Our Eco Council call themselves the 'Green Team'. Led with great enthusiasm by Mrs Westerman, our Eco Council aims to develop environmental awareness across our school community and to care for and develop our local environment.
We are very proud to have been awarded the Eco Schools Green Flag Award. The Eco Schools Green Flag is an internationally recognised award for excellence in environmental action and learning and the highest Eco Schools Award that can be achieved. Very well done to the Eco Council!
To watch a short video to find out more about what an Eco Council is all about, please click here.
Our Eco Council meets regularly throughout the year. You can read our minutes by clicking on the links below:
Eco-Council Work 2020-2021
Our new Eco Council for 2020-2021 were able to celebrate another success in their first meeting of the year.
At Copley, Eco Council members are keen to promote active and safe travel to school. Walking to and from school makes the local community a safer place for everyone and it can also have huge benefits for health and well-being. We are delighted to have been awarded the Modeshift Stars Bronze Award. Modeshift Stars is a national award that recognises excellence in promoting active and sustainable travel to support children's health and wellbeing and to protect the environment.
Harvest Festival – 'The Importance of Water'
The Eco Council want everyone in school to know how important water is and for everyone to learn how we can protect our local canals and lakes as well as the seas and oceans of the World. We asked each class to research a theme of the subject of 'water' and we shared our ideas in our virtual assembly, with our COVID restrictions in place.
Children from each class contributed to our online Harvest Assembly with different presentations on the theme of water, including ‘Why is water so important?’, ‘The beauty of water’, ‘How can we get energy from water?’, ‘Save our oceans’, ‘The work of Water Aid’, ‘Why is hand washing so important?’ and ‘Zeitu and Zahra’s walk for water’.
The children enjoyed wearing their non-uniform clothes with a ‘blue’ theme for Water Aid, so thank you to everyone for your support.
Thank you for your donations to the charity ‘Water Aid’.
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2021
We invited all Eco Council members, past and present, to take part in the 2021 Big Garden Birdwatch 2021. We uploaded the details to our Seesaw app, including the British birds identification card and a 'How to' guide.
To download the RSPB 'How to' Guide, please click here.
Eco-Council Work 2019-2020
Woodland Trust 'Green Tree' Award at Gold Level
The Eco Council started the new school year with another success!
We have been awarded the Gold 'Green Tree School' Award by the Woodland Trust for getting involved in green activities including tree planting, reducing carbon emissions, recycling and joining in with various other Woodland Trust activities. We now aim to work towards the prestigious Platinum Award! Congratulations to the Eco Council, chidren in school and Mrs Westerman for all your hard work.
Eco Celebration with the Mayor of Doncaster
On Monday 16th September we were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Doncaster, Mrs Ros Jones, to Copley Junior. She met with the children in the Eco Council and the eco-councillors from last year and found out about all the eco-projects they had organised with Mrs Westerman, our Eco Council lead. Then, to the applause of the school, the eco councillors and the Mayor walked along the path to our flag pole and we raised our Green Eco Schools flag. What a fantastic occasion and our celebration was made all the more special by our visit from the Mayor.
Children's University Half Term Recycling Challenge
The Children's University half term challenge was to recycle and use the materials to make a spooky Halloween costume - well done girls for your creative ideas!
Year 3 Adopt a Tiger!
Year 3 pupils decided to use the profits from their 'Scrumdiddlyumptious' express to adopt a tiger and help protect this beautiful endangered species - Mrs Crayton is relieved to hear that the tiger will, however, remain at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park!
Our Eco Council supported the CSA's initiative to help our school community to recycle 128kg of textiles. As well as protecting the environment by recycling, the collection also raised some money for CSA projects and the children's charity 'Starlight'. Thank you to everyone who supported our recycling collection!
Eco Council Planting Initiative
In November we planted a range of spring bulbs to add to our spring flower planting display. We look forward to seeing the signs of spring before too long!
House Leader Election Campaigns
To help children learn about the importance of democracy and how an election process works, our House Leaders established their own political parties, to campaign for the issues important to them. Election posters appeared around school and then in assembly each House presented their manifesto, before all children in school had the opportunity to vote in a secret ballot.
