Pupils get planting to enhance Peterborough school’s eco-credentials

A Peterborough primary school is on a mission to enhance its school site by creating a nature-friendly outdoor space.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 7:42 am
Pupils at Northborough Primary School in the school grounds

Following the pandemic, schools have had to work in different ways, and the use of outdoor space has been key in being able to deliver both learning opportunities, as well as meet the mental and physical needs of students.

With the support of PECT, an environmental charity based in Peterborough, Northborough Primary School has recently planted 180 trees and a variety of wildflowers to help enhance their outdoor area and encourage pollinators to visit. Students have also built bird and bat boxes, created natural bird feeders and have started to grow their own food.

The school is part of PECT’s Eco Charter, which is a flexible accreditation that allows schools to demonstrate the steps they have taken to enhance students’ and staff knowledge of sustainability and implement long-term behaviour change.

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Andrea Jackson, Deputy Headteacher at Northborough Primary School, said: “Through our Eco Charter work with PECT, we have been able to develop our outdoor space. We are creating nature corridors to enhance biodiversity and attract more wildlife to the site, planting a cathedral of trees for the children to be able to take part in outdoor lessons, a den building area for free play, as well as areas which will be left for nature to thrive in.

“After PECT’s support, we are much better equipped to use the outdoor space in a more focussed way. Their input, support and knowledgeable staff have already had a positive impact which we hope to keep building upon.”

Stuart Mallott, Headteacher at the school added: “It’s been great to see how the outdoor space has evolved to the benefit of the children.”

Staff have also taken part in training so they can fully utilise their outdoor space for a wide range of activities which encourages students to learn about their natural environment.

Heidi Latronico-Ferris, Environmental Educational Lead at PECT, said: “All the students have really loved helping to create a sustainable area that they can benefit from in both their learning and in free play at break times. The school have also set up a ‘Planet Protector’ group and have started to come up with further ideas on what else they can do next. We are excited to see how their journey develops and how the school will take further steps in becoming more sustainable.

“Our Eco Charter is leading the way nationally – embedding knowledge of sustainability issues into classes to inspire the next generation of forward-thinking students.”

For more information on the Eco Charter, visit the PECT website - www.pect.org.uk