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Goat Lees Exciting Updates!

Over the past few months, we have been very lucky to be involved in some very exciting projects.

Firstly, we have been extremely successful with our can and scrap metal recycling with EMR Ashford (EMR is one of the world’s leading metal recyclers with locations across the globe). To-date, we have raised over £1,600, which is amazing. We feel proud that we are helping our local community to recycle their scrap metals; we have had old trampolines to unwanted baking trays. With all the fizzy drinks cans and food tins added to the other items collected, we have raised lots of money to fund some of our outside projects.

Another amazing project we have been part of, is the Ashford Designer Outlet Re-Wilding Project.

Claire Norman, the Senior Climate Action Officer from Ashford Borough Council contacted us to see if we wanted to be part of this new project. Of course, anything to do with looking after the environment, we are always willing to be involved in. A gentleman called Greg, was looking for two school’s in the Ashford area to hold a competition where the children were to design a bug house worthy of being displayed at the Designer Outlet. Goats Lees and Aldington Primary schools were lucky enough to be picked. We sent out the leaflets giving details of the competition to all the children and awaited their responses. Their designs were amazing and so different. Some were drawn out beautifully, but there were some children who had built fantastic miniature models of their houses – we had fairy houses, novelty themed bug houses, bold modern 3D shapes, and bug houses that represented Ashford.



The winning design was by Dylan Russell, Year 1 who, with the help of his grandad, made a magnificent replica of the Willesborough Windmill. This is a well known landmark of Ashford town as the white smock windmill was built in 1869 and, after being restored into a fully working mill in 1991, is now a Grade II listed building and still working today.


                              Willesborough Windmill                     Dylan and his Grandad’s windmill with moving sails

Dylan will receive a certificate to congratulate him on having the winning design from our school. He will then have the honor of having a much larger replica built of his model, which will be placed at the Ashford Designer Outlet as part of their re-wilding programme. He and his Grandad will have the chance to help fill the completed model once it is in situ. There will also be a plaque with Dylan’s name and school for all to see.

Another exciting project is with a lady called Louella Ward who is working with Kent Downs on an amazing project to reveal the importance of geology in the formation of the landscape, and how it has affected the lives of today’s communities. This project is the next chapter on the Kent Downs journey to secure UNESCO Global Geopark status as a Cross-Channel Geopark

Louella came in Goat Lees to deliver an extremely interesting assembly to the whole school on this fantastic project. She then met with Andrea de Roeck, our Deputy Head, to discuss how we, as a school, could incorporate this project into our geography curriculum. We then took Louella on a tour of our school grounds for her to see first hand the biodiversity of the habitats we have been able to make: natural pond, wild meadow, micro wood, shady bank and hedgerows. She was amazed at what we had achieved for such a small school. We are now looking forward to working more closely on this intriguing project. A huge thank you to Claire Norman who kindly linked Louella and I up at last year’s Environmental Event at the Environmental Centre, Singleton.

Alongwith the above, we are working on a chance to be involved in the ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ podcast.

The Kent Wildlife Trust have teamed up with Rob Smith, award-winning broadcaster & journalist who previously presented on the BBC South East Today news programme, to bring a brand-new podcast to the airwaves. During the broadcast, Rob talks about, and shares stories of ‘the heroes and heroines bringing nature back from the brink’. He visits farms, nature reserves, councils, labs, gardens, schools and businesses all of whom are making a difference in their communities. As we achieved a Gold Award for the Kent Wildlife Trust this year, Tom White (Education Officer), nominated us to be mentioned on this podcast. We have since had a zoom meeting with Natasha Aidinyantz from Kent Wildlife Trust and we are currently working on a date for Rob Smith to come in and visit our school and talk to us about all we do here to help or environment.

Lastly, we were informed today, we have been selected as one of the lucky winners of the SEK (Social Entreprise Kent) Green School Awards 2023. This scheme celebrates and inspires positive action for our planet! SEK are on a mission to motivate and recognise pupils and schools who are making a real difference to the environment we live in. We have been recognised for our passion and drive to make the planet a better place. There motto is,  ‘Let’s work together to build a sustainable future for all.’ and we totally agree with that ethos!

We have had such a positive start to this academic year, and we are only just started. We look forward to updating our progress on all of the above projects.

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