Wild Challenge is a call - to get up, get out and get wild! It's a challenge for us to connect with the natural world in brave new ways - to reach out and touch it and meet it head-on, up-close and personal.
At Blackwell, we have been working hard and have achieved gold - the top level of award!
The children have taken part in activities such as:
"I Spy Wildlife"
"The Big School Birdwatch"
"Homes for Amphibians"
"Homes for Mammals"
Blackwell has officially achieved the "Bronze Award" for Food for Life. The school office and the PTA group have co-ordinated and led this project and children from every class have had the chance to take part in different roles. Our school was specially selected as a "showcase school" where we hosted other FFL schools on a celebration day to share our journey and progress so far.
We now have a weekly gardening club (run by Mr White), "Let's Get Cooking" club (run by Mrs Huskinson), Outdoor Schools (run by Mrs Simmonds) and have established a School Nutrition Action Group.
We have worked very hard to improve our awareness and opportunities for pupils to learn all about food, have practical knowledge of growing and caring for plants, knowing where food comes from and how to maintain environmental sustainability. We will now be working hard towards our Silver Award. For more details please see our Food for Life page here and check out our regularly updated Food for Life blog.
Green Ambassadors, the WWF flagship programme for schools, is all about encouraging a new generation of sustainability champions. As well as tools to help the 'green team', school has access to a range of curriculum linked resources on topical environmental issues.
For more information click here.
This programme is a free, national recycling solution for typically hard-to-recycle waste streams. At Blackwell, we have joined all of the schemes to which we were eligible, to make an even better impact on our planet. More information is available here.
The innocent Big Grow is a project run by Innocent Smoothies alongside GIY (Grow It Yourself) to help kids be healthy by growing their own veg in school and at home.
As part of the campaign the school gardening club, office and PTA have planted lots of seeds with the children and these have formed the backbone of our school gardens. We have even had success on Twitter by showcasing our star growers - these were retweeted by Innocent and seen right across the UK and Ireland. We are very proud of them! For more info, please see here.
The Glass Guardians campaign asks pupils aged 7-11 to become Glass Guardians with an exciting recycling education project in partnership with British Glass and Friends of Glass. It encourages pupils to see the importance of recycling glass for maintaining the world they live in.
At Blackwell, our Lower Key Stage 2 class have taken part in many activities and entered a competition based on the theme of recycling. We had our own stall at our recent summer fayre to highlight the great work our guardians have produced. We have been featured as a case study school, which can be found by clicking here! For more information, click here.
Blackwell has been taking part in the Grow Wild "Flowers to the People" scheme during 2018. Sponsored by the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, this programme provides school with native wildflower seeds (specially grown to have native provenance, which means they were grown by specialist growers in England) which the children have used to beautify our outdoor space.
For more information on Grow Wild, including what we have planted around school, please click here.
For more information about the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, (and for some handy growing tips if you would like to join in at home!) please see their website.
BLACKWELL PRIMARY SCHOOL
Blackwell Primary School has achieved the School Games Silver Mark Award for the 2017/18 academic year.
The School Games Mark is a Government led award scheme launched in 2012, facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community, and we are delighted to have been recognised for our success.
Many of our pupils competed in local inter-school competitions this year, and we are extremely proud of their dedication to all aspects of school sport, also including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible.
As part of our application, we were asked to fulfil criteria in the areas of participation, competition, workforce and clubs, and we are pleased that the hard work of everyone at our school has been rewarded this year. Well done to everybody involved!
The Eco-Schools Green Flag is an internationally recognised award for excellence in environmental action and learning.
As part of our plans to upgrade our outdoor provision, we are aiming to become more environmentally friendly and will be working hard on our "eco schools" award. More information is available by clicking here.
The Green Tree Schools Award rewards schools for completing environmental projects and encouraging outdoor learning. It enhances the school's green credentials while inspiring youngsters about woods and trees. We have achieved the bronze and silver awards, and are now working towards gold!
We have received a hedge growing pack recently and we will be growing our own berries and fruit! More information can be found here.
"Unlocking Potential, Providing Opportunities, Achieving Goals"
The Better Energy School Awards aim to assist and encourage environmental education for young people aged 5-11. They promote cross-curricular work on the environment and ANY work done at school covering any kind of environmental issue. The Better Energy School Awards for excellence in environmental education link with the National Curriculum for England and Wales and the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.
Blackwell entered the 2017-18 awards with our project "Blackwell Sensory Garden" and, while unfortunately not winning an award, were nevertheless commended for our hard work and recognised as an exciting project with future scope. We submitted an entry to the 2018-19 awards with additional work and projects completed - we will keep you updated as to our progress!
For more information on the awards, please click here.
Blackwell has participated in the 2018 and 2019 Sunflower campaigns. Seed distribution begins in January each year and seeds have once again been sent to places across the UK.
Sunflowers are also being grown in Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Croatia, the USA, New Zealand and Costa Rica and for the second time the project is being joined by many people growing sunflowers in memory of Emil, who was diagnosed with myotubular myopathy in 2016.
Every child at Blackwell had the opportunity to grow a sunflower and we have expanded this into a competition to see who could grow the largest flower! At our summer fayre we had a display of all the participants and presented prizes to the largest sunflowers grown by pupils in each class. The winners won a special garden stake and more seeds to continue growing next year!
For more information on the campaign, please click here.
The Healthy School Communities model views ‘health’ as physical, social and emotional wellbeing. It strives to build health into all aspects of life at school and in the community, to enhance collaborative working, and improve outcomes for children, young people and their families.
A broad range of health topics are covered, which include physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and emotional wellbeing, relationships and sexual health, personal safety, life skills, substance misuse, alcohol misuse and the prevention of uptake of smoking.
Research evidence shows that education and health are closely linked. Therefore promoting the health and wellbeing of pupils within schools has the potential to improve their educational outcomes, as well as their health and wellbeing outcomes. For more info, click here.
This year, we have set a goal to participate in as many awards schemes and initiatives as we can, to enable opportunities for all the children to take part in extra curricular activities. We are currently working towards a number of awards and these are detailed below.
At Blackwell Primary School, we believe that every child and their parents should have the opportunity to take part in activities that lead to wider community recognition. We have worked hard to gain awards that are nationally recognised and we have had success in a number of competitions.
Compassionate Class is a innovative new programme from the RSPCA that encourages children to develop compassion and empathy through the lens of animal welfare.
Designed to support schools promote SMSC and deliver PSHE/PSE for 7-11 year olds, Compassionate Class takes an interactive, discussion-based approach to develop emotional literacy and consider the welfare needs of animals.
Through a series of enquiry-led activities, children will consider what it means to be compassionate, understand the needs of different types of animals, and work collaboratively to develop empathy skills for their school lives and beyond. For more information click here.
The campaign for school gardening is a rewards scheme is made up of five levels. It provides achievable goals which help to turn the school garden and grounds into a valuable learning resource.
With the hard work of our gardening club and our eco ambassadors, Blackwell has worked through the levels of award and we are now an RHS Five Star Gardening School - this is the highest level that can be achieved and we are very proud to have earned this award.
For more information on the RHS campaign for school gardening, please click here and keep an eye on our Twitter page for updates.