Well done to the Eco Democrats, with their agenda for environmental change, as they were elected as the preferred party in our Copley elections! The Eco Council were delighted with the election result!
Christmas Wish Tree
The Eco Council worked with our CSA to promote an eco-friendly Christmas Wish Tree. Children were invited to buy a festive cardboard template for £2 and to take this home to decorate and write on their Christmas message to the class, before bringing it back to school to attach to the felt Christmas tree purchased for each class. The Eco Councillors organised setting up the Wish Tree in each classroom. The Eco Council and CSA promoted this as an alternative to sending lots of separate cards, to help reduce the use of paper and save the environment and the initiative had great impact. 94 children took part in the Christmas Wish Tree project and the use of paper and card was reduced by 45%.
Eco Schools Subject Leader Diary published in 'Everything Curriculum' magazine
Well done to our wonderful Eco Schools subject leader, Mrs Westerman, who leads our eco work with great commitment and enthusiasm. We were thrilled to be approached by a national magazine, 'Everything Curriculum', to contribute an article about our approach to the teaching of environmental awareness. We have shared the article below. To read the full 'Everything Curriculum' magazine, please click here.
Our new Eco Council display
Our enthusiastic pupils love to campaign for protection of the environment!
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2020
We keep our school bird table well stocked and members of the Eco Council observed carefully during their birdwatch to see which birds visited us. The Green Team used their own copy of the bird identification sheet to see what birds they could spot to discover the variety of birds we have on our school site.
The most common birds spotted at Copley are: magpie, wood pigeon, house sparrow, blackbird, robin, chaffinch, coal tit. Our sightings of magpies are well above the national average.
We then submitted the information to the RSPB for their annual survey and we received a certificate to say ‘well done’!
Eco Council Planning Meeting with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
We were delighted to meet with Kat and Olivia from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. They met to work with Eco Council members to develop ideas for how we can improve our outdoor spaces and perhaps develop a wildlife area for the children to enjoy and learn from.We were joined by Lewis from ‘Creative Timber Ltd’ who has supported many schools to improve their outdoor spaces.
Kat and Olivia gave us a target budget and we worked in pairs to see what we would purchase within our budget, using the picture cards to help us. We had lots of ideas that would look lovely in the grounds of Copley Junior!
Many thanks to Kat and Olivia as they are working with us to develop and submit a bid to see if we can access external funding to develop our outdoor spaces.We will keep our fingers crossed that we will be able to put our good ideas into action!
We were asked to think of one way in which to improve our grounds before Kat and Olivia next visit so we are planning to litter pick and we should see the bulbs we planted coming up soon to give us some spring colour.
Textiles Recycling Collection
We helped the CSA to promote the textiles recycling collection. As well as raising funds for CSA projects and the Starlight charity, we also ensured 127kg of textiles are recycled rather than going to landfill.
Eco Council Work 2018-2019
Active Travel - Ten Day Challenge
In October we promoted the 'Ten Day Active Travel Challenge' again as a great way to get fit and healthy and to help protect the environment. This campaign had great impact as you can see from the Eco Council's powerpoint presentation below. Let's keep on walking to school to keep fit and help our environment!
To find out more about our work to promote active travel, please click here to visit our 'Active Travel' page.
Harvest - Finding out about Food Miles
For our Harvest Service at St Mary's Church we shared the poem 'My pizza as big as the sun'. Each class found out fascinating facts about one of the food items on the pizza, including the country of origin and the food miles used to transport the food item to the UK e.g. olives and mozzarella from Italy. Altogether, the food we used to make our pizza would have travelled 13,795 miles so it certainly made us think about sourcing food locally to help save the environment.
Eco Council Environmental Review
Miss Walker worked with members of the Eco Council to conduct an envionmental review of ten eco-topics, in order to identify things we do well and identify areas where we can make further improvements.
Eco Council Action Plan
Following review of their environmental audit, the Eco Council identified three eco-topics to develop and decided on the actions they would take.
