife.
Eco Warrior - April 2019
All of the pens and oral care products that we have collected so far have been sent to Terracycle to be recycled.
Eco Week Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th April 2019
Eco Week was launched on Wednesday with a whole school assembly on “What is our carbon footprint?”. In small groups, the children completed a quiz to see how ‘green’ they were and if they had a big or small carbon footprint. Everyone had to draw around their own foot and then complete a map of their carbon footprint, by writing or drawing pictures to show what things they do that contribute to their own carbon footprint.
Thursday’s assembly was by Andrea from “Plastic Free Mortimer”, she shared with the children the work they are doing in the village to reduce the use of single-use plastic. They also discovered that the more single-use plastic you use the bigger your carbon footprint!
Friday’s assembly was about how big carbon footprints are affecting our planet. We focused on what we could do to reduce our carbon footprints. These were some of our ideas:-
- Turning off taps to save water.
- Switching lights off or the television off when you leave a room.
- Turn off computers when not in use.
- Turn your heating down a degree or two.
- Hanging washing out to dry.
- Recycle where possible.
- Compost food waste.
- Don’t waste paper. Use both sides.
- Walk, cycle or scooter instead of using the car.
- Take reusable bags to the shops.
Mural made by reusing plastic bottle tops
During Eco Week every child took part in creating a beautiful mural of our school oak tree. The children took it in turns to glue plastic lids of different colours onto a board to create this wonderful piece of artwork! Any lids that were leftover are being donated to Mortimer St. Mary’s school to use for their Eco Week later in the year.
Over the Easter holidays, the children were set the challenge of building a useful item out of recycled materials. We were delighted to see the wonderful array of useful items that the children made by recycling unwanted things! We had a cushion made using an old school PE T-shirt stuffed with plastic bags, stationery pots, pencil pots, bird feeders, birdhouses bug hotels, toys and a handmade shopping bag.
Our competition winners were Amelie, Bertie, Chloe and Riley. Well done everyone!
During the week each class competed to see who could collect the most pens, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes to recycle. All of the items were weighed on Friday afternoon. The winners were Fox Class, who received a special prize of extra “Golden Time”. Well done Fox Class!
Walking a mile
During Eco Week the children also thought about how to stay fit and healthy. All of the children went on a mile walk around the village and the Foundation Stage children designed a healthy lunchbox.
Eco Warrior March 2019
Incredible news! We have earned our Bronze Eco-School award as a result of all the amazing changes we have made at school!
Since we have been composting all of our food waste on-site and improved how we recycle paper/card we have reduced our general waste collections down to 1100 litres a week, instead of 2200 litres a week, saving the school approximately £800 per year. This saving has also been possible because Woodside Recycling is now collecting our paper card waste free of charge. Our Eco Warriors are responsible for composting food waste after lunch. We are pleased to advise that we have just harvested our first batch of compost from our maturation bin. This compost has been added to one of our raised beds to improve the quality of the soil. When we add food waste to our Ridan turning system we also have to add sawdust which we are kindly gifted from BPS Plus Ltd. We are also helped with the delivery cost of this sawdust by Parker’s Estate Agency in Burghfield.
Bio Diverse Garden
We are continuing to make changes in our garden area. Some clearing, weeding and pruning have taken place alongside some planting to attract more insects and wildlife to the garden.
Some Eco Warriors have drawn plans of what they would like in the garden to attract wildlife. They have also thought about bug, bee, birdhouses. We’ve been fortunate to obtain some free houses, a birdbath and garden fork among other items from the local ‘Buy Nothing Mortimer’ group, alongside a donated bug hotel from parents. The children are also going to build their own bug hotel. Watch this space! A box was created of resources for children to use when they are in the garden. These include identification books, binoculars, magnifying glasses etc.
Whilst still trying to reduce what we send from school to landfill we have now replaced our general waste bins at school.
We think it is easier and clearer to identify what wastes go where. We have also made sure each class has a yellow tray for scrap paper. Children understand that they have to use both sides of a piece of paper before it goes into the blue paper recycling bin.
