St. Dennis Primary Academy Taps into Fund to Continue Excellent Work
12th November 2021
Sometimes when you’re in the middle of the countryside, it’s hard to imagine that climate change is a real problem. With so much greenery, wildlife and a bright blue sky above you, carbon emissions, plastic pollution and melting icecaps seem distant and not applicable to the area, or to you.
That is not the case for pupils at St. Dennis Primary Academy! The school is in a village in the heart of Cornwall’s clay pits – the surrounding moorland is a hub of industry and activity. Perhaps because they can see examples so starkly, those pupils who are part of the school’s Eco Club have a real grasp on the effects their actions have on the environment.
Led by teacher, Rebecca Bateson, the Eco Club is a mixed age and ability after-school club. Together, they have confronted many issues head-on, including, most recently, a campaign for Plastic-Free Wednesdays. They’ve challenged those who bring packed-lunches to school to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in them. This includes cling film, chocolate bar wrappers, crisp packets and single-use drinks cartons. They’re looking at the wider picture of where these plastics can end up – in the Sea!
The group also focuses on issues closer to home. An ongoing project for them is giving their school grounds a bit of a face-lift. The children will tell you excitedly of the time they painted the benches (“I got paint on my sock!”), making bird feeders (“I’ve seen some little birds come and eat the seeds we gave them!”), planting bulbs (“We’ll see the flowers next year!”) and coming soon, they’ll be building a hedgehog house for which the children eagerly volunteered materials.
To continue the sustainability of all their planting and regeneration, they really wanted some water butts so that they could use rainwater to water the plants and keep areas clean. Inside the school, they also wanted to fit some new automatic shut-off taps to the Key Stage 1 area to help reduce water wastage. Unfortunately, the school funding couldn’t stretch that far, and it seemed a distant hope.
That was until a lucky conversation in the staff room directed Rebecca to our Water Saving Community Fund. After hearing about their vision for the outdoor space, and their determination to be environmentally friendly, we knew just how important our help would be to them. We funded the purchase and installation of the taps and two new water butts.
“We’re really grateful for the grant,” Rebecca said, “it means we’ll be able to do more outside.”
When the children were asked their opinion on the importance of saving water and whether it was more or less important than reducing plastic pollutions, they gave thoughtful answers. One pupil said, “It’s really important because you can’t survive without water. I think it’s only three days. So, you need to have water.” Her friend added, “And it’s important to use less plastic so it doesn’t get in the Sea, and that’s water.” Their ability to see the bigger picture and the importance of saving water was really impressive.
We can’t wait to see what these environment pioneers do next!
Well done, St Dennis Primary Academy!