Bulbs4Kids - Eco Council Planting Initiative
We registered to be one of the 800 schools in the UK to receive a free box of 600 flower bulbs (200 tulips, 200 daffodils, 100 crocuses, 100 grape hyacinths) from Bulbs4Kids, an educational programme launched by the organisation that promotes the interests of the Dutch flower bulb sector. Eco Council members were very busy planting the bulbs and we hope for a lovely display in the spring. Thank you to Mrs Gray, our Eco Schools governor, who helped us with the planting.
The results of our planting looked lovely!
Learning from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
We were very pleased to welcome two external specialists from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to lead a whole school assembly about the environmental importance of trees and woodlands. We learned a lot about how trees support the environment and different species of wildlife and we learned about different types of trees. We have so many trees in our school grounds and we are delighted that our application was successful so that the Eco Council can plant and see some new trees grow. However, can we all recognise the different types of trees in the school grounds? I think our Eco Council has found themselves another project!
The Christmas Wish Tree
The Eco Council decided to work with our CSA to promote an eco-friendly Christmas Wish Tree. Children were invited to buy a festive cardboard template for £2 and to take this home to decorate and write on their Christmas message to the class, before bringing it back to school to attach to the felt Christmas tree purchased for each class. The Eco Councillors organised setting up the Wish Tree in each classroom. The Eco Council promoted this as an alternative to sending lots of separate cards, to help reduce the use of paper and save the environment and the initiative had great impact. 99 children took part in the Christmas Wish Tree project and the use of paper and card was reduced by 48%.
Kaylen, our Y6 leader of the Eco Council, tweeted a message about the CSA Christmas Wish Tree initiative: "I find it wonderful that so many people have used the wish tree, decreasing the use of paper by 48%. Thank you for your support!"
Celebrating Pupils' Eco Achievements
We decided to award an Eco Success Certificate when children are inspired to carry out any environmental work in their own time. Kaylen, the Year 6 leader of our Eco Council, designed a certificate and has presented three certificates so far:
- Eliza, Hannah and Robyn: they spent their own time making a very detailed poster to encourage children to take care of the environment and shared this is in an achievement assembly
- Charlotte N and Neve R: they wrote a persuasive leaflet about the importance of protecting our local environment with tips about recycling and, with the permission of their parents, they posted these through their neighbours' letter boxes
- Doreen and Debbie: our wonderful cleaners for making bird cakes and fat balls to stock up our bird table - with such tasty treats, no wonder we see so many birds in our school grounds!
- Holly G: for taking part in the Great British Birdwatch and recording her results in a bar chart and pie chart - great work Holly!
- Ffion L and Emily F: for designing posters for our recycling boxes so everyone knows what to recycle
- Kaylen W: We presented Kaylen with one of his own certificates for his recycling posters around school ensuring that we all remember to recycle everything we can
Eco Code Assembly
The Eco Council led an assembly to remind everyone in school about our Eco Code, which is displayed all around school. Let's all work together to stick to our Eco Code in order to make our environment the best it can be!
Woodland Trust 'Green Tree School' Silver Award
The Woodland Trust 'Green Tree School' Award rewards schools for completing environmental projects and encouraging outdoor learning. Our projects, including promoting active travel, recycling, reducing the use of paper with our 'Christmas Wish Tree' initiative, our partnership work with the Woodland Trust and reducing our carbon footprint have enabled us to achieve the Silver Award. We are now working towards the Gold Award!
Sharing our Eco Successes
We share news of our eco initiatives and successes through our display board, school newsletters, school newspaper, assemblies, School Twitter and keeping our website page up to date. We also share our eco news by publishing articles in the local Parish magazine and also the 'Arrow' local community magazine, which is delivered to every home in the neighbourhood.
To read our most recent 'Arrow' local community magazine, delivered to all homes in our local community, please click here.
To read our most recent church community Parish magazine article, please click here.
Woodland Trust ‘Tree Champion’ Competition
Miss Walker and the Green Team launched a whole school competition to design a Woodland Trust ‘Tree Champion’, following our brilliant assembly led by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and our recent successful application for new trees for the school grounds. The Eco-Council wanted the children to think carefully about how their champion cares for trees and they have not been disappointed! In total, there were 24 fantastic entries and it was very difficult to narrow it down to the three winners. Eventually, they decided that Allegra’s ‘Pixie Tree Saver’, Bridey’s ‘Tree of Life’ and Lily’s ‘Super Stick’ were the winning entries.
