In the Classroom: Springfield School

Pupils at Springfield School in Drayton have been taking part in an ECO club which helps them to learn about wildlife and nature. (l-r) Asiana Filote and Sydney Walker. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (150982-1)
Pupils at Springfield School in Drayton have been taking part in an ECO club which helps them to learn about wildlife and nature. (l-r) Asiana Filote and Sydney Walker. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150982-1)
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Springfield School has been running an eco-schools committee since January 2014.

The pupil-run club is attended by 15 pupils (ages 11 to 16) and takes place weekly.

It is a true pleasure to see so many pupils engaged and enthusiastic about ecology and the environment, as it is such a pertinent international issue.

Katy Micklewright

Katy Micklewright, a science teacher, oversees the committee.

She explains that the aim of the eco-school committee (or Springfield eco warriors, as they like to be known), is that the pupils themselves are in charge of improving the school and local environment.

She said: ‘The project has really helped pupils who are less confident to come out of their shells and gain experiences key to leadership and communication.

‘It is a true pleasure to see so many pupils engaged and enthusiastic about ecology and the environment, as it is such a pertinent international issue.

‘There is a vast amount of support available for schools to run this type of initiative.

‘I would highly recommend trying it to any school.

‘From small independent primary schools to large state secondary schools like Springfield, there is a benefit to be seen by all for pupils and community alike.’

The committee also takes part in an initiative called HSBC Water Explorers.

This worldwide initiative encourages pupils to conserve water, learn new ways to save water and gives pupils weekly activities and missions, which earn points.

Springfield’s eco-schools committee has been going from strength to strength.

They have been invited to London to the national conference in September as one of the top five schools in the country (achieved by gaining points).

They have won an award from HSBC, who will come into school and help them run a water festival.

They have also won a digital camera, as well as a motion sensor camera for 
use outdoors to look at wildlife.

The eco-schools committee are also running a focus day about water saving for the younger pupils at Springfield.

As well as Water Explorers, the pupils are participating in the Utilyx Mitie Energy Challenge.

They are one of three Portsmouth schools taking part and they are bidding to win £10,000.

Pupils are currently designing a way to make or save energy at school.

They already have a great design underway with the help of the design technology department.

The design is based on using the school’s Jungle Gym to create energy on a small scale.

The scale model will be presented at the Portsmouth University Big Bang Fair tomorrow.

What the pupils say...

Sydney Walker, Year 9, aged 13

‘I’ve recently joined Eco-Schools and I’m already enjoying my time there.

‘It is fun and I enjoy spending time with my friends.

‘At Eco-Schools everyone works as a team!’

Zoe Bowbrick, Year 9, aged 14

‘Being in Eco-Schools is great and the fact that it is pupil-run makes it even better. At Eco-Schools we cover environmental science, engineering as well as water saving.

We have achieved lots so far and hope to achieve more in the future.’

Anna Merel, Year 9, aged 13

‘Eco-Schools is a great place for people to have fun and make new friends whilst helping the environment.

‘Not only does it give us new opportunities, but it allows us to get across the message of saving the world because when the world is gone, it’s gone.’

Oliver Sanger, Year 8, aged 13

‘When I joined Eco-Schools I didn’t know whether it was going to be very good, mainly because I didn’t know what it was about, but after the first couple of weeks I realised that it was fun and I was going to enjoy it a lot.’

Emily Waldron, Year 8, aged 12

‘Eco-Schools is about making things better as well as recycling and updating our jungle gym.

‘We have been taking part in ‘Water Explorers’ which is a website that we go on and complete missions. With one of the missions we completed we won a camera plus.’