St Joseph’s RC Primary ECO and Gardening News

Recycle Week 26th – 30th March 2012 – As part of a national Green Schools awareness initiative by the Co-op we are taking part by having a recycling week. During this week we ask that all associated with St Joseph’s participate by recycling as much of our waste as possible. The following is a list of things that may be brought into school for us to recycle through different companies who will pay us per weight of items to enable us to raise funds for our ECO projects.

  • CD’s
  • Jewellery (broken, plastic, metal)
  • Printer Cartridges
  • Pens
  • Toothbrushes and Toothpaste Tubes
  • Books
  • Clothes (Rag Bags will be issued to each pupil)
  • Computers and Laptops
  • Mobile phones
  • Chargers and other cables
  • Stamps

Items to bring in for recycling projects in the school

  • Wire Hangers (for making plant supports)
  • Toilet Roll inner tubes (biodegradable seedling pots)
  • Newspaper (as above)
  • Plastic 2 litre fizzy pop bottles (for making recycled art with each of the classes so we need a lot of these!!)

During our recycling week, as well as collecting all our ‘treasure’ we will be enjoying activities based around ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’.

We will be introducing ‘No Litter Lunch’ day where we will be aiming to minimise general rubbish, recycling as much as possible and encouraging use of plastic containers, sports bottles and re-usable bags for snacks and packed lunches. Each class will be given the opportunity to take part in creating art from empty plastic bottles. We will be making flowers, butterflies, fish and plant holders. Each class will also be taking part in our recycling quiz. At Monday’s assembly in school we will be launching our recycle week with 2 animated videos made by primary schools in Aberdeen to encourage pupils to recycle.

We hope you will all be able to support and help us in this worthwhile event and take the opportunity to have a good ‘clear out’!

Food in the Environment – Mrs McAllister and four of our pupils attended a Food in the Environment conference at the Scottish Agricultural College at Craibstone. This was a fun and informative day and has given us lots of inspiration – although we were so proud to find out that St Joseph’s already do many of the things they were teaching us! We learned about different composters and wormeries (we definitely want one of these!) and we observed the mini-beasts that help do the composting job. We had a cookery lesson and made fish and leek parcels. Echt Primary have their own hens and brought 2 along to the event. This was certainly one of the highlights of the day; getting up close to the hens and petting them. Four pupils from the school told us all about their care including weekend and holiday arrangements. They now have a dozen eggs in an incubator about to hatch – we wish them the best of luck with their chicks.

We have also conducted a survey with our Head Cook at the school to find out about the sourcing and quality of the food asking if it is in season, so reducing food miles, are the eggs free range, is meat sourced locally, etc.

Energy – Our energy sub-committee have been conducting an energy audit with the janitor and taking meter readings so we can monitor our energy usage. They are also visiting all the rooms in the school periodically at lunchtimes or break times and monitoring whether all lights and computers have been switched off.

Transport – The transport sub-committee are working with the parents on the traffic committee investigating and implementing the Walking Bus and Park and Stride. They have identified routes for each and have been out to walk the routes and time them.

Garden – It is that time of year again where the garden is starting to come alive – seeds are being planted, the tatties have been chitted and the weeds are starting to show! We are entering several competitions this year – a potato growing competition, Total Green School Awards and Green Schools Challenge. The children do so much in the garden and their efforts have already been recognised in that we have been awarded Level 4 for our school garden by the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) – the only school in Aberdeen to be awarded such a high level. Level 5 is the highest level and we are well on our way to achieving this also.

As always equipment that you no longer require is always welcome (hand tools, pots, etc)

The school Summer Fair is fast approaching and we will be there with our garden stall so come along and choose from a selection of plants grown by the children and help support our garden.

Want to find out more about saving our planet and have some fun? Click HERE!


We would like to encourage our families to put up shopping list on their fridge to promote PRECYCLING.  More information about this will be available during our assembly and we will publish our PowerPoint here afterwards.

Click here to download a handy reminder to stick to your fridge!


The Eco Committee.

Sep 202011


We have had a very successful year as the big news is we are ready to apply for our first Green Flag!

Our application covers three areas that the school has been working hard on this year -

Waste Minimisation – Reduce, Reuse Recycle is what we always think! Recycling paper, ink-cartidges, plastic milk bottles (cut up for plant tags), clothes, etc. No disposable cutlery used and encouraging children to use 1 re-usable drinks bottle and re-usable zip bags for snacks or lunch.

Litter – litter pickers introduced in each playground and classes all have a ‘litter leader’, new bins have been purchased and anti-litter posters displayed around the school

Bio-Diversity – Using old tyres for herb planters, salt for weed-killer, garlic and marigolds for pest control, composting kitchen scraps and staff room tea-bags, cow dung for fertiliser, using natural alternatives to chemicals.

This year our new topics are Transport, Food and the Environment and Energy. These topics will be used in our application for our second green flag.


We now have a school eco-code.

We held a competion to create a ‘code’ for the school to display to highlight how seriously we take our environmental committment.

The winning entry was:-







Damage to the


Another competition will be held this year – watch out for details, enter and win a fantastic eco prize!


Thank you to all those who continue to fill  their rag bags and deposit them in the bin in the school car park. Remember if you or your family are ‘clearing out’ their wardrobes consider dropping off your unwanted items in our Rag-Bag bin. This bin is emptied regularly, the contents weighed and the school is given money dependant on the weight. The money we have collected thus far has been used to purchase new benches for the senior playground.

Recycle Week

In January we are hoping to hold a ‘recycling week’ in school where pupils, staff, parents and local businesses will be invited to bring in items for recycling. These will include old laptops or computers, mobile phones, electronic games and game players, cables, chargers, print cartridges, clothes, books, jewellery (incl broken, costume and plastic), ‘dries out’ pens and mechanical pencils. All these items the Eco committee will collect and send on to companies who recycle these items and we get money dependant on weight or individual item recycle value

National School Garden Week

The theme for this year was reaching the community with ‘lessons you will never forget’. We invited several local nurseries to join us for a garden lesson. We spoke about the use of household waste to help in the garden like salt, food preparation waste, tea bags, coffee grounds, dish water and old wellies! The children then made nature bracelets and we had a treasure hunt where the prize was a pumpkin seed for them to plant in bio-degradeable pots and take home to watch grow! This proved a huge success and all our visitors were impressed by our facilities and impressed by the Primary 7 helpers.

School Garden

We were very fortunate this year to have had over £350 worth of plants donated to us by Dobbies Garden World. All the plants chosen were for attracting bees and we had garden lessons on the importance of these creatures and learned some fascinating facts about the different types of bee. Our crops proved most successful this year and our produce was and is being used in the school kitchen. We also tried growing wheat, oats and barley and had a bumper crop. The oats have already been used for making porridge.

Monitoring our Progress

Litter Leaders, Energy Enforcers and Recycle Rangers have been identified in each of the senior classes to help monitor cleaning up of litter, switching lights off when rooms not in use and looking at what can be recycled instead of disposed or re-useable alternatives.

Our Committee

This year our committee members are -

P4H Adam Taylor and Amy Duncan

P4/5R – Ailsa Reid, Paul Levitt and Connor Tate

P5M – Anna Mair and Cameron Taylor

P6M/T- Peter Hammond and Lewa Olaosebikan

P6/7S – Cameron Roe Henderson

P7K – Ben Clark

Miss Robb and Mrs McAllister.

A big thank you to all the pupils who have helped contribute to the garden and eco-committee.

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