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Eco projects get go ahead

Eleven ODST schools have received funding to develop eco-projects.

The projects range from forest schools to vegetable gardens to wildlife habitats, and will provide much-needed settings for valuable outdoor education. 

The 11 schools submitted plans for eco projects to the now-closed Humby-Teck Trust, which as part of its closure sought to donate to educational conservation projects, through charity and education law firm LBMW.

Many schools will begin their projects this spring, with the plans including:

  • Forest school at South Moreton Primary
  • Wildlife habitats at North Hinksey, Wootton by Woodstock and Tackley schools
  • Pond area at The Blake CE Primary, Witney
  • Community garden at John Henry Newman Academy
  • Vegetable patches at St Luke's, Maidenhead and St Christopher's, Langford

Brize Norton CE Primary has already begun revamping their school garden to host a gardening club for children. A group of volunteers (pictured) cleared an old abandoned garden ready to kick off the new club after February half term.

Ongoing learning opportunities

The projects will provide valuable ongoing learning opportunities about the environment and sustainability, a chance to develop children's sense of responsibility, and activities for the benefit of the whole school community such as vegetable growing.

In their bid for funding to develop their pond area, The Blake CE Primary in Witney outlined some of the many ways in which a living outdoor space at school benefits children:

  • opportunities for learning in many different curriculum areas e.g measuring in Maths, links with Monet in art, fair testing in Science
  • a calm space for children to relax and reflect with an adult
  • a great opportunity for the Eco council and School council to take responsibility for our environment
  • attracts nature such as frogs to school, creating curiosity or links to subjects taught in the classroom
  • keeps children active and fit
  • research proves outdoor learning can improve children’s mental wellbeing.