As part of Disability Access Day I was very honoured to be able to spend the afternoon with the Eco Warriors from Highbury School, Halifax.
The staff and children of Highbury are dedicated to achieving their Eco School Green Flag status and as part of this they are creating a garden within their school grounds, where outdoor learning and play can take place.
On Thursday afternoon the school opened its doors to friends and parents of Highbury so that they could see the garden and offer a helping hand.
So far the school has designated an area of land for their garden and have already built a bird hide and shelter for the children. Our job for the afternoon was to build a willow fence around the hide, to give more protection for the birds.
I joined the task force who were made busy weaving the branches of the cut willow. It was great fun – even though it was cold and pretty windy. It was clear to see that the children were loving being outdoors and engaging in outdoor learning, whilst having fun in the garden.
The school has really thought about the use of the school grounds and they have sectioned off different areas to make a vegetable plot, a mud garden and a wildlife area. I would say that Highbury is well on its way to gaining the Eco School Green Flag.
The Eco-Schools Programme is pupil-led, involving hands-on learning that gets the whole school and the wider community involved in exciting environmental projects. The programme has been running globally for the past 25 years. As part of the programme a school has to set up its eco committee who then have an environmental self-assessment to do about the school. From here they then have an action plan to complete on how they are going to work together to complete five of the ten topics from the eco school list.
It is a great scheme for schools and Highbury School is just one example of showing that you do not need vast areas of space to create an outdoor learning area.
After a chilly couple of hours outside we all returned indoors for assembly, which was led by the wonderful Wise Owls class, who showed us what they had been learning about recycling. It was great fun to see the whole school involved in a recycling game. It was plain to see that learning is fun at Highbury.
We have a whole new section now on The Outdoor Guide which is dedicated sustainability and conservation of the outdoor world. We are committed to living a green lifestyle and want to do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for other people to as well. It is for this reason that The Outdoor Guide is proud to be involved with the Great Britain Tidy Campaign, who run the Eco Programme in the UK.
I am looking forward to many more visits to Highbury School and seeing how their garden school develops.