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Portway Junior School Mission Update Sept 2011 – Nov 2013

Autumn Term 2011

  • Project Andover Trees United

Working with 20 other local schools as part of the newly formed Andover Trees United, we used our school tree nursery bed to grow on tree whips to plant into the community Diamond Wood.

We took delivery of a large pile of ‘ProGrow’ compost, donated by Veolia. The compost is made from locally produced green waste so we are able to demonstrate the cycle of dead plants helping new plants to grow.

1-2011 Aut Compost from local green waste for the nursery bed 2-2011 Aut - Tree nursery is restocked with trees for our new community wood

  • Project Energy

The solar panels arrived and we now generate electricity that we use and also feed into the national grid

Spring Term 2012

  • Project Andover Trees United

Year 5 pupils, who have responsibility for the trees in the nursery bed, began work on designs for the 7-acre community wood that they will be helping to plant later in the year. They learned about British native trees, woodland plants and creatures and thought hard about how people of all ages and abilities could access and enjoy the wood without endangering wildlife.

  • Project Waste

The Eco team ran Waste Week and encouraged classmates to bring in unwanted phones, spent printer cartridges, used stamps, aluminium and clothing. Through their efforts money was raised for Eco projects at school and local charities were supported: Hampshire Air Ambulance, the Magpie Trust and Oxfam.

  • Project Skye Orchard and local food production

We continued our collaboration with Transition Town Andover and invited our sister Portway Infant School and neighbouring Secondary School, Harrow Way, to join us in making a mosaic sign for the orchard, to be named after a little girl called Skye who has a memorial tree planted in the same orchard.

Year 3 pupils helped to design and make the large mosaic with local artist Joey Dewfall. They learned about the importance of local food production and, in their designs, considered the plants that might thrive in an orchard and the creatures that might come to live there. They also incorporated the ‘orchard’ memories of the local community and their families.

4-2012 Spr Waste Week - Checking donated mobile phones 5-2012 Spr Waste Week - Sorting all the donations for recycling 6-2012 Spr Designing habitats for Andover's community wood with wildlife in mind

Summer Term 2012

  • Project Andover Trees United

The woodland designs were completed

  • Project Skye Orchard and local food production

The mosaic was finished

  • Project Green Olympics

Each year group worked on a different theme and learned about the efforts of the London Olympics organisers to make them the ‘Greenest Games Ever’. As with the Olympics, each year group was asked oome up with an Olympics green legacy for Portway.

Y3: Investigated recycling in the school and discovered that the there were no recycling bins in the playground.

Legacy: to provide recycling bins for the playground and teach others to use them

Y4: Learned about biodiversity and investigated locally occurring habitats, wildlife and wildflowers.

Legacy: to improve the biodiversity of our school grounds by planting more wildflowers and renovating the school pond.

Y5: Learned about climate change and the role of trees in carbon capture

Legacy: to plant more trees at Portway, to renovate the Woodland Walk and to plant woodland for the community.

Y6: Investigated the importance of local food production and learned about food miles.

Legacy: to design recipes for a Summer Olympics Cookery Book using only locally sourced, UK produced and Fairtrade ingredients

N.B. The Year 6s produced some excellent recipes and the best were made in school and shared with classmates. Sadly, in their enthusiastic clearing up, the recipes were all thrown away and only photographs remain. L Hopefully, the memories will linger on…

  • Project litter

Portway pupils from across the school carried out a Big Tidy Up in our local area in advance of the Olympic Torch coming through the town.

7-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y3 tackle recycling 8-2012 Summer Olympic Torch Big Tidy Up_1 9-2012 Summer Olympic Torch Big Tidy Up_2 10-2012 Summer Olympic Torch Big Tidy Up_3 11-2012 Summer Olympic Torch Big Tidy Up Portway posters displayed by local shopkeepers OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 13-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y6 create recipes using local food_1 14-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y6 create recipes using local food_2 15-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y6 create recipes using local food_3 16-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y6 create recipes using local food_4 17-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y6 create recipes using local food_5 18-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y6 create recipes using local food_6 19-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y6 create recipes using local food_7 20-2012 Summer - Green Olympics Y6 create recipes using local food_8

Autumn 2012

  • Project Andover Trees United

In October we joined Princess Anne to plant the first of our trees in our Diamond Wood. We worked with a local artist to make tree-themed silk flags and in November we joined forces with children from all the schools in the town to begin our community wood inside the larger Diamond Wood. As soon as the nursery beds had been emptied, new trees arrived for the new Year 5 pupils to plant, ready for when they help plant the wood in a year’s time.

  • Project Green Olympics: Recycling

The Eco Team decided to begin work on the recycling legacy and researched fun playground bins

  • Project Energy

The Eco Team ran Switch-Off Fortnight and the whole school worked hard to switch off lights and other electrical equipment that did not need to be on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 23-2012 Aut Andover Trees United Day 1 woodland planting - we join with 22 other Andover schools 24-2012 Aut Andover Trees United - taking our trees to the plant the wood 25-2012 Aut Andover Trees United woodland begins

Spring 2013

  • Project Green Olympics: Recycling 
  • Project Waste

The Eco Team consulted with all pupils across the school and the bins were voted for as part of waste week.

Continuing the success of previous Waste Weeks, pupils were again asked to bring in recyclable items that could not go into kerbside collections. Portway also signed up as a collection point for used batteries and this was added to the list of eligible contributions on Green Dress-Down Day.

  • Earth Hour: 0ver 50 Portway families took part in Earth Hour 2013
  • Project Skye Orchard and local food production

The mosaic was installed. Not all the children who helped to make it could attend, but everyone wrote a wish-for-the-orchard on a leaf. The leaves were handed out to everyone present, including Skye’s parents, and were hung on the fence around the mosaic.

