Staff Blog: Mrs Woodthorpe’s magazine feature
April 16, 2020

At Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School, we are very fortunate to have a whole school commitment to Eco initiatives led by our enthusiastic Eco Committee.

We are always eager to identify ways to reduce the School’s environmental impact, whilst at the same time educating and involving the pupils, staff and the wider community.

Recycling is a key issue highlighted continually within the school; we are fortunate to be able to recycle not only the usual materials such as paper, tin, plastic and card, but also cooked food waste to reduce our impact on landfill rubbish.

We have introduced several projects to encourage pupils and their families to recycle; one of our initiatives enabled the children to recycle plastic bottles from home in a positive and productive way, by using the bottles they collected to build a greenhouse for our school garden.

Educating the pupils about environmental issues is embedded through the school’s regular involvement in various national and global initiatives, such as Switch Off Fortnight, Waste Week and Earth Hour.

As part of each event assemblies, projects and competitions are held to raise awareness of the problems caused by human activities on the climate and environment, whilst demonstrating how the pupils can make a difference.

A recent competition involved making a reusable bag out of an old t-shirt to highlight the problem of single use plastic bags and their impact on the world’s oceans, whilst also demonstrating how to reuse unwanted clothing.

Supporting local initiatives and charities is also key; for example, the pupils have held collections of recycled linen and towels for our local RSPCA centre and adopted several endangered animals.

Our Forest School sessions enable the children to engage in the natural world around them and appreciate the beauty and importance of trees in our world. This is established further through our support of the Woodland Trust as a Tree Charter School.

Eco issues are raised throughout the curriculum, enabling our youngest pupils in our Pre-School department through to our Year 6 pupils to learn about environmental problems and how to reduce their impact on the environment.

Activities such as participating in a beach clean-up as part of Coastal School for our Pre-School department to learning about recycling and waste from a visit by our local council Recycling Officer in our Prep department, have enabled the pupils to learn through first-hand experience.

The pupils are also encouraged to make their voices heard; several projects have involved the pupils writing to various companies and MPs to highlight issues such as the problem of palm oil production to the use of plastic in tea bags.

It is always encouraging for them to receive a reply to their letter and it enables them to understand that they can be proactive and make a difference.

The problem of plastic in the environment is a global concern; it is also one that the school has regularly highlighted and an issue that we will continue to address in the future.

We have recently commissioned a sculpture of a penguin through our links with a local artist, which we will be filling with plastic bottle lids to highlight the problem of how much people rely on plastic every day and the problem of plastic in the oceans and its effect on wildlife.

Our Eco ambition for the future is to reduce our reliance on plastic and to continue to raise awareness of the serious issues caused by plastic in our environment.