The major focus currently is to build on last term’s successes; to promote awareness across the college and encourage student inspired and led activities. Since July 2016 further progress has been made using the nature Garden as well as other vehicles to promote sustainability across our community. Progress is being made across the college in other outdoor learning areas too including wider community involvement with activities, structured lessons and events, ensuring the space is being used in a variety of contexts – all underpinned by the principles of sustainability both local and global.
This space continues to be developed with support from Newquay Orchard. The key activities that are ongoing are:
This long term learning and personal development project continues and is flourishing with new staff and activities. The new cohort of students are beginning to take ownership of the space and learning about the ecology of our natural British habitats, fauna and flora. The students engage in kinaesthetic activities which are proving to be particularly appealing to students, helping them develop resilience. Some students from last year’s cohort have gone on to join the STEM club as a direct result of last year’s experiences, evincing an exciting development of the continuity of learning through this facet of college.
Curriculum Subject Links
Science, English, Art, Drama, DT and maths lessons have been using the space with activities now being further incorporated into schemes of learning. A new approach to review and assessing the progress made in outdoor learning sessions is being developed.
Various groups of volunteers continue to help clear and prepare the ground for its diverse future uses. Although great strides were made during the summer, continuous maintenance is needed to keep back the weeds and repair any ongoing damage.
A great success! The feedback was very positive and the experience of the students in Year 7&8 who visited the garden was encouraging and proved to be a good learning experience. They spent half their time designing and making a natural sculpture from the flora and other natural objects found in the garden. The results were very aesthetic and enabled the students to work collaboratively and connect further and more deeply with this natural learning space. The other half of their time was spent working together on various tasks to prepare the space for the summer break– clearing paths, painting fences, planting trees and general tidying up. The emphasis here was placed on sustainability and looking after our college environment. Particular mention and action was given to litter and the problems this causes, a focus that will continue this term. All students finished their time in this space with a group litter pick.
Some of the wonderful entries in the Natural Sculpture competition:
After their success at the recent area STEM competition, this group has been inspired and has grown as it continues to build the wind turbine generator for the nature garden as their entry for the National competition in the coming months. A very positive outward sign of the investment and success of this project college -wide.
Other linked Developments and Activities
Membership of the Woodland Trust, RSPB, Eco-Schools and NHS are now in place with various activities linked to these societies being planned or ongoing.
Other foci in development are:
- College wide promotion of the consideration of our local environment through assemblies and messages in tutor time and SMILE. The intention is to mobilise the student body to lead with ideas on how to improve the environment and sustainability of our school infrastructure and grounds. Then to act on this by getting involved. Student Council agenda items, as well as other more informal student voice feedback will be used to inaugurate this programme. In order to engender a sense of immediate action, a voluntary weekly litter pick is now being undertaken for the whole community. (House points to those who participate).
Mr Lynden Astill