The children learned that Skye’s memorial tree had been first damaged by vandals and then suffered storm damage. They insisted that a new tree should be planted and raised nearly £80 to purchase a new one. Thanks to an anonymous donor, a new cherry tree was given to the children and it was their decision to use the money raised to purchase a protective tree guard.

Thanks to local blacksmith, David Hemsley, the children who had last year made the mosaic, were invited to design their own tree guard which would be made using their ideas.

26-2013 Spr - Skye Orchard mosaic is unveiled 27-2013 Spr Another Waste Week - sorting stamps for local charities

Summer 2013

  • Project Andover Trees United

Nursery beds cared for, the Year 5 pupils suggested names for the community wood they would be helping to plant. Three of the shortlisted names came from Portway pupils and in August went to a public vote open to the whole Andover community.

  • Project Skye Orchard and caring for others

Year 4 pupils designed the tree guard which they wanted to feature plants and creatures likely to benefit from the tree it was to protect. The blacksmith came to school, the tree guard was made and installed.

  • Project Green Olympics: Recycling 

The recycling bins chosen by the children were ordered and arrived just before the end of term.

28-2013 Summer - local blacksmith demonstrates the craft to used to make the tree guard 29-2013 Summer - local blacksmith_2 30-2013 Summer local blacksmith_3 31-2013 Summer local blacksmith_4 32-2013 Summer - local blacksmith uses children's designs for the tree guard 33-2013 Summer - Tree guard is unveiled 34-2013 Summer - Skye's tree guard is installed

Autumn 2013

  • Project Green Olympics: Recycling 

The new playground recycling bins are installed and the Eco Team lead an assembly on what can and cannot be recycled. The teachers learned a lot too!

Next project: Y5 pupils’ action plan to renovate the overgrown woodland walk and plant more trees. Sparsholt College was contacted and a team of forestry students have promised to take on the project later in the year. An application to the Tree Council will be submitted to help purchase 10 standard trees to form an avenue of trees that will complete the nature corridor around the playing fields and, in time, give much-needed shade.

The Eco Team made Christmas tags from old Christmas cards and sold them to raise money to go towards the purchase of the trees.

  • Project Energy

The Eco Team again enjoyed running Switch-Off Fortnight.

  • NEW! Project Transport

Portway signed up to the WOW (Walk Once a Week) scheme. Members of the Eco Team met with WOW leaders, undertook a survey of the local area and made suggestions about what might be done to increase numbers walking and biking to school. Managed entirely by Year 6 pupils, badges are awarded at the end of each month to all who have walked at least once a week. The WOW cup is presented evry week in Celebration Assembly to the class with the most walkers.

  • Project Andover Trees United

A busy term for our tree project!

Following the public vote, the name of the wood was announced at a special ceremony at Binley Farm. The name that topped the polls was ‘Harmony Woods’, suggested by Portway pupil Imogen Jokiel.

The laminated labels hung on the trees in 2012 to show ‘which school planted which row of trees where’ were showing signs of weather-wear-and-tear. Local artist Elizabeth Hodgson was appointed to lead sculpting workshops to hammer out some aluminium tags. Portway Junior School hosted the workshop and several pupils brought their families along to join in a community workshop during half-term.

We are especially proud of the pupils who get involved in their own time. Portway pupils not only turned out to make labels, but also helped to mix and sow wildflower seed in the woodland meadow.

At the end of December, the now Year 6 pupils dug up their trees and, together with hundreds of other pupils from across the town, brought them to Harmony Woods for the second year of tree-planting.

Ongoing work

  • The School Council continues to raise money for local charities
  • The Gardening Club continues to grow food in the school garden and help look after borders around the school. They won Gold in Test Valley in Bloom in 2012 and 2013
  • The Eco Class Champions meet once a week, decide on new projects, suggest changes to the way the Team is run and relay news back to their classes. A weekly Eco Action Group makes resources for whole school Eco activities and events and is responsible for bird-feeding in winter
  • The Blue Box’: Each of our 12 classes take charge of ‘The Blue Box’ once a term. The ‘Blue Box Class’ is responsible for litter picking, emptying the staffroom worktop compost bin and switching off lights around the school at break times

Our work with Andover Trees United will continue to be an important part of our Roots & Shoots work for many years to come. Working in collaboration with schools and other young people and the wider community across the town, we will continue to plant and develop and manage ‘Harmony Woods’. We are particularly looking forward to working with UN Environment Programme Plant-for-the-Planet and offering Portway pupils the chance to train as Climate Justice Ambassadors, linked to their tree planting.

35 - 2013 Autumn Our new recycling bins 35-2013 Aut - Looking after the tree nursery - lots of weeding to do after the summer break 36-2013 Aut Revealing name for the new wood Oct 2013 - Imogen's 'Harmony Woods'  topped the polls 37-2013 Aut Revealing Name Andover  Advertiser article Oct 2013 38-2013 Aut Portway hosts a school tree label workshop led by local artist Elizabeth Hodgson 39-2013 Aut Portway pupil happily displays his label for the wood 40-2013 Aut Portway pupil Scott brings his family to the half-term label making workshop 41-2013 Aut Tree labels to permanently mark where all our schools planted trees 42-2013 Aut Portway pupil Scott with his sister helping to sow wildflower seed in Harmony Woods 43-2013 Aut Another Portway pupil gives up her time in half-term and helps to mix wildflower seed for the meadow at Harmony Woods 44-2013 Aut - On our way to Harmony Woods to plant our trees 45-2013 Aut - tree planting in Harmony Woods - 2nd year of planting

 

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