Welcome to Stanley High School’s Eco-Committee Webpage.

The aim of this page is to keep people informed about our work and share with you some of the things we have been working on this year. Although we are officially Stanley High School’s Eco-Committee… we prefer the term ‘Eco’; it’s much shorter and much less of a mouthful!

Who are ‘Eco’?

Eco are a group of like-minded individuals who meet every week. Our group is comprised of around 20 students (mainly in Years 7 and 8… with a couple of 9s and 10s) and 3 staff. Our aim is to try and create a better environment around our school and for the people, plants and animals who use it. We actively seek ways in which we can reduce the environmental impact of our school and try to improve the school environment.

We have ten guiding aims. These are:

  1. Biodiversity– helping to create and maintain a wide range of plants and animals on the school grounds.
  2. Energy– looking for ways to reduce our energy use in school, protect the environment and save money.
  3. Global Citizenship- taking an active role in our school community and trying to make both our school and the world a more peaceful, sustainable and fairer place.
  4. Healthy Living– look for ways in which we can use the natural world to improve our health and well-being.
  5. Litter– reducing the amount of litter on the school site.
  6. Marine– helping to protect and conserve the world’s oceans by educating both staff and students.
  7. School Ground– Improving our school grounds for staff, students, plants and wildlife.
  8. Transport– Promoting and encouraging sustainable transport for both students and staff.
  9. Waste– thinking about the rubbish we produce… can we refuse, reduce, reuse, repair or recycle? What can we do to create less rubbish around school?
  10.  Water– making sure that we value and preserve water, our most precious natural resource

Eco get together most Tuesday afternoons after school. Each week we will tend to complete a different activity. These can include working in our wildlife areas; learning about important environmental issues or looking for wildlife around the school site. Each half-term we hold a ‘proper’ meeting and discuss the progress of our projects and plan for the next few months. Students regularly use the time to plan and develop their own personal projects. These can be very varied and depend on the student’s individual interests.

For example, Josh has spent lots of time this year designing and building bug hotels to help establish invertebrate populations in our nature areas.

Amy has also spent a lot of time helping to create a nature area at the side of the Science labs. She has also created signs for every classroom which encourage people to turn out the lights.

Noah, Shaun and Ruben have been building bird boxes and surveying rubbish which is left around school.

The next project is to build some Jackdaw nest boxes to place in the tall tree at the side of the Trust Offices. Jackdaws currently nest underneath the school roof… but once the roof gets repaired, they are going to be left homeless!

Jackdaw at classroom window


Even young Jackdaws sometimes take part in lessons taught around the Yellow Yard



A bird box built by the Year 7 boys

Eco Review

In September we conducted an audit to evaluate how successful we are, as a school, at looking after our environment. In some areas we scored highly whereas in others it became clear there are large improvements we could make. A summary of our scores is given below.

Category Score (10)
Biodiversity 6
Energy 1
Global Citizenship 3
Healthy Living 4
Litter 2
Marine 2
School Grounds 3
Transport 3
Waste 1
Water 2

It was clear to us that although there are some areas in which we are doing well… there is room to do a lot better in others. Hopefully our efforts this year should see some improvements when we complete the review again in September 2022. If you want to see a full copy of our review it is on display at the back of Room 27.

Eco Action Plan

During January we started to put together a plan of the things we wanted to achieve over the rest of the school year. Here is a summary of our plan. You can see the full plan on display on our noticeboard in Room 27.

Project What we are going to do…
Widen biodiversity around school Create our own nature reserve behind the Sports Hall. We’re going to rewild the area allowing it to develop into the natural vegetation that would be typical of coastal south-west Lancashire. We’re going to make our own mini-wetland… a challenge given the sandy soils we have and create a wide rage of mini-habitats for invertebrates by building a range of different ‘bug hotels.’ We’re going to encourage birds to move into the area by building nest boxes and creating ideal conditions for them to thrive. We’re also going to create a more formal wildlife garden in the fenced off area by the Science labs. Whilst we are doing this, we are going to closely monitor the wildlife we find around school so that we can map how it changes and expands over time. There are some pictures of our nature area included on this webpage.
Reducing litter around school This year we are hoping to raise awareness of the problems of single use plastics and reduce the amount of rubbish and waste around school. We are going to encourage staff and students to recycle more and use the recycling bins in classrooms for the correct types of rubbish. We are going to produce an anti-litter policy and look at how we can help to clean up our local environment both in and around school.
Marine Environment We are hoping to audit the cleaning products which are used in school and discover what impact these are having on the oceans. If we find that they have negative impacts we will look to see if we can change to greener alternatives. We are also going to look at creating a special topic on Oceans which will be taught as part of the Year 8 Geography curriculum.
Individual Projects It’s important that being part of ‘Eco’ helps to grow us all as individuals too. As part of our work, we will undertake activities which help us to develop our personal skills. These projects might be something we are passionate about, something we can see needs improving or something that will take us out of our comfort zones and make us do something we otherwise wouldn’t choose to… like presenting an assembly!

