Cumbrian Schools Environmental Excellence Awards Presentation

This competition was open to all Cumbrian Schools as a way of highlighting and publicising the excellent work that is undertaken in so many of them and is rarely given the priority it deserves in official inspections.

Each school was asked to say what their recent achievements have been and how they would like to spend a possible prize of £500 to further improve their environment. It proved too difficult to select one winner that was so much better than several others so £250 is being awarded to each of these four equally excellent schools:

Hawkshead

Esthwaite Primary,

Kirkoswald CE Primary,

Skelton,

Ulverston CE Infants;

and a smaller runners-up prize to Roose Primary.

The presentation of cheques will be made at Cumbria Outdoors Hawes End Centre on the shores of Derwentwater, Keswick on THURSDAY 13th SEPTEMBER at 4.30pm.

Mick Waters, a respected advocate of all that is best in education, an ex Cumbrian teacher and headteacher, latterly CEO for Manchester and then head of QCA, and recently appointed as NAEE President, was one of our competition judges and will be the guest presenter.

Environment Cumbria has been promoting the value of Environmental Education for over 40 years in partnership with the National Association. We have used up funding held for a revised  county resource guide, which is no longer deemed necessary, for the competition and remain keen to recruit a new generation of educationalists who can see the value of learning IN, ABOUT and FOR the ENVIRONMENT.

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Empty Classroom Day – Taking Learning Outdoors!

Friday 6th July 2012 marks the Empty Classroom Day, a day where pupils will head outside to learn, and we would like you to join us! This exciting initiative seeks to uniquely tackle recent concerns, from both the National Trust and Natural England, that children are suffering from ‘nature deficit disorder’ and that there is an ‘extinction of experience’ when engaging with the natural environment.

The Empty Classroom Day is happening right across the UK, but was created by a collection of organisations who met at the London Sustainable Schools Forum (LSSF), all supporting learning outside the classroom, school grounds and growing. The day was developed to help schools benefit from outdoor learning and share their best practice with other schools.

Schools are signing up to support outdoor learning and to show that one class will be learning outside for one lesson on Friday 6th July. Pupils will be:

  • Doing their maths lesson in the playground
  • Making art on city farms
  • Doing bug hunts at nature reserves
  • Running races for school sports days
  • Bird watching in their playgrounds
  • Writing stories in the local park
  • Following maps in Zoos
  • Weeding in the school vegetable patch.

What are the benefits?

Learning outside the classroom can be fun, memorable and healthy. Everyone benefits from learning outside:

  • Young people will get the chance to learn in new, more relevant and exciting ways – in particular these can benefit those who find classroom learning difficult
  • Teachers will be able to broaden and deepen their teaching skills and subject knowledge while working with more motivated pupils
  • The school can use these new approaches to raise achievement
  • The wider community can benefit through involvement in, for example, developing school gardens of all kinds, leading to a wider understanding of issues such as healthy eating, sustainability and caring for the environment.

How does my school join?

Schools can sign up to the event by following this link:

http://projectdirt.com/group/the-empty-classroom/page/signup

For those schools that have signed up there are special offers for visits, tours, treasure hunts and lots of activity packs with ideas for what your class can do in your school playground.

We hope you and your school can join us on this fantastic initiative and that we can take learning outdoors together!

– By Sarah Simmons, NAEE Member

Raise money for your school through textile recycling

Raise money for your school through textile recycling. Free ‘Phil’ the Bag sacks are provided to the children to take home and fill with their unwanted items of clothing and shoes. The children bring in their bags on yopur Recycle Day, the bags are then weighed and a certificate and cheque are sent to your school. www.philthebag.co.uk

Bag2School is a free fundraising scheme based on textile recycling. They operate throughout the UK and raise money for schools and charities by collecting and reselling unwanted second hand clothes. They work in partnership with schools, business, community groups, local councils and charities. www.bag2school.com/u/k/home/

Co-op “Green Schools Revolution” week 26-30 March 2012

Twin Pines, the international symbol for coope...

Twin Pines, the international symbol for cooperatives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

16-30 March is the Co-op “Green Schools Revolution” week. Visit www.co-operative.coop/green-schools-revolution/whats-going-on/Green-Schools-Revolution-Week/ for more information.
Schools can also register at www.greenschools.coop for access to a whole range of free teaching resources.
Download the Green Schools Flyer for more information.