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St John's Church of England Primary School

PLEASE NOTE DIARY DATES: EYFS Nativity - 10-12-19 at 9.15am and 12-12-19 at 1.45pm. KS1 Nativity - 10-12-19 at 1.45pm and 12-12-19 at 9.15am. Jumper Day - Friday 13th December.

"St John's Church of England Primary School has fully embraced Eco-Schools. Every area is imaginatively and thoroughly explored. The children are passionate about looking after our world; they are very knowledgeable and they influence the adults in their lives, encouraging  them to further care for our planet."

ECO-SCHOOLS GREEN FLAG ASSESSMENT 2019

At St John's CEP, we are working hard to become a more sustainable school and take great pride helping to protect and preserve every aspect of God's beautiful creation.

We are active members of the Eco-Schools programme and are proud to currently hold their internationally recognised 'Green Flag' award as of June 2019.

The Eco-Schools programme was developed in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and introduced into the UK in 1995. The programme is a learning resource and topic areas include: Energy, Litter, Waste, Transport, Healthy Living, Water, Biodiversity, Marine, School Grounds and Global Citizenship. Eco-Schools develops pupils’ skills, raises environmental awareness, and improves the school environment.

Our Eco-Council:

Mr Smith, Mrs Arter, Mrs Downey, Mr Kane and Mrs Kane are all members of the Eco-Council.

Our efforts have been recognised by the Downs Mail! 

Read the article here.

Our Meetings:

Our Eco-Council meet with Mrs Arter once or twice a term. In our meetings we discuss what we can do at school to become more sustainable and how we plan to do this. 

Clean Air for Schools Campaign

We are very excited to have been selected to take part in a local experiment to try to reduce air pollution around our school. The Clean Air for Schools initiative team came to our school on Monday 4th June 2018, along with the KM, to fit two air monitoring tubes. One tube has been fitted down on the school field and another outside the school gates, where we expect air quality to be significantly poorer. The diffusion tubes are used to measure the levels of harmful Nitrogen Dioxide in the air. The main sources of Nitrogen Dioxide, are burning of fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, gas, petrol and diesel) for domestic heating, power generation and road transport. Mrs Arter and our Eco-Councillors will collect samples each month to be sent off for analysis. The information gathered will be used to map out nitrogen dioxide levels around our school.​ We are keen to try to reduce air pollution and improve air quality around our school. We will continue to promote our Walk on Wednesday scheme and hope that taking part in this project will continue to promote green travel to St John's everyday. 

You can read about the scheme and our involvement on the KM online: 

http://www.kmcharityteam.co.uk/2018/05/green-campaign-launched-county-town/ 

http://www.kmcharityteam.co.uk/2018/06/council-takes-lead-school-pollution-project/ 

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/news/charities/council-takes-lead-in-school-pollution-project-184483/ 

War on Plastics by Hugh and Anita

We would like to draw your attention to a series featured on BBC1 called War on Plastics.

It highlights the overuse of plastics in our everyday lives.  One area that was visited in episode 2 was our use of Wet Wipes in the household and their effects on the environment.  Not all people know that wet wipes contain plastic.

To view the series so far, follow the links:-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005xgz/war-on-plastic-with-hugh-and-anita-series-1-episode-1

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0006347/war-on-plastic-with-hugh-and-anita-series-1-episode-2

Boosting Biodiversity!

We want to boost biodiversity in our school grounds. Our Eco-Councillors decided that it would be a good idea to decorate bird boxes and put them up around our school grounds. We asked each KS2 class to decorate a box and are very happy with the results! Please keep a look out for our colourful bird boxes around the school grounds. We were really pleased that our MP, Mrs Helen Whately, was able to put the first box up with our Eco-Councillors.

Switch-off Fortnight:

For the second year running we have taken part in switch-off fornight!

This year our eco-councillors became 'Energy Enforcers'. Our enforcers visited each classroom at lunchtime to ensure that anything not in use was switched OFF. If a class did a good job at saving energy, they were awarded a green rosette for their efforts! If a class had left something on they were given a light bulb to make them think a little bit harder about being green!

Gardening with the Maidstone Rotarians

Our Year Twos planted crocuses with the Rotary club. You may have seen some our Year 2s in the KM recently!
For the last 30 years, Rotary International has been endeavouring to eradicate polio across the world. When the vaccine is given to children, their little finger is painted purple to ensure that all children needing the vaccine are included. The purchase of purple crocus corms helps to purchase the vaccine needed to the campaign to continue. The Rotary clubs in Maidstone have purchased these corms and have planted them around the area. They were also kind enough to donate some to our school. We are thrilled to have been a part of their project.

WOW! - Walk on Wednesday

We take part in the KM's Walk On Wednesday initiate, encouraging our pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school as often as possible. Each child has been issued with a WOW passport, where they can fix special stickers they are given every time they walk to school on a Wednesday.

