Outdoor and Green Projects
Magdalen Green Schools Awards – In 2019 we were delighted to be the first school to trial this initiative for the Magdalen Environmental Trust. The awards offer schools that have visited Magdalen an opportunity to take the principles learnt on the farm back into their school. This promotes environmental awareness using skills from literacy and maths to science and design technology, while engaging with practical tasks such as composting, water catchment and gardening.
The children are proud to have already completed 12 objectives to achieve our Bronze certificate. Our journey towards Silver continues!
RSPB Wild Challenge – This scheme gives our children a chance to answer the call to help wildlife and to explore nature through fun wild schools activities. In our After School Club the ‘Get Busy’ team started the journey to Bronze by completing a series of ‘help nature’ and ‘experience nature’ activities. The children used RSPB ID guides to identify the insects and other invertebrates in their ‘potato traps’ and around our ‘Bug Hotel’. They created ‘Toad Hall’ as a place for a toad to hibernate in the winter; and thanks to one of our parents, they set up a fancy ‘Hog House’ in the hedgerow as a home for hedgehogs.
Woodland Trust Green Tree Schools Awards – To start our journey towards Bronze, the whole school enjoyed ‘The Man Who Planted Trees’ assembly which helped everyone to understand and be thankful for how one person’s actions can ‘make a difference’ to the environment and other people. St Mary’s pledged to plant trees for The Big Climate Fightback and the children thoroughly enjoyed planting 60 hedgerow saplings during National Tree Week in November 2019. This linked to the School Council’s ‘Just One Tree’ fundraising to combat Global Warming by removal of carbon dioxide through reforestation.
RHS School Gardening Awards – Suitable for all ages and abilities, the RHS Campaign for School Gardening scheme helps us to develop our garden whilst earning great rewards. We are currently at Level 2; the children have an understanding of composting and have grown a simple range of vegetables and flowers. During the 2020 Spring term, Eco Council and Eco Club members got together to review what the school community does to encourage and help wildlife in our school grounds so that evidence can be submitted to move up to Level 3.
Our Roundhouse –In 2017 the children had first hand insight into the building of a timber framed thatched Anglo Saxon house; and helped to wattle and daub the walls. This was made possible thanks to a donation to the school and a Heritage Lottery Grant. Today it enhances our outdoor learning facilities being used by Forest School and for other enrichment sessions.
Our Totem Pole – In 2009 the children spent time in the local woodland environment to study and debark a tree which had been chosen for the pole. Back at school they worked on drawing and choosing images and ultimately enjoyed carving and painting to complete the pole. The project was led by Karen Hansen Design and Natural Form in collaboration with Real Ideas Organisation-Rio. Today, our pole continues to represent our awareness of holistic living and how we can pass on the world to the future – in a lively and positive way.