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Last week, we continued our campaign to ‘green Nottingham’ by planting 300 English Oak Trees by donating 25 Trees to 4 schools; Victoria Primary School, Stanstead Nursery & Primary School, Horsendale Primary and Old Basford Primary School.
We started the week with a visit to Victoria Primary school who took 10 of our English Oak Trees as part of their Forest school activities. They already have a dedicated school site with a small wood, vegetable and fruit garden and extensive playing fields.
The Forest school experience not only gives their pupil’s the opportunity to get outside but importantly helps them learn how to work cooperatively as well as offering opportunities for them to take risks, make choices and initiate learning. Victoria Primary school also use their Forest School lessons as an opportunity to enhance different areas of the National Curriculum and regularly carry out science, geography and art related activities outside.
Jola Walker, Outdoor Learning and Forest School Leader for Victoria Primary School “Planting trees with children in the school grounds means so much more than just adding an attractive feature to our outdoor space. The oak trees donated by Robin Hood Energy will have a positive impact on our children, wildlife and the local community. The growing trees empower children into realising that they can make a difference for the wildlife and the environment. Through projects like this our children are learning of the ecological benefits of planting trees and how their actions can protect and preserve the environment.
Planting the oak trees will give the children ‘a sense of belonging’. It is as if the children are literally putting down roots in their community.”
The next stop was a visit to Stanstead Nursery & Primary School on Tuesday the 1st October, who also took 10 Oak trees for their young, but expanding mini woodland. The school has a dedicated Eco team, comprising of 2 children from each class of the school. They are chosen by their fellow classmates and must show concern and awareness of environmental issues around school and in the wider community.
William Smee, Stanstead Primary School Teacher & ECO Team Leader has been working with his Eco team to create a fantastic mini forest on their school grounds. “Outside the classroom the ECO team have been busy planting trees – over 50 in the past 4 years – to create a forest area for our school field. We have also built bird boxes for the wooded footpath next to the school as well as maintaining a healthy and productive school allotment. Last year we also added the mini-beast area and sensory garden to the varied environment children can enjoy around school.
Recently, with the help of Robin Hood Energy we were able to add a further 12 oak trees to our expanding forest area, which the children loved. All the children vowed to come back to school when they were ‘grown up,’ to walk through the majestic forest.”
We ended the week with two trips on Thursday, starting with a visit to Horsendale Primary who we donated 3 trees too. Amanda Smalley is Acting Head Teacher at Horsendale Primary school said she was delighted that her pupils could play a role in the campaign. “At Horsendale, we are very keen on taking care of our outdoor spaces and children understanding the issues and solutions to support the environment for future generations. We hope that by taking part in the campaign that it will bring home to each and every pupil that they too can affect change, and we hope that the trees will still be here, and thriving many years into the future.”
Horsendale pupils are already extremely conscious of the world around them and understand the positive impact oak trees can have on the environment. Nine-year-old Taylor Mather said, “We have been chosen to help to plant the new trees which is good for the environment. I think I have been chosen because I like helping Miss Foster with gardening, and planting trees helps to keep the air clean.”
Finally, we finished the week by donating 2 trees to Old Basford, one for the school grounds and one which they will look after until it can be planted at Stockhill park and be enjoyed by the rest of their local community. Old Basford School is committed to bringing the outside into the classroom and the kids were excited to plant their trees and ecstatic to see Robin Hood as part of their schools 50th birthday celebrations.
Mrs Vicky Shaw, Head Teacher said “Old Basford School are PROUD to provide enriching experiences that enhance our pupils understanding and knowledge of the world around them. We are a caring community of citizens and encourage one another to learn from nature and from our local environment. We were delighted to collaborate with Robin Hood Energy last week, and sincerely thank them for their generous donation of allowing us to plant a tree, as a part of our school buildings 50th birthday celebrations. The children all thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet Robin Hood.”
It’s been a pleasure visiting all the amazing schools last week and seeing the children’s interest in the environment and the future of our planet. We’re extremely happy that we’ve been given the opportunity to work with so many local schools and contribute a little something to make their schools a little greener. We honestly believe it’s these little things that add up. Collaborations and initiatives between local businesses, schools and organisation like this can really help towards Nottingham becoming the first carbon neutral city in the UK by 2028.
We still have a number of schools and local communities to visit over the next few weeks and we can’t wait to hear their stories.