Year 2 Eco-Afternoon 2017/18

As part of their Eco-Afternoon, our Year 2s were visited by Mr Ridgeway. Mr Ridgeway has recently been helping to rebuild some of the coral reef in Madagascar as part of a conservation and social development programme organised by ‘The Reef Doctor’. The children were interested to learn about the coral reef and how, in Madagascar, some parts have been badly damaged by pollution and overfishing. The children got to see amazing photographs of the coral reef and the underwater animals that Mr Ridgeway saw during his trip. As a school, we are working hard to teach our children how important it is to take care of the beautiful planet God have us. Inspired by what they learned, our Year 2s made a ‘Planet Promise’ - something they promise to do in order to help protect our precious world (like recycling used paper and never dropping litter!)

Green Tree Schools Award

We are very pleased to announce that at St John's we have now been awarded the Gold Green Tree Award from the Woodland Trust. This is for our efforts to become more environmentally friendly, saving energy and taking children to visit our local woodland areas, including Vinters Valley. A representative from the Woodland Trust was particularly impressed with the pictures of animals children in Year R have created using leaves!

Waste Week 2018

We took part in Waste Week. At the beginning of the week each class wrote pledges and have been actively reducing waste across the school. This week we have noticed our rubbish bins being a lot less full than normal which is fantastic! Our Eco-Councillors met with Nicola from Maidstone Borough Council to learn more about waste and recycling in Maidstone. We learned a lot about what things can be recycled and the process things go through. Our Eco-Councillors will feedback to their classes later on this term. Next week our councillors will be litter picking in our school grounds and in the local community as part of the Great Big School Clean. 

Information from Mrs Arter’s assembly to  the whole school can be downloaded here:

Composting Food Waste

At St John's we compost some of our food waste. To remind children to put their apple cores and orange peels in the compost Ameila and James from 4R  designed posters for our rubbish bins. 

Recycle with Michael!

Thank you for helping to make this initiative a huge success! Over 50 bags of your old clothes and shoes were collected on Friday 22nd March. We recycled 370kg of clothes and shoes raising £73 for the Salvation Army and £43 for our school. Our Eco-Councillors decided to spend this money on a lovely new sign for our school playground, encouraging our pupils to look out for insects in our school grounds.

Southern Water 'Waterwise' KS2 Talk

On 11th January 2017, Fergus from Southern Water came to talk to Year 3, 4 and 5. We learned that on average each person uses 150 litres of water a day! Fergus taught us ways to save water at home and at school. He explained how saving water also saves energy and how important it is to be 'Waterwise'.

AFTERNOON SWITCH-OFF 2017

Contact our Eco-Council:

Are you walking/cycling or scooting to school as often as you could be? 

Listen to our St John's CEP Walk to School song here:

If you want to be a green traveller you can download our lyrics here.

Achieving the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award - June 2019 

We are extremely pleased to announce that we have been awarded the Eco-Schools ‘Green Flag’ award - the most prestigious award given to schools internationally for environmental initiatives. On 25th June 2019 an Eco-Schools inspector came to our school to carry out an assessment. She was extremely complimentary about the work of our Eco-Council and spent time with the members of our Eco-Committee. The Eco-Councillors answered the inspectors questions with enthusiasm and their dedication to helping us to become a more sustainable school was very clear. Mr Smith and Mrs Arter would like to congratulate each of our Eco-Councillors for their efforts.  

Green School Awards - Overall Recycling Champion 2018

For the second year running we were invited to attend The Green Schools award ceremony at the Kent County Cricket Ground in Canterbury. We were awarded the 'Best Recycling School award' in Maidstone for our Bike Recycle event. We were named the 'Overall Recycling Champion' in Kent. Mr Smith, Mrs Arter, Lewis and Sienna were delighted to attend the ceremony on behalf of St John's CEP and the Maidstone Cycle Circle team. We hope to run the ReCycle Bike Event again next year so watch this space!

You can read all about our success on the KM Online here.

BBC Interview

St John's on the Sunday Politics Show -  17/03/2019

We received a phone call from the BBC congratulating us on being the first school in Maidstone to join the ‘Clean Air for Schools’ campaign last year and even more excitingly - asking to interview our Eco-Councillors!!! 
We were very pleased to welcome a reporter from the Sunday Politics show to our school, to help raise awareness about air quality in Maidstone and to showcase how we are tackling lots of environmental issues.
 
The BBC reporter, Shelley Phelps, met with our Eco-Council and spoke to them about our eco-initiatives. The journalists commended us for our efforts to protect our beautiful planet and even helped us to change one of our air monitoring tubes on site. 
Mr Smith, Mrs Arter and the Eco-Councillors appeared on BBC One for the Sunday Politics show on Sunday 17th March 2019.
 