Eco Warrior Party Pack
In a bid to cut back on single-use plastic the Eco Warriors and P&F worked together to create the ‘Eco Warrior Party Pack’. The Party Pack consists of thirty reusable plastic dishwasher safe plates, bowls, cups and also two plastic jugs. To hire the ‘Party Pack’ simply email “EcoWarriorPartyPack@gmail.com” to select your chosen date. Collect the Party Pack from the school office and pay £5 on collection. Then wash & return within two days.
Biodiversity & Water
Our Eco Warriors have been designing a biodiverse area to attract more wildlife into the school grounds and are considering which plants to add to encourage wildlife. They would also like to include a water butt, birdbath and a bug hotel!
Our water butt has been installed and has managed to capture some rain during the Easter holidays. The Eco-Warriors will use this water to look after our plants and make sure the birds have water in the birdbath!
Tackling Single-Use Plastic
A group of Eco Warriors invited a parent from the Parents and Friends Committee to come into school so they could talk to them about the worrying situation of plastic in our oceans. The Eco-Warriors raised questions such as ‘How does plastic in the oceans make you feel?”, “What single-use plastic does the committee use when holding a school disco?”. After a detailed discussion, it was decided that when running the school disco the Parents and Friends Committee would use reusable plastic cups. The Eco-Warriors purchased these from money raised selling second-hand uniform and donated them to the Parents and Friends Committee. The intention is that these reusable cups will replace single-use cups at as many Parents and Friends events as possible. Good work Eco-Warriors!
We are delighted to advise that through fundraising, we have raised enough monies to purchase our composting system, which has been installed. We have a wonderful area to house the turning system and two maturation boxes. This week we have started to compost all of our food waste from the kitchen and the classroom food-recycling caddies. Our specialist Eco Warriors will be helping to recycle the food waste on a daily basis.
Our aims are to reduce our waste disposal costs, reduce landfill, reduce greenhouse gases, reduce road transport, reduce our school carbon footprint and create our own compost to use to grow plants. Thank you for all your support with making this happen.
The Eco-Warrior Leaders have watched clips of other schools who have created an Eco Code for their school. It was decided that Mortimer St. John’s should have their own code. Some of the Eco-Warrior leaders got together and created a code for our school, this will be presented to the rest of the school in the next Eco Warriors assembly.
Eco Warrior - September 2018
In each classroom, we now have a blue bin for paper and card, a green food caddy for our snack waste and a general waste bin.
The Eco-Warriors would like to be able to turn all of the food waste produced into lovely compost on the school site. To enable them to do this they would like to buy a turning compost system which will be installed within the school grounds. This, of course, requires funds which the children are actively trying to raise. Some of the children, parents and staff took part in the Mortimer 3K fun run and 8K walk on Sunday 30th September to raise money for the composter and Books 4 Nepal. We have also written to some charities requesting help to finance the composter. The picture below is of the area that has been allocated for our new composting system.
Mortimer St. John’s are now registered as a drop-off point with Terracycle to collect old pens, highlighters, whiteboard pens, correction fluid bottles, toothpaste tubes (rinsed out), plastic toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads. The children can bring these items into school or they can be dropped off at ’The Baobab’ who are collecting on our behalf.
Eco Warrior - July 2018
We relaunched Eco-Warriors in May this year with an assembly at school. All the children were invited to become Eco Warriors, however, if they wanted to become an Eco-Warrior Leader they had to complete an application form.
The application had to list reasons why they wanted to become an Eco-Warrior Leader and what changes they wanted to make in our school. These children were then interviewed.
Andrea from the Books 4 Nepal project came into school to talk to the children during an assembly. The Eco-Warriors were so impressed with the project that they wanted to raise funds to help with the building of a library in Jibajibe village in Nepal. An Eco-Warrior meeting was held, Mrs Sumner kindly agreed that the school could donate some old library books to the project. Some children and parents were also sponsored for taking part in the Mortimer Fun Run and along with the Brownies they raised an amazing £785. Half of these monies were donated to the Books 4 Nepal project, along with £30 that was raised from a second-hand uniform sale. The remaining monies have been kept and are going to be used to buy a composting system.
Race For Life
On Wednesday 4th July the whole school took part in the 1-mile fun run around the ‘Fairground’. The children were delighted to receive a medal for their amazing efforts, a magnificent £2305.40 was raised for Cancer Research UK – well-done everyone!