Newcastle upon Tyne primary pupils learn about stewardship, recycling and the environment

Young campaigners at a Newcastle upon Tyne primary school have been promoting environmental awareness during a special eco day.

All year groups at St John Vianney Primary School, West Denton, took part in the event which was the inspiration of the school’s eco group.

“Green Day was an idea which came from the Eco Warrior meetings,” explained teacher Katherine Dolphin, Eco Co-ordinator at the school which is a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust.

“One of our Key Stage 1 Eco Warriors is very passionate about protecting our planet and the environment, and said that we should have special days just to dedicate to saving the planet. The whole school took part in the day, from Nursery up to Year 6 – our Nursery Teacher even had two Green Days to ensure all the children in Nursery could take part.

“All the staff and children were encouraged to wear something green to mark that as a collective we were taking part in Green Day to help the environment,” she continued. 

“The Eco Warriors encouraged staff not to buy new items of clothing, but instead to reuse and recycle wherever possible.”

The children also participated in a range of activities based around themes of stewardship, recycling and the environment.

The nursery class took part in a litter-pick and made musical instruments from recycled material. Reception children fashioned models from recycled items, learnt about waste and litter, and enjoyed a litter-picking song.

The creativity continued in Year 1, where the children produced ‘Save the Oceans’ artwork from single-use plastic, while Year 2 made mini-beast ‘bug hotels’ using sticks, leaves and stones, and looked at which materials can be composted and which reused.

In Year 4, the group designed products to improve the environment; in Year 5, they made lighthouses from recycled materials, as well as leading younger children in a lunch-time litter pick; and, in Year 6, they studied deforestation and the destruction of the rainforest.

“The aim of Green Day was to educate all members of the school community on ways to be more sustainable and to look after the planet,” added Miss Dolphin. “As a Catholic school, we learn about being ‘stewards of the Earth’, and this was also central to the day.

“We feel it’s very important to give children the opportunity to experience learning in a variety of ways. We think designating specific days of the year to celebrate different areas of the curriculum is a great way of promoting a love for those areas.”



Story by Donna Semmens, Barking Dog Media