This term the Eco Team have been focusing on waste and litter. We recently studied and sorted the waste that had been put into our classroom bins over a day. The team were pleased to find that paper and food waste were being recycled in most classrooms. Finally, the team took part in a Big Spring Clean Up within our school grounds on Monday 11th March. The girls were eager to wear their protective gear and use our litter pick equipment. The girls had great fun cleaning up our whole school environment. They were amazed at the number of wrappers which have either been dropped or have blown into our school grounds.
Since the formation of our new Eco Action Team the girls have been very busy discussing and planning projects for everyone in the Prep. Department to participate in during the school year.
One of our targets this year is to increase the amount of food waste that we recycle in school.During October the Eco Action Team have been busy emptying the food caddy bins throughout school.Whilst doing so they have also been collecting and recording data from our collections to find out which room recycles the most.So far Junior Pre-School are the best recyclers in our school with the Staffroom coming in close behind!
Prep 1 – Marni McBride & Emily Reynolds
Prep 2 – Amber Jackson & Amalia Elliott
Prep 3 – Sorcha Whelan & Alex Gordon
Prep 4 – Katie West & Martha McMurray
Prep 5 – Iona Ni Nia Gibson & Paige Somorin
Prep 6 – Ana Garcia Kehoe & Poppy McMurray
Prep 7 – Erin McGuire & Orla Murray
This year the Eco Action Team has a clear message for our peers, staff and families to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
We aim to:
- Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by introducing opportunities to recycle food waste in our classrooms and staff room.
- Continue our good practice of reusing and recycling paper and card reminding everyone to use the appropriate bins.
- Reduce the amount of carbon emissions by encouraging pupils to use sustainable transport where possible to get to and from school. Once again we will organise a walk to school event.
The Eco Action Team will be monitoring our progress throughout the year and will use this data to inform future plans and activities.
This year the Eco Action Team will work to improve our school and its environment by focusing on three core areas: our use of energy, waste and our school grounds.
- We plan to focus on energy usage in school to see if we can reduce it through reminders to turn off lights and computers.
- We will continue to look at our use of paper and cardboard with the aim of reducing the amount we use and also to look into introducing food waste bins for classrooms.
- We will continue to develop our sensory garden creating an area for local birds, bees, butterflies and of course for all ourselves to enjoy. Once again, any support from Prep parents or friends is always greatly appreciated!
The Eco Team are looking forward to organising some fun events throughout this school year.
On Monday 8th May we welcomed to our assembly Mrs Ruth Van Ry from Eco-Schools, “Keep Belfast Beautiful’. She shared with us the importance of re-cycling and ways to ‘Keep Victoria Prep Beautiful!’ Mrs Van Ry explained the difference we can make to our world when we reduce, reuse and recycle. To show that we all wanted to help we put our name on a pledge tree!
The Eco Team met early in November to discuss our 3 focus areas and also share some ideas for our future projects. We decided that our areas of focus this year would be our school grounds, litter and transport.
On Monday 21st November we had Beverly Gaston from Sustans in our assembly to help promote our ‘Ditch the Dark’ event. Beverly introduced us to George the bicycle and she told us about items of clothing we should be wearing when walking, cycling or scooting especially in the dark mornings and afternoons.
We had great fun dressing up in high visibility jackets, neon colours and reflective items on Friday 25th November for our Ditch the Dark event.
Walk to School Week took place from Monday 16th to Friday 20th May organised by Miss Hamilton and our Prep Eco Action Team. This was a very successful event and luckily the weather held out for our walkers all week!
Pupils had 3 options:
Walk to School (if you live close enough) OR
Drive to Belfast Harlequins RFC Grounds in Deramore Park and take the ‘walking bus’ to school leaving at 8.30am each day OR
Travel as you normally would
We were delighted to be joined by some Inchmarlo pupils and staff this year
This year the aims of Eco group will include:
- Continuing to develop our school sensory garden
- Re-planting new plants in our school grounds
- trying to improve the amount of paper recycled in school
- Promoting recycling of paper, textiles and re-introducing compost bins in each class for food waste
- continuing to send home letters of information to eldest child in each family
- organising a walk to school week during Summer term
- monitoring the switching on / off of lights in classes
- ensuring that all computers and iPads are switched off when not in use
The Prep Eco team have enjoyed re-planting plants in the school grounds and have been looking after these plants each week by ensuring they have enough water. We will also be issuing all classes with food and paper bins before Christmas to encourage all classes to recycle.
Our Eco Team has achieved our second Green Flag Award.