Welcome to Eco Group!

This is the place to find all the most interesting information about what St Christopher's does to help the environment.

We hope you find it both informative and inspiring!

What is Eco Group?

St Christopher's has had an in-house eco group established for eight years now. For the past few years, we have held a successful annual Summer Eco Fair. This community liaison led to the establishment of the Hyndburn and Ribble Eco Cluster Group. This group meets every half-term and regularly liaises between itself and shares ideas/resources and often pupils help out at each other's schools. Recently, St Christopher's won the regional Green Schools Revolution award from the Co-op in part due to our work within the community, primarily other schools.

In 2011 as a finalist for NPower's Climate Cops Awards, the eco-group decided to get their local community involved with their sustainability work. After much debate, they felt the most useful thing they could do, was to encourage the community to grow their own produce. Having to source everything themselves, they had to think of a low-cost option. They decided they would ask people to pledge to grow their own veg and in return, they were given a starter pot containing onions and garlic. One of our first points of contact was Ian Hodgson, at the Prospects Foundation. He kindly helped kick-start our project by helping us first to make an 'infomercial'.

Additional help from school contacts through our PTA provided unwanted ice cream tubs, in which pupils drilled drainage holes and SITA, the local waste management company handling the borough's compost, provided three tonnes of 'local' compost to fill then pots.

Pledge 4 Veg was sown!

 

Brussels

Being invited to speak in European Parliament is one of the proudest moments of my life, it's not something many teenagers can add to their list of achievements and with Brexit looming, not something British teens of the future will be able to do/say either.

It's not just about us though. While in Belgium, we actually had the privilege of speaking with a number of MEPs on the subject of Brexit and how we feel it impacts us as the younger generation. They actually listened to our views and ideas and upon our return, we learned that what we said to them has actually had an impact on Brexit legislation. We may not have had a voice in the referendum, but it is amazing to know that our thoughts are actually valued! (Chloe Bonner, Year 11)

On 20th November there was a day to commemorate the world's children. It was a time to reflect on the many positives of our modern day lives as children yet to also look to the many challenges that a significant number of children face in our world. The issue of children rights is not something that will go away without work and as young people, it is a problem that defines our lives. Children account for nearly half of the world's population living in extreme poverty and it's not just in the poorer countries. One in four children is living in poverty in the world's richest countries. It is not right that any person should have to deal with the hardship of poverty never mind children such as ourselves that reply deeply on a parent's income. Luckily the Eco team was given an opportunity to make a difference and fight the battle for children's rights: for our rights. This godsend came in the form of a trip to Brussels; something that another member have elaborated on. (Evie Brass, Year 11)

On the 20th November 2017, twenty-one of our eco students went to Brussels. Whilst we were there we had the unique opportunity to talk in the European parliament. We talked to MEP Julie Ward about many issues attached to children rights including fracking, homelessness, education and many more important topics that are all very close to our hearts. We also got to sit in a Brexit meeting, where we had the opportunity to ask many questions about the effects of Brexit on the young people of Britain. Overall this was an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity that we will never forget. (Philippa Iddon, Year 11) 

MEEN Conference

The Four Nations conference was an amazing opportunity to listen to people from all around the UK, who have a passion for sustainability and trying to save our planet. It was inspirational to listen to people with passion, but also to see how just crossing a border can make such a difference in how sustainability is introduced throughout the curriculum. As well as getting the chance to listen to others talk, we were given a chance to tell a room full of adults about our experiences of eco within the curriculum. Sadly, in England, it doesn't feature very heavily, so we didn't have too much to share from within the classroom. However, we were able to describe some of the outstanding opportunities that our Eco Group has given us. It was an honour to give all of these people new ideas about how even just a little can make a huge difference when it comes to sustainable development. (Chloe Bonner, Year 11)

 

Polytunnel Re-covering

Over the Christmas holidays, we had our very productive poly-tunnel refurnished by First Tunnels, with a new plastic covering. It's now ready for a new year of growing!

We have already been planting this year's crops in the polytunnel. So far, we've planted:

Raised bed number

Previously (2017)

Now (2018)

1

Salad Leaves / Radish

Coriander

2

Kiwi Plant

-

3

Tomato / Asparagus / Mint / Basil

Beetroot

4

Onion / Leek / Spring Onions

Potatoes

5

Peas / Beans

Onions / Leek / Spring onions

6

Beetroot / Spinach

-

7

Broad Beans / Sweet peas

Courgettes

8

Potatoes

Salad Leaves / Radish

9

Potatoes

Peas / Beans

10

Courgettes

Peas / Beans

11

Parsnip / Carrots

 

Tomatoes

12

Rhubarb / Comfrey

Rhubarb

 

Variety Show

Back in December we hosted a variety show, dedicated Megan Lee in the hall at lunchtime to raise money to buy generic epi pens for our pupils. Millie's Smiles, Maundy Relief and East Lancashire Hospice also benefited. The performers were excellent, having been mentored by Sixth Form performing arts students for a number of weeks leading up to their performances. As ever, the show also included some special appearances from our esteemed staff members. The reviews were astonishing and everyone had a great time. 

Jane Goodall's 'Roots & Shoots' Awards 2019 

On Thursday 8th March, a group of textiles students and Eco Group members travelled down to London, to take part in Jane Goodall's 'Roots & Shoots' annual conference and awards, which was held at the Barbican Centre.

There, we presented our eco-friendly outfits in the infamous 'St Christopher's Trashion Show', whilst being judged by both an authentic fashion designer and an executive from People Tree.

Congratulations to the winners, Annabel Clegg (Year 13) with her conspiracy theory inspired neck-piece, Courtney Rawstron (Year 10) who came in second with her piece 'Reading Between the Lines' and Libby Whitham (Year 9) who took third place with her piece, 'Plastic! Not So Fantastic'.

Whilst in London, we were also treated to dinner at Leon's Restaurant, indulging in a wide range of natural and organic dishes. To top off a fantastic trip, we went to see the West End's number one musical, 'The Lion King', which we all thoroughly enjoyed. (Leah Hodges & Charlotte Thorpe, Year 12) 

 

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15 November 2018

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