Category Archives: Eco-Schools

RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch

The School’s Environment Cabinet will be conducting small, coinciding surveys around our school site on Monday February 9th. The results will be uploaded online and help to provide the RSPB with vital data to identify trends in some of our most familiar birds. If you would like to be involved then come and join us at 8.30 am on Monday in the lesser hall where will shall be dividing up the school into smaller sites to be surveyed.


Recycle Ink Cartridges

Please help us minimise our waste and recycle what we can’t use again
Bring all your empty ink cartridges (doesn’t matter what make or model) and old mobiles to the D+T department where they will be picked up by a ‘green’ company who will,  ‘remanufacture and reuse them to their fullest extent.’
You can also drop off all your used batteries which will also be remanufactured and used again.
This means that a greatly reduced amount of new resources and energy is wasted to make these items again. So you will be helping to reduce your carbon footprint and stop harmful greenhouse gases from being created and released into the atmosphere where they absorb heat and cause climate change.
Diolch yn fawr iawn pawb

Natasha Wins Another Award

natasha vincentNatasha Vincent in year 10 has won a Youth Achievement Award.

Natasha is part of the Eco club at school, and aside from the dedicated Eco projects that they carry out, Natasha recently attended the Eco residential through the project.

Natasha’s friends pulled out of the residential but Natasha still went as she knew the benefits of participating in this project far outweighed the fact that she would be on her own.  This situation didn’t last long, as she soon made friends and fitted into the group of other Eco-friendly young people.

Natasha has come back from this residential with some great ideas and strategies for projects to be implemented in the school.

Over the last three years Y Pant School has worked hard to achieve Bronze and Silver Awards for working towards promoting sustainable development, this hard work was celebrated further on the 5th May 2011 when a team of assessors visited the school to meet with the Y Pant Eco-Committee and as a result of this meeting awarded the school an International Green Flag for  outstanding work towards sustainable development.

Less Litter Please!

Over recent weeks members of the Eco-Group have reported that litter on the school site is becoming an issue.  As you know the school has achieved Green Flag status for all its hard work towards Sustainable Issues and Litter has been a focus area.

In our recent review Green Flag Assessors noted:

‘Y Pant is mostly litter-free with some small items found in overgrown areas and borders.  This is a good outcome for a large site’

The Environment Group would like all staff and pupils to use the bins provided please as we have shown that we all do it.  Don’t let standards drop!

Use this...
... to avoid this
...and this
..and this.

Y Pant Eco Schools – Raising Awareness of Recycling

recyclingOn the 27th of June members of the Eco Schools group took part in a workshop to raise awareness of recycling facilities at Y Pant.

The Environment Group have identified Recycling as a priority, it forms part of our whole school Eco-Action Plan.

The group decided that posters should be situated around all school buildings to help make staff and pupils aware of all the facilities available.

Images show some of the recycling facilities situated in the DT Block.


Y Pant School achieves International Green Flag Award

green flag

Over the last three years Y Pant School has worked hard to achieve Bronze and Silver Awards for working towards promoting sustainable development, this hard work was celebrated further on the 5th May 2011 when a team of assessors visited the school to meet with the Y Pant Eco-Committee and as a result of this meeting awarded the school an International Green Flag for outstanding work towards sustainable development.

recyclingThe Eco-Committee worked hard in preparation for the assessment day with year 9 Key Skills pupils presenting one of their excellent assemblies on litter and a group of year 9 pupils providing the assessors with a tour of the school to show them the excellent work they have been involved in .  The group also collected a range of work to show the assessors, which they were very impressed with!

Thanks to Megan Prewett, Chloe Booth-Jones, Charlotte Hamm all year 7 and Bronwen Rees, Amy Knight, Kathryn Davies, Natasha Vincent, Emily Peacock, Georgia Goody and Alex Cheung all year 9 for their involvement on the day!

The Eco-Committee has been working on ways to improve Recycling, Litter and Energy use across the school.  The group made up of pupils from year 7-13 meet at least every half term and over the last three years have met regularly to discuss progress/areas for development.  Some of the excellent work they have been involved in includes:

  • eco-sgolionReviewing the whole school for sustainable issues
  • Litter Pick projects
  • Litter Monitoring
  • Recycling
  • Art Projects
  • Transition Projects
  • Water Monitoring
  • Go Green Days
  • Whole School Signs
  • Developing our Eco-Code
  • Producing the whole school Sustainable Development Policy
  • Sustainability Innovation Groups run by Mr Swallow

A number of curriculum areas and departments helped the School achieve the International Green Flag Award, by showing excellent work in areas such as; Transport, Biodiversity, Recycling, Litter, Water.  A big thank you must also go out to:

  • Learn Smart – for excellent litter project in year 7
  • All COPE pupils for their project work about their local community along with the wide variety of projects they have participated in with ‘Keep Wales Tidy’
  • The MAAT – ‘Enviro-vision’ project initiated and led by Mrs Lloyd-Davies
  • Art Dept – for all the fantastic recycled/Multi Cultural themed masks
  • ICT department for the excellent transition project.
  • All departments involved in the auditing

The assessors were very impressed by the school’s engagement with Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship, and the level of staff and pupil involvement with environmental issues.