If you missed the show then it's available to watch on iPlayer here:
 

Grovewood Drive North Wildflower Meadow

We were kindly invited to sow the seeds for a wildflower meadow along Grovewood Drive North. As stewards of God’s creation, our Eco-Councillors were delighted to accept and met with representatives from Maidstone Borough Council on Friday 26th April. The children helped to sow a variety of seeds and thoroughly enjoyed trampling on the ground too - as you can see from the photos and videos!

We are really pleased to have taken part in something that will enhance our local environment. We hope that the wildflower meadow will make an attractive addition to the area and become the perfect habitat for wildlife. 

ReCycle Bike Event and Sale 2017-2018

The bike recycling and sale event was a great success. Thank you for your donations and any purchases that you made. Altogether, 26 bikes were donated and 12 were sold on site. The money from the sale will be used to help continue to run this project in the community, in addition to providing extra services in school from the Cycle Circle team – so watch this space! We hope that the bikes sold will be used to cycle to school and that more of our students have been enthused by this event!

ReCycle Bike Event and Sale 2018-2019

23 BIKES DONATED AND RECYCLED.

16 BIKES SOLD ON SITE.

KEEP ON CYCLING ST JOHN'S!

Green School Awards 2017:

We are extremely honoured to announce that we were awarded the 'Best Environmental School Award' for Maidstone. We were invited to a special awards ceremony held by the KM Charity Team at the Kent County Cricket ground in Canterbury. Mrs Arter and Mrs Penfold attended the ceremony with Jude (6G) and Jayden (3DG).

Litter Picking in the Local Community:

Our Eco-Councillors have been litter picking in our local community. As a school, it came to our attention that increasing amounts of litter can be found in the small woodland area behind the Grove Green Tesco car park. We want to make a difference in our local community and be proactive in protecting our precious environment. 

Dropping litter damages our environment, the appearance of it and most importantly harms habitats. We hope that by cleaning up we will discourage people from dropping litter and in the process educate and deter future generations as a school.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Miss A Reed (Student Teacher), Mrs M Arter, Mrs E O'Keefe (parent govenor), Mr A Parker-Bruce (Chair of Govenors), Mr D Smith (Headteacher). 

2018-2019 Academic Year Total: 26kg 

2017-2018 Academic Year Total: 46kg

2016-2017 Academic Year Total: 48kg

Recycling Reminder:

Please send in any used batteries and ink cartridges so that we can recycle them for you. For every recyclable ink cartridge we can raise money for the school and help save the environment! In the New Year we plan to support the Woodland Trust by recycling Christmas cards - more information to follow!

A visit from Maidstone Recycling Centre

Our Eco-Council met with a member of the Environmental Team at Maidstone Borough Council. We learnt all about recycling in our borough and got to ask lots of questions. Following this, we aim to recycle as much as possible on our next litter pick around Grove Green.

Revamping Recycling!

At St John's we want to revamp the way we recycle. It came to our attention that we are not all sure what should go in our green recycling bins. Our Eco-Councillors decided to hold a competition across KS2. Children were asked to design a poster detailing what we can recycle. Well done to Benji from 5B for creating the winning poster! His poster is now displayed on all recycling bins across the school. 

Recycle your old Christmas cards!

As part of our efforts to be a sustainable school, we are supporting the Woodland Trust by taking part in Marks and Spencer's Christmas Card Recycling Scheme. Throughout January the children will be able to recycle their Christmas cards at school by posting them in our designated Christmas Card Bin that will be kept in the school foyer. For every 1000 cards we recycle a new tree will be planted by the Woodland Trust!

 

Thank you to everyone who recycled their Christmas cards at school, 2.5 large bin sacks were collected.

Composting Food Waste Advert Competition

Thank you to all of the children who created an advert for Maidstone Borough Council, we had 41 entries! Congratulations to Rebecca Judd from 4R who has been announced as the runner up!

"Rebecca’s design concept really stood out and we felt she deserved recognition for her work" Nicola Toulson, Education Officer.

You can read more about the competition and our runner up here:

http://www.downsmail.co.uk/news_sport/News/Pupils_play_their_part_to_keep_Maidstone_recycling/

Meeting our Local MP, Helen Whately

Today our Eco-Councillors got to meet with our local MP, Helen Whately. The councillors spoke about all about our eco-initiatives. Helen kindly got involved by helping us to change this month’s air monitoring tube, to measure the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide at the front of the school. We also put up our first bird box, decorated by 5AD! The children confidently spoke about their views for the proposed building of new schools in Pope’s Field. 

Year Two Energy Experts!

We invited Mr Reumel into school to deliver an interactive workshop, all about energy, to our Year Twos. We learnt where electricity comes from and how it reaches our homes. We pretended to be dinosaurs stamping down the earth thousands of years ago, miners mining for coal, trucks delivering the coal to power stations, turbines working inside power stations and the electricity running from pylon to pylon before it reaches our homes. We used a LOT of our own energy and now recognise how important it is to SWITCH IT OFF! 

 Mr Reumel works for a company called Interface. Interface are committed to sustainability and care deeply about our environment, just like we do at St John's. 

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