Snitterfield School is a member of a global Eco-Schools programme which engages millions of children across 67 countries and empowers them to drive change and improve their environment. The programme improves pupils’ skills, raises environmental awareness, improves the school environment and creates financial savings for the school and Snitterfield school is very proud to have achieved Silver Award Status!
It is run by a kind and committed local volunteer, Hilary Schmidt-Hansen, and has an active committee with representatives from each year group who meet monthly during lunch time. Over the years, we have introduced composting and recycling in each area of the school (see our ‘blue bin’ poster here), schemes for recycling used printer cartridges and mobile phones and set up a successful clothes bank which raises funds for the school whilst encouraging children, staff and families to use the facilities.
With the help & support of Snitterfield Actioning Climate Change (SACC) the school has had our very own solar photovoltaic panels installed which produce energy and help to reduce our carbon footprint.
Each year, the Eco Group learn about environmental issues and work on projects together as a group. Previous projects have included ‘Energy Usage’ in school, ‘Help for Hedgehogs’, in conjunction with The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, and ‘Bee Keeping’ where we learnt all about bees and how important they are for our planet and invited local beekeepers Mike & Moira Osbourne into school to talk about the benefits of beekeeping. We also take part in the national schools ‘Bird Watch’ project, as part of the RSPB Big Bird Watch each spring, and in 2016, whilst Tim Peake was on the
International Space Station, we took part in the ‘RHS Rocket Science Project’, growing seeds from space! In conjunction with this project we also looked at food miles and were quite amazed at how far our food travels to get to us.
In 2017, our project was ‘moths & butterflies’ and we asked local moth specialist, musician and previous school parent, Anna Ryder, to help us. We set up 2 moth traps over night and brought the moths that were attracted to the light into school for all the children to see before we set them free.
We had a wide variety of moths including a huge ‘Poplar Hawk’ moth and spent a morning looking at them in more detail and making music about moths. It was really educational for us all, and hopefully, we have inspired some of the children to look around their gardens and parks for insects and other creatures. Did you know that there are about 75 varieties of butterflies in Britain but over 2,500 varieties of moths?! If you would like to see more of Anna’s moths please take a look at her Mothify website . Or, if you would like to learn more about butterflies and moths and get involved in a nationally-run monthly moth count, click here.
This year, we have been looking at life under the oceans having been inspired by the TV series of Blue Planet. We found out all sorts of facts about the sea creatures, fish and mammals. Did you know that the Gulper Eel can grow to 100cm long but has a huge mouth compared to it’s body size?! It’s jaw is hinged and can open large enough to swallow prey much larger than itself! Or that the Dugong are more closely related to elephants than to marine animals such as whales and dolphins? Dugongs are believed to have been the basis of mermaid legends as sailors likened them to mermaids or Sirens; hence the order name of Sirenia!
We also put into perspective the depth of the ocean by comparing it to Big Ben (96 metres!) and the tallest building on earth – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – 829.8 metres, as well as Mount Everest, which is 8,848 metres above sea level! Below the sea there are ocean trenches that can descend to huge depths with the deepest reaching almost 11km.
Our Plastic Pledge
However, we were most shocked by the plastic pollution in our seas and we asked every family in school make a pledge to reduce their usage of single use plastic and hope to make our world a better place as a result.
If you would like to help our Eco-Group with any environmental projects please get in touch with the school office and we will put you in touch with the group’s volunteer leader: Mrs Schmidt-Hansen.