WHAT INSPIRED THE PROJECT?
Talk of the climate change crisis returned to our television screens with two documentaries in particular, Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Extinction’ and HRH The Duke of Cambridge’s ‘Prince William: A Planet for Us All’, brought biodiversity to the forefront of the conversation.
‘Biodiversity’ refers to the variety of life on Earth, specifically the number of different species that exist on our planet. As the impact of humanity continues to have drastic consequences for the world around us, it is estimated that one million animal and plant species are currently at threat of extinction (WWF).
Elms pupils and staff were determined to act and we began to think of ways to increase the biodiversity within our own school grounds. Following an environmental review conducted by The Elms Eco-Council, the decision was made to build a biodiverse garden and in doing so contribute to worldwide conservation efforts.
WHAT DOES THE PROJECT INVOLVE?
Elms Wild is led by Geography teacher and Eco-Council Leader Mr Arrowsmith. With the support of pupils in Year 5 and children on the Eco-Council, the project will aim to increase and preserve biodiversity through a specially designed biodiverse garden.
Pupils in all year groups were asked to come up with exciting ideas for what the garden could look like (the more imaginative, the better!) Winners of the design contest received a certificate and Beebomb to promote biodiversity in their own gardens at home.
The five winning entries were combined to create one final design, which, with hard work and the help of our school Garden & Grounds team, will become a reality in 2021.
HOW WILL THE PROJECT BENEFIT PUPILS?
As well as the green-fingered skills pupils will acquire as they plant and sustain the garden over time, Elms Wild will support the development of essential life skills. Budgeting, collaboration and organisation are just a few of the lessons that will be facilitated through this unique project. Year 5 pupils can look forward to occupying a leading role in Elms Wild as part of their work within our school Enrichment and Leadership programme.
The project will increase the children’s knowledge on environmental issues and educate them on concepts such as sustainable living. Most importantly, it will allow them to witness biodiversity in action!
The Elms is known for its ongoing environmental efforts, from electricity saving schemes to litter-picking in the local community. The school hopes to gain recognition for its longstanding commitment to the environment by achieving the coveted eco-school status.
Head of The Elms Mrs Potter said, “It is wonderful to have the children back at school so we can focus on developing the Elms Wild garden and complete lots of planting over the coming weeks. In Design and Technology lessons Year 5 pupils will be designing bug hotels and the Eco Council’s bird feeders will encourage increased wildlife to the area. A willow arch entrance, wildflower meadow, fruit trees and recycled seating will make this a popular space to relax and learn.”
We will keep you updated on this exciting project as it develops.
Take a look at the diverse range of enrichment opportunities available at The Elms.