Tag Archives: Eco Schools

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.

Y Pant Win Envirovision 2011!

Llongyfarchiadau to the 12 Y Pant pupils who won Eurovision 2011!

Sophie Thomas, Jacqueline Hopkins, Brogan Falshaw-Skelly, Rebecca Davies, James Duggan, Arran Watt, Rhydian John, James Davies, Megan Thomas, Faye Jones, Ethan Ridsdale and Aaron Parsons performed fantastically well at the Muni on 12th July.

We’ll have more details and hopefully some photos soon!


Year 7 Learn Smart Litter Project

The Learn Smart Litter project was designed to complement the school’s application for the Eco-School International Green Flag. It was evident that litter was a problem within the school and could be tackled in positive and exciting way through the Learn Smart Programme. The project encouraged Year 7 pupils to carry out a body of research as well as trying to offer solutions to the problem. They would then present their findings as part of a celebration to the whole year group.

The Presentations were excellent and clearly all pupils enjoyed taking part as well as watching the activities. Each registration class were able to deliver a successful presentation and were able to get their message across about their findings. Presentations included; songs, power point presentation, fashion show, role play, displays of work and speeches.

I want to congratulate all the Year 7 pupils and the Learn Smart staff in working so hard in preparing for the day!  Diolch yn fawr!

Sustrans Valleys Cycling Competition

sustrans competition

Get snapping for your chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Sustrans is a charity that campaigns for sustainable transport.  They are most well known for promoting cycling as a way of getting about.  As well as the newly opened Church Village Bypass community route, there are several other cycle paths in the area.  This summer Sustrans are very excited to be opening some fabulous traffic-free family friendly walking and cycling paths across the south Wales valleys.

They are running a photography competition this summer:

Let your imagination run wild! Photography experience not needed, just unleash your creativity. You can snap people, scenery, wildlife, historic landmarks, your child’s first ride without stabilisers. All we ask is that you take them along the Network in the Valleys.

Finalists will be exhibited at the ever popular Big Cheese Festival at Caerphilly Castle on 30th and 31st July. Festival goers will vote for their favourite to decide the winners.

How to enter

Send all your entries to sightscameraaction@sustrans.org.uk along with your name, address, contact telephone number, the route name and/or number where your photo was taken and a photo description of no more than 100 words.

Closing date is 26th June 2011.

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

School Council Minutes 12th October

SchoolCouncilWelcome & Attendance


Mrs B Cheetham (Assistant Headteacher)

Mrs Caroline Wool (School Community Development Officer)

Mr A. Gowman (School Burser)

Mr Richard Eynon (E3+ Co-ordinator)

Year 13: Tom Grother, Harriett Costello

Year 12: Rhiannon Falshaw-Skelly

Year 11: Helen Needs, Matthew Ingram, Ben Hopkins

Year 10: Alysha Kettley, Aaron Parsons

Year 9: Sophie Gibbons, Leah Eyre, Alex Hickman, Callum Wareham

Year 8: Toni Russell

Year 7: Lauren Billet, Ioan Davies

BC welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced all new members.

Minutes from last meeting

No minutes from last meeting were discussed.  CW explained the role of the council and future committee skills training.  CW to arrange training.

BC explained the need for the council to set objectives for the year which identifies ways to move the school forward.

All representatives need to meet with class reps, HOY and speak during year assemblies to give feedback from meeting and establish agenda items for next meeting.


RE explained the success of the E3+ project over the last 3 years and highlighting the decrease in participation from KS4 onwards.  This could be as a result of academic workload or outside school commitments.  RE explained that the new funding criteria for the project, stipulates that we need to increase participation of KS 4 and 5.

RE requires a pilot group to look at the future planning needs of yr10+.  All council members from yr10+ to be part of this pilot group with 3 representatives form yr9.  Each member to nominate an additional 3 reps from yr 10-13.


As part of the school action plan, one of the targets is to look at how PSE is delivered and how it can be improved.

Mr Duggan, together with Mrs Cheetham, is developing a new structure for the delivery of PSE with yr 9+ receiving a qualification at the end of KS4.

A working group needs to be established to identify what should be included and how it can be delivered to have a more effective impact on students.

Members discussed the need for professionals to come and deliver such sessions as drug and alcohol, posters advertising services available within the school and the wider community, need for easier and more confidential access to services, and for sessions to be more hard hitting in its approach.

Agenda for next meeting.

Healthy Schools

The healthy school initiative is being led by Mrs Mortimer and last academic year the school achieved the first leaf of 6 needed to complete project and achieve healthy school status.

The council have been instrumental in developing the canteen healthy food menu, meeting the catering manger, Karen Morris to give student feedback on quality, cost etc of food being sold.  As from this Monday, a cashless system has been introduced.  The school will now be able to monitor what is being sold and parents will be able to request reports detailing pupil’s menu choices.

CW to arrange for Karen Morris to attend the next meeting.

Eco Schools

Previously it was suggested that the school council would become automatic members of the eco schools committee.  This is now not the case.  As from September, Mr Swallow, the newly appointed geography teacher, will be establishing an environment club which will feed into the eco schools committee.


Council has a £500 budget.  Members to look at options for spending the budget and feedback at next meeting.

Health & Safety

Council members can highlight health & safety issues in between meeting to the main office.  Issues highlighted at this meeting:-

  • Drainage problems throughout school.
  • Stair access to language block gets very slippery in wet weather.
  • Mats at the entrance of new block have disintegrated, AG to look at purchasing new mats for both of these areas.
  • Need to restrict access to the school during break and lunch time.  Agenda this for next meeting.

Any Other Business

AG distributed booklets for the proposed shelter areas from the new block and at the memorial bed adjacent to the lesser hall.  Council members to give feedback on preferred option.

School discipline to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

Members highlighted that visitors to the school do not where the school is.  Need to make signage more visible, proposed that this could be a project via the e3+ programme.

Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 18th November 2010 @ 9.30am in room 27.

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!