Creating Mythical Creatures out of Recycled Materials
In Year 3, as part of their 'Gods and Mortals' project, children enjoyed learning about different Greek myths and then they created their own mythical beasts using recycled materials. Year 3 discussed how recycling is really good for the environment. I am sure you will agree Year 3 made some great models!
Eco Display Board
Here is our updated Eco Council display board in our central corridor.
EDF Switch Off Fortnight
At the end of last half term, the Year 5 eco-councillors conducted a survey in school every day to find out how many laptops and interactive whiteboards were left on during lunchtime when they were not being used and also how many of the school’s lights were on ‘Eco’, ‘Eco+’ or ‘Max’ mode. This is the data we plan to use to compare with after we have done the ‘Switch Off Fortnight’.
This half term, the Green Team have been around the whole school and have put up signs with our energy saving mascot (Mr Energy Saver) to remind people to turn off laptops, interactive whiteboards and lights. Now we have launched the Switch Off Fortnight, the Year 5 eco-councillors will repeat the survey for the next two weeks to see if our signs and reminders help us reduce the amount of electricity we use in school.
Following our Switch Off Fortnight, children in Year 5 created graphs to show the impact of our drive to save energy.
Children in Year 5 also collated data in a spreadsheet in order to create graphs to analyse and show the impact of our drive to save energy. We achieved our aim of reducing energy use over the two weeks, so well done everyone and remember to keep switching off interactive whiteboards, lights and laptops when they are not in use!
Energy Officer Curriculum Workshop
Both Year 3 classes participated in a curriculum workshop led by Katie Hurst, our LA Energy Officer. The children really enjoyed learning about wind power as a sustainable energy source and making their own turbines. Thanks Katie!
Our CSA helped our school community to recycle an amazing 214kg of textiles. As well as protecting the environment by recycling, the collection also raised some money for CSA projects and the children's charity 'Starlight'. Thank you to everyone who supported our recycling collection!
Great British Spring Clean
The members of our Eco Council have become #LitterHeroes by registering with Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean. From 22nd March up to the Easter holidays we will be having a focus on ensuring our school grounds are litter free. We have strong gardening gloves and litter pickers so we can safely pick up any litter, under the supervision of teachers on duty and our caretaker Mr Walker. Thank you for the information kindly sent to us by one of our parents. It has been lovely to see so many children from each class volunteering during their break times.
Our Eco Council wrote our Anti-Litter Policy, shared this with everyone in an assembly and displayed the policy on our Eco display board.
Planting New Trees with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Many thanks to Kat from the Yorkshire Wildife Trust, who visited school to help our Year 3 and Year 4 eco-councillors to plant eight new trees (hawthorn and rowan) in our school grounds.The eco councillors worked hard to dig the holes to plant our new saplings and were so careful to remove worms to a place of safety!
Did you know? A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year and can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old, so planting our new trees is really helpful to the environment.
We have looked after our saplings and they are flourishing!
Eco Schools Green Flag Award
We are so excited to announce that Copley Junior School has been awarded the highest national award for promoting environmental awareness, the Eco Schools Green Flag Award! We can't wait to raise the Green Flag on our flagpole!
Active Travel - Summer Term Ten Day Challenge 2019
The Eco Council promoted active travel for our two week challenge in the summer term 2019. 58% of children walked to schoo before the challenge and 80% of children walked to/from school during the active travel fortnight. We were pleased to see an increase in active travel of 22%. Let's keep walking to and from school to keep healthy, cut carbon emissions and make our local streets safer.
Eco Council Work 2017-2018
Active Travel - Ten Day Challenge
In October we promoted the 'Ten Day Active Travel Challenge' as a great way to get fit and healthy and to help protect the environment. This campaign had great impact as you can see from the results below. Let's keep on walking to school to keep fit and help our environment!