Our Eco Code

One of our projects this year has been to write an Eco Code that all the ‘Stanley family’ can adopt and follow. After an awful lot of thinking, our Year 7s came up with the following…

Stop littering

Turn off the taps

Always recycle

Now is the time to make a difference

Lights off when not used

Environment needs you to protect it

Your future… you need to take action!

Energy won’t run low if you save it

Care about your future

Our environment needs your help!

 

Megan explains our Eco Code below:

Our Stanley Eco-committee really tries to take care of our community and our school. We have designed an Eco code to show how we would like our school to take care of our environment, we would like everybody in the school to follow the Eco Code.

The school Eco Code is our way of helping the school on what to do to help our community. One of our ways is to always recycle. We also turn our lights off when not in the room, this is a specific sentence on our Eco Code because it is important to not waste energy. This is important not to just stop climate change but to save the school money.

We have added quotes to the Eco Code to show that we care and need help to support our statement to save the environment from pollution, littering and much more.

It is important to care about our future because we shouldn’t expect the adults to care about saving our environment, so we need to take it into our own hands. Therefore, we should start now and start making changes to our future. Now is the time to act as in a few years it will be too late. For a difference to be made we would like all the staff and students at school to get on board with these ideals.

Stanley’s own nature reserve

We’re very lucky in that our school sits next to one of the most important wildlife areas in the country… The Ribble Estuary. Over the past year we’ve started a journey of creating our very own nature reserve. The reserve is situated in the area which used to be the school’s farm. Left abandoned and unloved the area was a wilderness of short cut grass with a few dandelions and daisies!

Our first attempts at improving the area didn’t meet with any great success. We were kindly given 400 trees by the Woodland Trust. Planted in spring 2021, many of these trees struggled to become established. Much of the soil in this area is very sandy and drains far too easily. This, combined with a very dry period of weather, killed many of our young trees. This largest area of the reserve is now being left to ‘rewild’ itself. Already small shrubs are starting to establish themselves and we have planted some buddleia bushes to attract butterflies. Eventually we hope this area will become like the natural sandy grasslands which would have been typical of the sand dunes found in this part of Southport hundreds of years ago.

It has proved much easier to establish trees and shrubs in another part of the reserve and here we are creating our own mini-woodland. The soil here is much deeper and fertile. Eventually trees such as hawthorns, rowan and birch, along with scrub such as dogwood and dog rose, are now becoming established. This area has a small colony of Common Blue Butterflies and the ragwort found here is home to Cinnabar Moth caterpillars.

Our biggest project has been to try to create a mini-wetland… never going to be an easy project on a school site built on sand! A local contractor kindly scraped a large circular pond 22 feet across in the centre of our reserve. We’ve started to puddle the pond with clay but it’s slow, hard and laborious process. We’re currently around half-way finished… but there is still a long way to go. Ultimately, we’d like the use the area for pond-dipping to support Science lessons and Primary School visits, but this is a long-term project and it is probably several years away from completion.

Latest news– we have two pairs of Swallows nesting in the old goat shed! Eggs due to hatch soon…

 

Part of the nature area… before ‘rewilding.’
Spring wild flowers in our nature area.
A view of one of our meadow areas in June 2022. The area is becoming increasingly biodiverse with a wide range of plants and insects.
Part of the nature area… before ‘rewilding.’

The Wildlife Garden Pond – before and after

 



Mrs Bowers and Amy have spent many back-breaking hours creating a nature area at the side of the Science labs.



One of the most difficult jobs has been to remove the ground elder which was covering all the existing plants

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