The Green Schools Recycling Project Award 2012 

‘Hug Our World’ 
Our Lady & St Oswald’s Primary School 
Nominated by: Amanda Paterson 
This project aimed to increase the understanding of recycling throughout the school and the understanding of the variety of ways a community can benefit from recycling instead of simply throwing items away. 
 
“The children were bringing drinks bottles in every day and throwing them in the bin. The school is positioned next to a public pathway which constantly had waste everywhere. We started by collecting them, then we collected plastic bags and this developed into parents bringing their empty glass bottles also. We needed new containers for holding their purses for lunch money,” said Amanda Paterson. 
 
From there, the school’s Eco Group met with members of staff, parents and a local community group to formulate ideas around recycling. All the ideas were based around the aim of reducing the amount of waste at the school and to make pupils stop and think about everything they were throwing away. 
 
Our Lady & St Oswald’s Primary School
Soon, a once very small Eco Group were the talk of the school with all the pupils wanting to be involved. Over the course of a year, the school have worked towards and successfully achieved the ‘Silver Schools Eco Award’. 
 
In order to achieve this success, a number of activities were devised to involve all the pupils. Reception and year 1 classes took part in workshops themed ‘Recreate’, making toys out of items such as paper, milk bottle lids and plastic bottles. They learnt about children making these toys in Africa and India. Pupils in year 2 visited a nature reserve and landfill site and brought their ideas into the lessons. Years 3 and 4 created an outdoor shelter for the playground, using waste end pipes from Severn Trent Water. Year 5 collected industrial waste plastic tubes that once contained cooking fat and turned them into storage boxes whilst children in year 6 collected empty glass bottles and then recycled them into glass dishes. In addition to this, years 3-6 visited The Project Group in Oswestry where they worked with people with disabilities, using professional equipment. 
 
Amanda added: “The children made their own posters which are now displayed throughout the school. In numeracy, they kept tally charts of the waste they were collecting. In literacy, they wrote to companies asking for donations. They looked on the computers for information concerning the effects of waste on Earth such as in the rainforest.” 
 
As well as working with outside agencies, the school held a special assembly where all the helpers were invited and were told by the children how much fun it was gaining an understanding of recycling. The Eco Group also attended a general meeting of Shropshire Council in Ludlow where they gave a presentation to councillors. 
 
It’s clear this new ethos around recycling has had a positive impact on the children who have even approached the school cook to ask if there was anything they could do with waste generated from the canteen. This has led to the purchase of a Wormery which is now used daily. 
 
Recycling is now a buzz word around the school with the children constantly coming up with fresh ideas. Parents, carers and grandparents are also on board and are eager to help and support the Eco Group. 
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