Eco and Outdoor Learning Curriculum Design Statement
Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging 19.5 million children across 67 countries, making it the largest educational programme on the planet. For nearly 25 years Eco-Schools has been empowering children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness through the simple Seven-Step framework in order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag award. The seven steps are
- Form an eco-committee,
- Carry out an environmental review,
- Write an action plan,
- Find curriculum links,
- Inform and involve,
- Monitor and evaluate
- Create an Eco Code.
At Brookburn we have achieved the Bronze and Silver Eco Awards and we are currently renewing our Green status Green Flag Award. Eco-Schools develops pupils’ skills, raises environmental awareness, improves the school environment and creates financial savings for schools as well as a whole host of other benefits.
The aim of Eco Schools is to make the children, staff and community of Brookburn Primary School aware of the ten Eco Schools topics. These topics are Marine, Biodiversity, Litter, Waste, Energy, Transport, Water, School Grounds, Healthy Living and Global Citizenship. To renew our Green status we have to concentrate particularly on five of these areas. They are Litter, Waste, Transport, School Grounds and Healthy Living. We still imbed and link the other Eco topics into our curriculum.
The National Curriculum and the EYFS curriculum link well with delivering sustainability education and have clear links to Eco Schools topics. Below is a table of what is taught in KS1 and KS2 and how they are linked to the Eco schools ten topics.
These are some of the topics taught across our school last year that were linked to the Eco topics:
EYFS – Looked at minibeasts and how they could increase the biodiversity of minibeasts by making bug hotels and other minibeast dens.
Year 1 and Year 2 – They helped to maintain the allotments and grow vegetables. They grew their own tomatoes that they took home and they helped to grow peas and potatoes that were used in our school kitchen and sold at our Summer fair. This raised the children’s awareness of healthy living.
Year 3 – Looked at the Stone Age and they made Stone Age houses using the resources from treasure wood to create these houses. They also used recycled waste from the classroom to add to these houses.
Year 4 – Looked at the rainforest and the impact deforestation has on the diversity of animals living in the rainforest and the amount of CO2 in the air.
Year 5 – Looked at the water cycle and the Amazon River. They looked at how global issues such as global warming effects the water cycle and the rivers. Year 5 also have the opportunity to attend bike safe courses which encourages eco-friendly ways of travelling to school.
Year 6 – Mapped the school grounds and looked at how these areas can be maintained. They also created Arcimboldo-inspired artwork during school grounds week and looked at how they can create artwork in an environmentally friendly way.
The Eco Buddies raise awareness of various Eco topics throughout the year. They regularly present in assemblies on issues they have been looking at. They have rotas for daily litter picking, classroom recycling and for monitoring that taps are off and electrical items are switched off when they are not needed. Alongside this they attended recycling workshops and they planted trees in the community. They also created a walk to school week where they monitored and evaluated how many people were coming to school in an environmentally way before that week and during that week. Other children in the school respect the Eco Buddies and this encourages all children and staff to be more environmentally friendly.
The staff and parents of Brookburn Primary School are keen to educate the children and each other on how we can be a more environmentally community and our awareness is increasing. Where possible staff will incorporate Eco topics into their lessons and we see and hear our children discussing these topics outside of lessons.
We have a school grounds week to promote outside learning and we have created a booklet of ideas for our staff to use. This is attached if you would like to have a look at some of the ideas you could do with your children outside of school.
Going forward we continue to support our community in being more eco-friendly and contributing to a more sustainable way of living.