News and Stories

Risley Lower Grammar School win our Termly Topic Award for Spring 1!

Congratulations to Risley Lower Grammar Primary School in Derby – we are delighted to announce that their inspirational and hugely impressive work on our Waste topic has won our Termly Topic Award for Spring Term One – keep an eye out for the postman: some Eco-freebies are on their way!

Risley’s project began when their Eco-Committee were challenged by a member of their PTA to see if they could run a recycling project focusing on crisp packets as Walker’s had recently announced (for the first time ever) that crisp packets could be recycled and turned into watering cans, benches and even handbags: Risley’s Green Team were delighted to accept the challenge!

Risley’s fantastic Eco-Coordinator Michelle researched crisp packet recycling and found that Walkers (in collaboration with Terracycle) were offering a free crisp packet recycling scheme to earn points for a charitable cause: for every 2kg of crisp packets you could earn 200 points with each point being worth a penny. The Green Team decided that any money they raised through the scheme would be put towards litter picking equipment: just in time for the Great Big School Clean!

Risley uses Class Dojo, an online app, that allows them to communicate with parents and the Green Team decided to run the scheme solely through the app and via word of mouth. Each class was given a recycling bag and the recycling project was set up as a competition running for a total of 4 weeks: the fantastic prize was a whole class eco arts and crafts session ran by their dedicated Eco-Coordinator.

The whole school really bought into the competition: during lunchtime the Green Team worked tirelessly to encourage packed lunchers to recycle their crisp packets and friendly teacher rivalry ensured all staff were on board – even the lunchtime staff! For Step 6: Monitoring and Evaluation the Green team did regular count-ups displaying the results on their Eco-Board as well as on the Class Dojo app. Michelle also used Class Dojo to encourage children to ask their friends, families and even local businesses to donate their crisp packets for recycling: great for Eco-School’s Step 5: Informing and Involving! One child had a family member who worked in a police station and the entire station began collecting for her, another’s family worked in a university and she, individually, managed to collect over 500 crisp packets!  Leading the way, Michelle even posted on her own social media to ask her friends and family to collect crisp packets!

On the 31st January, when the competition ended, the Green Team and their Coordinator were the most popular people in school – everyone (including teachers) was desperate to know who had won the competition. The Green teamers counted them up in smaller groups, so they couldn’t cheat and find out the winners before the big announcement! Risley’s Headteacher Paul was delighted to announce that the school had managed to collect over 4,000 crisp packets and the winners (to everyone’s surprise) was the Rabbits class, who are the youngest class in the school!

Everyone in the school enjoyed the competition so much there are plans to make it an annual event. In the meantime, to continue the momentum, The Green Team has set up a regular recycling station and also signed up with Mcvities to recycle biscuit, cake and cracker wrappers. The children have become more aware of recycling due to the competition and have since made many positive changes at home such as swapping to non pre-packaged fruit and vegetables.

Eco-Coordinator Michelle says:

“I have to thank my fantastic Green Team though, they gave up lunchtimes to count crisp packets, tirelessly promoted our cause and set such a fantastic example to the rest of the school!”

Fantastic Effort Risley – If you would like to be an Eco-Schools termly topic winner, feature on our website and get a box of Eco-Schools goodies for your Eco-Committee submit your story here before your school breaks up for Easter!