- The map above shows the floor plan of the school. School A is an open-plan school and F.E 1 are the doors to the playground.
- This picture shows the outside grounds of School A. This picture looks onto the playground behind the gates. The red circular stands are the bins that a group of litters take charge of. This group constantly changes to allow every child to make a contribution to sustaining the Green Flag they were recently awarded.
- This image shows the recycling bins that are situated just outside of the playground. School A prides themselves on “Reduce, re-use and recycle”.
- The litter picking team are educated on what litter goes in the appropriate bins. They are then able to take this knowledge home and practice it using the litter that comes from their own home.
- Learning this knowledge and skills at this age and stage in their lives, can help to benefit our future environment in the sense that this will hopefully become common knowledge and everyone will be using their recycling bins.
- The picture to the left shows the garden that the school staff members and pupils maintain. Here, they grow plants and vegetables themselves.
- This shows evidence of their existing engagement in sustainable development. It also shows their engagement with healthy eating and their knowledge of where their food comes from.
- During our trip to the farm, it was explained to us that children these days are often unsure of where their food comes from and assume it comes from the local supermarket. This way, they are able to understand the process of how it begins, grows and eventually ends up on their plate.
During these exercises, the children are also engaging with aspects such as soil and learning how things grow and what we need to use for growth, i.e. warmth, moisture etc.
- This image shows evidence of the pupil’s engagement with recycling paper. Each classroom has a separate bin for paper. The printer/photocopy room also supplies recycled paper and the teachers use this most the time/when appropriate.
- Evidence of the efforts made to save energy by switching off lights and equipment when they are not in use. These kinds of stickers are placed behind every light switch in the open-plan classroom and around the school.
- Primary 6 engage in a renewable energy topic. During this topic, they take a trip to the windfarm, and they have a visitor come in who works in promoting this. The visitor delivers a presentation to the pupil’s and conducts a few activities with them on this subject. Here are some examples of the pupil’s posters on wind turbines etc. This shows active engagement in sustainable development.
Considering the amount of pupil’s in the school, I believe the actual play space to be more than suitable. It is very large and there is several different gym type equipment scattered around the playground. Alongside this, there are football nets for the children to use. Inside the school, as it is open-plan, it is important there is a space adequate for physical education etc. There is a large gym hall where they can perform these types of lessons and activities. They also hold after school clubs where they take part in different kinds of sports regularly. Alongside this, there is also a noisy-quiet room, which I think is essential in an open-plan classroom. Children can benefit hugely from this area and engage in several different subjects without disrupting any other class/pupil.
During a discussion with children on these different aspects, they agreed that they enjoy using this space. They feel a larger sense of freedom in terms of the noise they can make and the different activities they can take part in. I believe it is extremely important for children to have this time. Furthermore, we discussed the aspects of sustainable development in their school that they enjoy. Pupil’s enjoy the aspect of litter picking as they feel a sense of pride that they are helping keep up the green flag responsibility. To expand on this, the P6’s went on an outing to the beach where their main aim was to collect litter and extend their help from the school to the community. I attended this trip on one of my serial days and they children were split into three groups. One group collected litter with litter pickers and emptied it into black bin bags, one group were active and played some physical games, and the other explored the rocks on the beach and the different types of living things that grow there. They thoroughly enjoyed this and they aim to do this more often. The school also has balls for bird food in the gardens which was another aspect that the children highlighted. They enjoy being able to care for the wildlife during school hours too. Finally, the last point the children brought up during our discussion was their walk/bike to school week. The children explained that they all became competitive with one another and they enjoy that this mini competition also has a major impact on the environment. They were fully aware that the exhaust fumes from cars pollute the air and understood that walking or cycling to school can benefit the environment and have a positive impact on their health in the sense that they are keeping fit.