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Thatcham's Parsons Down Schools builds on Eco-Schools initiatives

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TWO Thatcham schools have been growing their green credentials to become an environmentally friendly community.

Staff and pupils at the Parsons Down Partnership have been focussing on their Eco-Schools topics having been awarded Eco-School status last year.

Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness to achieve the Green Flag.

Children taking part in eco activities (48998927)
Children taking part in eco activities (48998927)

The partnerships pupil-led eco-committee has been focussing on energy, litter, school grounds, waste and water.

Pupils collected crisp packets during the autumn term, which were sent off to a charity that turns them into blankets for the homeless.

One Year 6 eco-councillor also wrote to the school's finance manager asking for a wider range of recycling bins. The school is planning to have bins for plastic, metal and food waste installed in September.

Year 6 pupils at Parsons Down Juniors learn about the foodbank (48998933)
Year 6 pupils at Parsons Down Juniors learn about the foodbank (48998933)

The school is running a competition encouraging each year group to donate items to the West Berks Foodbank and highlight the issue of food waste.

The partnership said that collections had been successful so far and the winning year group will be rewarded with extra playtime at the end of term.

Every class has increased the amount of time spent learning outside and the school participated in in Outdoor Classroom Day on May 20.

The whole school spent time outdoors taking part in learning activities, including wild reading, observational drawings, Second World War drama, outdoor measuring and campfire cooking.

Lunchtime litter picks have begun around the fields and playgrounds each week and the partnership aims to team up with volunteers group Thatcham Litter Pickers next year to arrange a family litter pick outside the school.

A shared school garden is being developed for children to grow their own plants and learn what can and can’t be composted, as well as the science behind it.

Parsons Down Infant School deputy headteacher Lynda Shepherd said: “Well done to all the classes and adults for the hard work that has gone into making Eco-Schools a big part of life at Parsons Down this year.

"A special thank you to the eco-councillors for doing such an amazing job of leading the school with all the different initiatives.”

Parsons Down Partnership will be applying for its second Eco-Schools Green Flag next year.

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