The assessors noted:

‘the willingness of the whole school to work on making sustainable changes was demonstrated with an excellent curriculum audit of sustainable development supported by a range of good recycling initiatives’

recycle walesWhat must also be celebrated is the schools grading for litter.  The school was awarded a grade ‘B’ – i.e. mostly litter-free with some small items found in overgrown areas and borders.  This is a good outcome for a large site like ours but remember more can be done.  In two years time when we are next reviewed we will be aiming for the ‘A’ grade of litter-free!

Keep up the good Work!

If you would like to join the Eco-Committee see Mr Stephens or Mr Swallow for more information.

So what does the future hold?

  • The group hope to collect more data on Water usage, Litter and Electricity to establish baseline figures and analyse these over time to drive further action and improvement.  The group hope to show more achievements in sustainable development.
  • Further promotion of the Eco-Schools programme to make it more visible.

Project Re-Design Workshop

Six students from years 12 and 13 attended a Project Re-Design workshop organised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at the National Museum of Wales on 7th March.  The workshop was designed to teach students about the purpose of the Foundation which is to inspire people to re-think, re-design and build a positive future based on sustainable principles.

© Ellen MacArthur Foundation / Picture Perfect Photos
The Y Pant Team with Ellen MacArthur (© Ellen MacArthur Foundation / Picture Perfect Photos)

The whole of the National Museum foyer was given over to the workshops.  An impressive backdrop rooted in history to reinforce the importance of building a sustainable future.

The six students; Andrew Griffin and Daniel Fish in year 13, Amy Jones, Ryan Richi, Peter Simons and Matthew Knight in year 12, started with a group activity to arrange cards into an order or pattern.  The cards had images such as a hawk, leaves, bacteria or faeces on and the group quickly realised we were looking at aspects of the carbon cycle.  In fact cycle was a key word for the day as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is promoting the concept of the “circular economy”.  The group also decided on the name “Odyssey” as their group name.

Team working
The team get to work

Next came an inspiring presentation accompanied by videos from Dame Ellen MacArthur herself.  She told us about her journey from a school girl saving her dinner money to sailing solo non-stop around the world at the age of 24, then later setting the record for the fastest non-stop solo voyage a few years later.  She also explained why and how she had realised that the challenge of creating a sustainable future for the planet was a far bigger and more important challenge than anything she had undertaken before.

EMF logo
Click to visit the website of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Foundation sees the importance of creative thinking and we tried for ourselves a plastic bag that disintegrates safely in warm water within a matter of minutes, and heard about fully biodegradable ice cream cartons in Germany that contain the seeds of rare plants.

Finally students were set the challenge of the day.  They were given an hour and a half to come up with creative solutions to putting all our rubbish in landfill sites.  Teachers were taken away so they were on their own!  The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works with 5 companies as their “Founding Partners” and experts from these companies (Renault, B&Q, BT, Cisco Systems and National Grid) were on hand to give students advice on their presentations.

Over lunch the ideas of each team were judged.  Teachers returned to their groups once we had eaten and got our first look at the ideas of our teams.  I was very impressed with the creative ideas they had come up with.  These included community based allotments and the idea of using social networking (a “recyclebook”) so that the waste product from one company could become the raw material for another.

The five best groups were chosen to present their ideas, in 3 minutes, to everyone else.  Having seen the quality of their work it came as no surprise to me that the Y Pant team “Odyssey” were chosen to present.  The team were given no warning that they would be presenting (life is like that sometimes!) but had already decided that Amy Jones and Matthew Knight would stand up on behalf of all of them.  Their presentation was clear and effective but the questions that came afterwards were hard-hitting.  Little did the the audience realise however that they were addressing their questions to the very same Amy Jones who recently debated at the Cambridge Union at that university’s school debating competition final and who, this weekend will be doing the same again at Oxford University.  Questions were handled confidently and the Y Pant team were not subject to the repeated questioning of other teams.

Sadly this stellar performance was not enough to win the prize on the day (a week-long fully paid internship with one of the Founding Partners) but the Y Pant team had an enjoyable day and we all have a lot of food for thought now.  The day itself was very professionally organised (something the students commented on) and sets a high standard for future such events.

National Museum
The National Museum of Wales in Cardiff: an inspiring historical setting in which to think creatively about the future

We need your old clothes!

For the Eco Schools project we are gathering up clothes/bedding/towels etc. to re-use them. The best will be used in a fashion show and to make costumes for Peter Pan,the rest will create other products like scrunchies / plastic bag holders etc.

So over half-term – have a look in your wardrobe, under the bed or in the airing cupboard and please bring us any clothes, bedding or towels that you no longer use.

Any money we make from these recycling projects will be used to enhance recycling around the school.

Eco Committee Meeting Autumn Term 2010

The Y Pant Eco Committee held a meeting for the newly joined committee members.

The new members are: Chloe Booth Jones, Charlie Summers, Cory Davies-Smith, Alex Taylor, Amy Knight, Daniel Emberlin, Juliet Johns, Sophie Wiggins, Sam Maybank, Verity Donoghue, Bryce Marshall, Emily Peacock, Natasha Vincent, Alisha Major, Mollie May Wilcox, Hannah Pryer, Will Brown, James Evans, Nikita John, Conner Smith, Lewis Thomas-Cummings.

Mr Stephens and Mr Swallow discussed with us the aims and objectives for the new school year and told us about what we were planning on doing to help the environment.

The Eco Committee is going to apply for a Green Flag – a recognition for our help and contributions towards the environment. There are only a few comprehensive schools in RCT which have been awarded these flags so we are definitely going to do our best to get one!