‘Climate is like nature’s clock.’ 

As global attention is drawn to the climate change discussions taking place at COP26 in Glasgow this week, our school community embraced our COP26: Climate Change Week.

Our week was packed full of daily reminders of what we can do as individuals and as a school community to make a difference.

Meat-Free Monday

Our plates were filled with chickpea curry, rice, salad and steamed veggies as the Eco Committee took action with their first task this week: to find out which vegetarian options appeal to us the most. With the aim to reduce meat consumption, eat seasonally and shop locally, our Eco Committee members have been tasked with collating feedback. We look forward to their results and hope to make a few sustainable shifts.

          

Turn it off Tuesday

Following on from the success of Earth Hour (celebrated in March earlier this year), our teaching staff was asked to switch off, again! As eco-warriors, we know that meaningful teaching and learning can take place without the use of modern technology. Our Year 6 pupils grabbed their clipboards and eagerly took their French learning outdoors.

                                       

Tuesday was also ‘Plant a Bulb Day’ and our budding horticulturalists joined Mrs Borrows and planted a range of bulbs, further enhancing the incredible biodiversity we have on our school grounds.

           

In our form times on Tuesday and Thursday, we engaged in thought-provoking discussion to do with climate change. At Vinehall, we address current issues while acknowledging the importance of sharing solutions. Year 5 pupils suggested ways to prevent deforestation, ensuring equity and access to green spaces, how to support our farmers as they participated in a speed-dating styled carousel. Everyone’s voice was heard and valued.

      

Waste-free Wednesday

Instead of throwing anything away, all rubbish and recycling was consolidated in appropriate bins in the Senior Library so our school community can see how much waste the school produces in a single day. This allowed for the Maths activity that took place with the Year 5s on Thursday where rubbish was weighed and data was collated.

On Wednesday, we also took part in Round 3 of our General Knowledge brain teachers and where our knowledge and understanding of food miles, climate change, the meaning of COP26 and more was put to the test!

Turn it off Thursday

Not only did we have more declarations of ‘lights out!’ but we also had the school off timetable for lessons geared around climate change.

3E took the lead with the Lights Out! Campaign as they created covers for our light switches with Mrs Everist and Madame Clayton.

4B created reflected on their Carbon Footprints: and created their cardboard carbon footprints with Mrs Konyu.  (See art report.)

       

Year 5 had the heavy task of Weighing up our Waste; as they sorted, weighed, and analyse the rubbish from Waste-Free Wednesday.

   

Dr Moore and 6C participated in a live lesson: The Carbon Cycle hosted by the National Farmers’ Union (NF) and then calculated their food miles.

Ms Prior and Mrs Borrows teamed up with 6T as they took part in Tree Detectives and learn more about the biodiversity on our school grounds.

     

7PW also took part in the The Carbon Cycle life lesson with Mr Borrows and Mr Powis, then focused on designing a school menu focused on reducing emissions.

Last (and certainly not least after their dedicated efforts during mock exam week), 8PB and Mrs Prior went KABANG: Fireworks! … well our science lab did as they made their own fireworks and looked at traditions v sustainable practices, suggesting ways we can have more eco-friendly Bonfire Nights in our communities.

Fantastic Friday

Saw our Eco Committee members wrapping up a week where they had the chance to shine like sparklers as they worked tirelessly to collect feedback from their peers.

We are very much looking forward to our upcoming assembly where our eco-warriors, young and old(er) can share their practices and visions for a more sustainable future at Vinehall and beyond.

‘In a gentle way you can shake the world.’ Gandhi

 Ally Linney