We are a Green Flag Eco School!
Eco-Schools in an International Award that recognises when schools are making considerable achievements in being an eco-friendly environment which prepares children to live their future lives with consideration for global issues.
Earlier this year, the film crew from CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) visited St Helen’s to find out how we help the children to understand the Pope Francis’ new act of mercy; Care for our Common Home.
The children were able to explain how they see the world now and the damage that is being done and express their hopes for the future. They were clear that Pope Francis has inspired them and that we have a duty to care for the gift of our world, given to us by God.
Please take a few moments to watch.
We re-accredited for the Green Flag Award in 23rd March 2020 to recognise the children’s hard work in ensuring that the school is Eco-friendly.
Please click the image below to read our action plan.
Our eco-committee includes children from Yr 1 to Yr 6 and some are in different clubs, including the Mini Vinnies, Gardening and School Council.
Mrs Doherty, Mr Smith, Miss Reynolds, Mr Fox and
Mrs Doherty, Mr Myers, Miss Odufuye and Miss Taylor
Thank you for the world we live in.
Guide us to follow the Word of the Lord, giving us the strength to look after
our environment, keeping it clean and safe, showing its beauty.
We pray that we can follow your teachings,
showing kindness to others,
and giving thanks for all that is good in our lives.
Help us to mirror you Lord,
through each day and night as we strive to keep our world a great place.
The Eco Schools Programme is divided into 9 topics
The school continues to ensure that the school grounds are litter free by having several bins located in different areas and regular whole school litter picking sessions.
As part of ensuring that we produce minimal waste at St Helen's we use class based compost bins which are frequently emptied into the main school composter. The compost produced from this bin is then used by the gardening club, Forest School and Science curriculum.
- The school kitchen also has a food waste bin that is regularly weighed and monitored to ensure that progress is made with cutting down food waste.
- We continue to liaise well with several recycling companies to ensure that we recycle all used ink cartridges and toners as well as dried up pens.
- The Woodlands Area has increased the biodiversity within the school as we now have log piles, invertebrate inns, butterfly house, bird boxes and feeders in this area to encourage local wildlife.
- The area encourages small mammals such as squirrels as there is an abundance of their food supply.
- The school pond is well established with a self-contained classroom where small groups can investigate the many species of water insects. This provides lots of opportunities for learning throughout the school through pond dipping and plant observations within the Science curriculum and promotes plenty of cross curricular links.
- We promote walking or cycling to school to increase children's fitness and to have a positive impact on the environment. We have Walk to School Week twice a year in October and May and complete our Hands-Up travel survey every April.
- 24 Children from Year 5 complete Levels 1 and 2 ‘Bike Ability Training’ every year now. First the children learned techniques such as signalling and stopping quickly as well as road safety and bike maintenance.
St Helen's achieved Healthy Schools Bronze award in May 2014, Silver Award in April 2015 and continue to maintain this.
Every classroom has potted plants allowing children to take responsibility for living things
The school has signed up to Newham's Healthy Schools Scheme and has run workshops for parents and Key Stage One children on Healthy Living. Miss Bode delivers a Healthy Eating Workshop for parents.
- Our Mini Vinnies group work alongside our school council to highlight a range of issues from around the world.
- Through our annual Citizenship week topics the children are able to consider what small things they can do to encourage the community to think about the wider world. In years 3 and 4 the children made leaflets advertising the St. Vincent de Paul society for parents. Years 5 and 6 wrote letters to Harvester to encourage them to donate excess food the Anchor House a local charity house.
- The school has been accredited with International Schools Award and has links with Dutch schools.
- Since starting the Eco-Schools scheme the gardening club have invested time in improving the plant life of the school with several different vegetable, plant and flower beds in various areas of the school grounds.
- The new hard court for basketball and PE lessons is well used by all children across the school promoting healthy lifestyles.
- The eco committee have made posters to encourage children to look after the school pond and to inform them on the wildlife that has now developed.
- The Woodland Area that was a new addition to the school in September 2012 has increased the school's wildlife possibilities. This is home to several different species of insects and bugs.
- As the woodlands area provided so many opportunities the school decided to develop a 2nd woodlands area that is situated within the pre-school grounds. This provides the younger children an immediate area to explore. The Gardening club have developed a mini beast bug hotel in this area too.
- Miss Morgan has embedded a rich forest school curriculum which targets all chn to explore their natural environment and promotes team building exercises.
- We continue to monitor the water readings and water bills for the school. By monitoring this information we can hope to decrease our water consumption.
- Every classroom continues to have 2 energy monitors per week who are in charge of ensuring that windows and external doors are closed and that lights or electrical equipment are switched off when the class leaves the room.
- We continue to monitoring the gas and electricity readings for the school and display them on our regularly updated Eco Status display. By monitoring this information we can hope to further decrease our energy consumption.
- The possibility of installing Solar Panels in order to try and save energy has been investigated. Unfortunately this was far too expensive for school funding; however the eco-committee will ensure that if Government grants for solar panelling become available we will look into this.