Yay!! Congratulations everyone we have just been awarded our 8th Eco Schools Green Flag award with DISTINCTION
We are Suffolk's Greenest School March 2023!
Written with the help of Oscar, Elise, Isabella and Benjamin.
Our aim is to REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE as much as possible at school and to encourage everyone to do this at home too! It is also important for everyone to understand why we should be doing this …. saving our planet and making it better.
Team Green are responsible for our school Eco-code and helping others to understand and follow it. We have an Eco-School’s Green Flag award and have been a Green Flag ambassador school so as well as making Birchwood environmentally friendly we like to help other schools and our local community.
Children in Years 1 to 6 who are interested in this role must fill in an application form and show how passionate they are about caring for the environment. It is a good to put on your application form any ideas you have on how to make recycling even better at Birchwood!
Team Green jobs include:
- Tidying up the recycling area and loading up the bins in recycling alley
- Telling Mrs Wainer when the bins are full enough to be emptied/shipped off
- Finding out about new recycling collections to expand our facilities
- Publicising our recycling facilities to parents, carers, the local community and local schools.
- Reminding our class about what can be recycled and how to do it (for example the blue bins in our classroom are for all recycling not just paper)
- Working with the School Office and Chef Nick to reduce wastage (for example giving the fruit and vegetable peelings to the chickens or using the school compost bins)
- Helping to reduce the Birchwood’s use of single use plastics (for example buying yoghurts in big pots not lots of little ones, using tin foil not cling film and not laminating so much)
- Reducing our energy use by supporting ‘Switch off’ fortnight and checking that lights are switched off in empty classroom etc.
- Checking that left-overs from our fruit and veg snacks go into the compost
- Updating our Eco-code and sharing it with the school community
- Leading assemblies
- Carrying out our Eco-school environmental review
Birchwood’s environmental work has been recognised many times over many years. We are an award winning school (Suffolk’s Greenest School, Suffolk’s Greenest Champion of Champions, multiple Green Flag Eco-school, Green Flag Ambassador school, Gold Food for Life etc). Our environmental ethos runs deep within the school community led by Team Green.
Team Green help to make Birchwood more environmentally friendly and aware. Here are some examples of some of our work and projects:
We have our own RECYCLING centre, encouraging the wider, local community to use our facilities not just those in school. At present we recycle stamps, spectacles, oral hygiene products, Babybel cheese packaging, writing implements and clothes, shoes, blankets etc. These items can be left in special bins in our new outdoor ‘Recycling Alley’ – easily accessible for the local community and funded through a past collection of empty crisp packets. We collect old pens from 2 local high schools and a local primary school and Suffolk County Council even collect pens for us at Endeavour House! We are spreading the word and reducing waste going to landfill.
We have REDUCED the use of single use plastics in school by encouraging pupils who bring snacks and packed lunch to school to NOT use cling film and instead use reusable pots or tin foil. We found out that tin foil can only be recycled if it is in large balls so we held an assembly showing how we need to work together to make tennis ball sized balls of tin foil before we put them into the recycling bin. We have a box in the atrium to make our tin foil balls now.
We support ‘Switch off’ fortnight which encourages everyone to use less energy and REDUCE their consumption. We led an assembly explaining why it is so important. We carried out a secret survey before ‘Switch off’ fortnight to see how many lights had been left on around the school in empty rooms and then at the end of the fortnight we did the survey again and it was much better. Team Green sometimes carry out spot checks to see if we catch anyone out! We also had a morning when no one was allowed to use electricity in their classroom – several classes realized that we don’t always need all our lights on all the time.
We REUSED different rubbish items such as bottle lids to make butterflies for Suffolk Recycle’s stand at the Suffolk Show. We encouraged any Birchwood family visiting the Suffolk Show to go and visit the stand to see our artwork and find out more about recycling in Suffolk.
Team Green taster film
Team Green application form (for Years 1 - 6)
Eco Schools Green Flag award - 2019
Suffolk Greenest County Greenest School award winner - 2019
Eco Schools Green Flag award - 2017
Suffolk Greenest County Champion of Champions winners - 2017
Eco Schools Ambassador School 2015-2017
Eco Schools green Flag award - 2015