We hope that schools will find it is easy to start on their journey to become a Planet Friendly School. There are lots of easy ways to make a start in your school, harness the creativity of pupils and make links to work you are already doing in the curriculum.
There are a number of things to think about when establishing a Planet Friendly School programme. Here are a few tips that might help you when setting up your projects.
1. Encourage the pupils to design their own Planet Friendly School to focus their minds
- Set the pupils a task to imagine and create their own Planet Friendly School to provide inspiration for your school activities.
- Pupils can discuss their ideas in class and then draw a picture, write down some ideas or ideally build a model of the planet friendly changes they would make.
- Make a film of the children describing their ideas, or take photos of their designs.
- Think about how their designs can form a platform for future leaning in the classroom.
- Consider which ideas you can take forward in school – some may be too expensive or unrealistic, but many could form the basis for your planet friendly school projects. Pupils will be even more engaged having been consulted from the start!
2. Access the wealth of resources and experience from other organisations
- Check out the links to supporting organisations and resources on our website, and search online for more of your own
- Take inspiration from other projects and adapt them for your own school and situation
- Join regional and national project that help multiply your efforts with other schools, and share best practice
- Let everyone know that you are a Planet Friendly School!
3. Use your school grounds to develop your planet-friendly projects
- The school premises can provide an ideal opportunity for small-scale growing, even using window boxes and plant pots if space is limited.
- Think about areas in the school grounds that could be used for vegetables, or even chicken keeping and bee-keeping.
- This about nature areas, recycling and composting. Do you have space to plant trees, or just some bee-friendly flowers?
- Consider how to look after these activities during school holidays and weekends, and plan what to grow accordingly.
- Make the best of the skills and contacts of staff and parents at the school, you may find there are keen supporters amongst them!
4. Use planet-friendly enterprise projects as a way of raising funds to support your project
- Green skills will be important for the future, so these can be an ideal way to start thinking about enterprise learning to fund the projects.
- Consider selling bee-friendly seeds to parents; being a drop-off point for a vegetable box scheme or even set up a regular plant sale in the school hall.
- Involve the pupils with marketing, business planning and selling produce as a learning experience and involve parents and the wider school community.
5. Link your projects to the school curriculum
- Environmental projects can be a valuable way to deliver the curriculum through real-world learning approaches, and this will help justify why you are running them in school.
- Consider what areas of the curriculum you could deliver through a planet-friendly school project, be creative and don’t just think about science. Maths, design and ICT can all be delivered through these activities.
- Develop a plan to link your projects to the curriculum throughout the year, and with different age groups.
6. Make a link to your school policies and practices
- ‘Walk the talk’ and consider the food that children eat in school – can this be from local producers?
- Source your energy from green suppliers and cut down on single use plastics
- Encourage walking and cycling and have a recycling point for waste
- Think about a healthy tuckshop where pupils can produce healthy snacks, or offer a bowl of school-grown tomatoes on the dinner table.
- Talk to your caterer about serving more local, seasonal and organic produce.
- Let the parents and community know what you’re doing to encourage others to take part
7. Investigate digital opportunities to create a Planet Friendly School record
- Record your progress through photos and films to celebrate success
- Perhaps maintain an ongoing link with parents and the community through your website, email and social media to keep up to date with what is happening in the school
- Consider filming or recording elements that you can then use in class to create a news-story for other pupils and parents, or as a documentary record.
- Use the internet to discover more about planet friendly activities, and to promote your own school projects.