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Learning about the Environment at Damers First School
(24/07/20)
Posted by : Edd Moore
Damers garden planting

The children did not know about recycling or how to look after their environment, they also did not know where their food came from – they just thought it came from the supermarket! I saw great potential to embed the Eco Schools programme across the school.

 

Every class at Damers First School has an Eco ambassador who forms the Eco Crew. Each class makes a termly pledge to help animals, people or the environment giving every child the opportunity to have a voice and speak passionately about environmental issues they believe in. Pledges have included encouraging the community to feed the birds, making Dorchester litter free and encouraging other schools to be involved, encouraging businesses to reduce their single use plastic and devising a Litter Policy for other schools to use in Dorset with Litter Free Dorset.  Children at the school have given up their weekends to lobby local businesses on environmental issues. Some of the children even asked for litter pickers for Christmas!

 

The school has become a leading force on environmental issues with many other schools across Dorset and the rest of the UK wanting to come and see the school and speak to children about what they have learned and see their environmental work.

 

The Eco Schools programme has had a huge impact on the children’s learning across the school. They have gained confidence and they believe that what they are doing will make a real difference to the society they live in. They have the passion and confidence to stand up in front of a room full of people and talk about the changes they would like to see. They are very determined, and they do not take no for an answer. The skills they are developing are skills they will need as adults.  I would like Sustainability to be compulsory in schools. For me, children learning about the environment is just as important as literacy and numeracy.

 

Achievements: SAS Plastic Free School, Plastic Free Community, met Michael Gove, have appeared on Newsround. Awards include Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Educational Environmental Institution of the Year 2019, SAS Plastic Free Schools Champion 2019, Eco Schools Primary School of the Year 2019.

 

The children of Damers First School are fantastic ambassadors for how we would all like the world to be.

 

 

“Through the environment work at Damers I have become more aware of environmental issues and I know what changes need to be made to make the world a better place."

Benji, 8 years old 

 

Top Tips:

 

  • Find a staff leader with the enthusiasm, drive and initiative to take the group forward.
  • Create a passionate group of eco warriors.
  • Make an audit of environmental work in the school, celebrate what you do and improve other areas.
  • Make an action plan of things you are going to work towards.
  • Sign up for Eco Schools and follow their seven steps.
  • Inspire staff, parents and the local community to get involved.
  • Embed environmental work into the school curriculum.
  • Take part in national campaigns such as Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.
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