As a result of the high impact of our 'Active Travel' campaign we were rewarded with a theatre visit! The MOMO Theatre Company came to deliver their fun, active and humorous stage play to encourage children to be active and safe on their journey to and from school.
Eco-Schools Silver Award
Well done to our enthusiastic Green Team, led by Miss Walker, as they have achieved the national Eco-Schools Silver Award. The national Eco-Schools scheme empowers children to drive change; it raises children's environmental awareness and helps to improve the school environment. As a result of all the development work led by the Green Team, we have met the criteria for the Silver Eco-Schools Award. Well done children!
To view the criteria for the Eco-Schools Silver Award, please click on the logo below.
The Woodland Trust 'Green Tree School' Bronze Award
The Woodland Trust 'Green Tree School' Award rewards schools for completing environmental projects and encouraging outdoor learning. Our projects, including promoting active travel, recycling and reducing our carbon footprint have enabled us to achieve the Bronze Award. We are now working towards the Silver Award!
The Green Team Photography Competition - Finding a View
The Green Team organised a photography competition, called 'Finding a View'. As well as taking a great photo, it was a great opportunity to enjoy the world of nature with your family.
Woodland Photography Winners
Well done to the winners of the Green Team's Woodland Photography Competition. We awarded certificates and prizes and our first prize was a calendar, featuring award winning wildlife photographs. Congratulations to our winners:
Harry A - 'A Bug's Perspective'
Isaac H - 'View of a Squirrel'
Thomas O - 'View down the river'
The winning entries are posted below - click on the main image to view the carousel of winning entries.
We received many creative entries and a selection of these are shared below.
Please click on the first image below to view our gallery of photographs.
Sharing our Successes
We share our Eco Council news through our display board, website page, assemblies and the school newsletter. Our successes also made the front page of the school newspaper! To read the school newspaper, please click here.
Our Eco Council has certainly inspired the eco-warriors amongst our school community! Mrs Crayton was delighted to receive the following email over the half term holiday.
To Mrs Crayton can you tell the eco council that I want to help the environment and make a nice place to live.
I have been trying to pick up as much rubbish as I could when I have been walking on the beach in Filey.Thank you.
Well done for helping to look after the beautiful beach at Filey!
We have a close link with the Don Gorge community group, who work hard to conserve and protect the beautiful area in which we live. We share news of their regular litter picking events with parents/carers and it is great to see our pupils giving their leisure time at the weekend to help look after our local environment.
Active Travel - Summer Term Ten Day Challenge
Our Green Team promoted the summer term active walking challenge and afterwards, they prepared the PowerPoint presentation below for our Friday achievement assembly to celebrate that our active fortnight saw a 22.2% increase in active travel.
Malawi - Copley Junior
Our Eco Council has been active in developing a link with a school in Malawi. They consulted with Copley pupils to draw up a list of questions to find out about life and the schools in Malawi and we were delighted to receive the answers back from Mr Barnes who has spent a year supporting schools in Malawi. The Eco Council then prepared a PowerPoint and led an assembly to share the information with everyone. Well done and thank you to the Eco Council and Miss Walker!
The Green Team were given a small budget and the challenge of redesigning and planting a small garden area. The challenge became even greater as we planted our new tender plants in the middle of an extreme heatwave!
One year on!
Eco Council Work 2016-2017
In October we decided that our Harvest Festival was a great chance to promote environmental awareness. Our theme this year was ‘Looking after our World’s Resources’. Well done to the different year groups for their research and presentations about recycling, wave energy and the importance of saving water, wind energy and sustainability, with Year 6 pupils below telling us about the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign and food rationing during World War II. Below you can see just some of the generous donations for our harvest table, which we donated to Doncaster Foodbank and M25 (a local charity that supports people who are homeless).
Eco Council Competition
We had over 80 fantastic entries for the Green Team’s energy saving competition to mark ‘Switch Off Fortnight’. The Green Team met with Miss Walker to judge the entries and it was a very difficult task as so many creative entries were sent in. The children’s task was to design an energy saving mascot for Copley Junior School, to help encourage children to look after our planet and save energy.
Well done to our winners in the photograph below who were awarded eco-friendly prizes that included drawing pads made from recycled paper, crayons made from recycled CD cases and pencil cases made out of recycled tyres!
Competition Winner - Copley's Energy Saving Mascot
The three designs below were also awarded prizes for their creativity. Click on the first photo below to view the photograph gallery.
Well done and thank you to everyone who entered!
Architecture Competition Winners - Design a New Eco-Friendly Building for Doncaster
We were successful in our application for our Green Team to take part in Doncaster's Architecture Competition led by Doncaster Civic Trust and supported by a group of students studying for their Masters Degree in Architecture at Sheffield University.
The students visited our school and met with the Eco-Council to help the children develop their creative design for a new eco-friendly building in Doncaster. The students inspired the children greatly and the Eco-Council enjoyed developing their plans and their own creative design skills.
We were very excited to learn that out of all the schools in Doncaster we had won 1st prize and that our prize was £500! We received feedback that the judges "were very impressed with the quality of the proposed design. They thought that the Children's Museum was well-designed and if built would be a wonderful architectural complement to the Council Office and Cast Theatre. The model was well-constructed and helped the judges gain a useful impression of how the real building might look. In addition, the judges noted that a particular strength of the entry was the thoughtful pre-design work carried out to develop ideas for the building."
We intend to spend our prize money on resources to support the children in producing more fantastic design work and also to fund an individual eco-friendly themed prize for each of the Green Team members. Many thanks to Miss Passant and Miss Walker for organising and supporting our entry in the competition with such enthusiasm.
Green Team Display Board
Members keep the Green Team display board up to date with photographs and details of our current projects, minutes of our meetings and our action plan. There is even space for children to share their suggestions and ideas with the Green Team so that we keep everyone involved!
Eco-Schools Bronze Award
Congratulations to our enthusiastic Green Team, led by Miss Walker, as they have achieved the national Eco-Schools Bronze Award. The national Eco-Schools Scheme empowers children to drive change; it raises children's environmental awareness and helps to improve the school environment. As a result of the development work above, we have met the criteria for the Bronze Eco-Schools Award. Well done to everyone in the Green Team!
To view the criteria for the Eco-Schools Bronze Award, please click on the logo below.
Green Team Eco-Code
Our Green Team researched eco-codes from different schools and then decided to devise their own. The children decided they would like to make our Eco-Code eye-catching by writing it as an acrostic poem! The Eco-Code has been shared with all the classes and is displayed on our Eco Council notice board.
Sharing our Eco News with the Local Community
Each month we share our school news with the local community in articles for the parish magazine and the 'Arrow' local community magazine. Click here to read our parish magazine article about our eco work.
On 27th June 2017, the Green Team were invited to attend an Architecture Workshop at the University of Sheffield as part of their prize for winning the architecture competition earlier in the year. We had a brilliant day, learning all about what it means to be an architect. We had the opportunity to see some of the amazing work that University of Sheffield students had produced for their degrees, Masters and PhDs. It is safe to say we were amazed by how impressive their work was! After lunch, we were split into groups and given the architectural challenge of designing a school that would be suitable for different environments. The Year 3 Eco-Councillors had to design a school that would be functional in the polar regions; the Year 4 team were tasked with the desert; the Year 5 team had to design a school that could function on the ocean; the Year 6 team had to design a school located in a tropical rainforest! It was a fantastic day and we would like to thank the staff from the University of Sheffield for having us.
Are You Interested in Joining the Green Team?
Thinking about applying for the role of Eco Council member next year? Have a look at the application form below so that you can be well prepared!
We have recycling boxes around school for waste paper, cardboard etc. Each week we sort though the recycling and make sure it is sorted correctly ready for collection. At Christmas time we collect the mountains of envelopes from Christmas cards and we make sure we recycle these too.
Three times a year we organise a textile recycling collection. This promotes recycling, is good for the environment and it also raises funds for the CSA to spend on the pupils at Copley Junior. We promote recycling and the textile collections through assemblies, newsletters and posters. Our last recycling collection prevented the equivalent of 43.63 tonnes of carbon from being released into our atmosphere and our average recycling collection over a year prevents approximately 135 tonnes of carbon from being released into our atmosphere..