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‘LEEFlet’ The Newsletter of the London Environmental Education

Forum

After feedback from members we have changed the seasonal LEEFlet so that it is full of activity ideas. The front page will have an activity idea donated from a LEEF member and the rest of the LEEFlet will have a resource from LEEF training course. In this LEEFlet we have a seasonal bouquet activity kindly donated from Naomi at Spitalfields city farm and a “dummies” guide of how to start a green team compiled by Jess at the training day run by ecoACTIVE. We hope that you enjoy the new format.

Edible Bouquets -

a wintery educational activity

INGREDIENTS This edible bouquet is made up of mustard greens, ‘winter marvel’ lettuce, rainbow chard, chicory, rosemary, coriander (kept in the polytunnel) and chillies that were dried in a warm, dry place over the winter.

Gardens really can be an educational resource, whatever the weather! You’d be amazed at what can survive a cold snap – you just need to plan your seasonal growing in advance…..

METHOD After harvesting the winter vegetables, get the students to arrange them into a colourful and multi - textured bunch of edible goodness, being as creative as they like. Using the theme of 3RS (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!), get the students to imaginatively explore methods of presenting their bouquets e.g. using an old plastic bag as a tie or a cut-off plastic bottle as a vase.

Themes for extension activities/discussions could include: •Seasonality •Global vs local •Food miles •Healthy eating •Healthy living •Art in nature •Food technology

By Naomi Glass, Community Education Coordinator WWW.SPITALFIELDSCITYFARM.ORG

Examples of National Curriculum KS1 & 2: Science links: •Unit 1C Eat more fruit & vegetables •Unit 1B Growing plants •Unit 2B Plants & animals in the local environment •Unit 3B Helping plants grow well •Unit 5B Life cycles

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BARRIERS – which might restrict activities, or prevent a school from setting up a green team

Lack of resources – If starting a green team from scratch, it may take a while to build up a pool of resources • Promotion – - It might be difficult promoting the project to pupils, teachers and parents

Lack of support to lead teacher – -Other teachers / staff may not be interested or be too busy to get involved. - Head teacher may not see the intrinsic value of pupils taking part in green team activities - Supply cover not available – if teacher / staff member requires time out of class to lead activities, supply cover may not be available or cost too much • Lack of teacher / pupil enthusiasm – - Lead teacher may have no interest in running the green team - Pupils may be selected for group, but have no desire to be there - Class teachers may nominate ‘problem’ children to take part, as a way of getting them out of the classroom

Support from outsiders (e.g. parent, governor) or from external organisations – - May be safeguarding issues - Children might not know or trust an outsider - Parent / governor might be unaware of how the school works • Time restrictions – - Lead person’s own timetable might affect how much time they can allocate to running green team - School might have quite a fixed timetable for pupils and be strict about them being taken out during curriculum time. Issues may arise about when to run a green team group.

Opportunities – available for new

Green Team Advice – for member

and developing green teams

of staff and school to help them run a successful green team

Lack of resources – Make use of free resources on line (e.g. via SEED, LEEF members area etc.)

Promotion – - Run a ‘sustainability day’ or ‘green week’ etc. to enthuse school and then use to promote more frequent/regular activities to Head, other staff, governors and PTA - Staff meetings / assemblies to pitch ideas • Lack of support to lead teacher – - More freedom available to develop group on your own terms - Chance for personal/professional development - Eco-reps reporting back to class may have a positive impact and raise awareness of issues - Point out links to Every Child Matters, Healthy Schools, School Travel Plan and how it can support OFSTED Self Evaluation Forms • Lack of teacher enthusiasm – - Involve parents in helping to run green team (but be aware of potential barriers) • Lack of pupil enthusiasm – - Programme could be student-led, which will give them ownership over the group and increase their interest in activities

Support from outsiders (e.g. parent, governor) or from external organisations – - Outsiders may be in a good position to interlink with other outside organisations (3rd sector and corporate) for partnership work and funding

Time restrictions – -Take advantage of extended schools (run as an after school club); family learning (involve parents); community engagement (invite outside orgs and local residents to get involved). -New Primary Curriculum (2011) may provide opportunities for cross-curricula subjects like education for sustainable development

Resources – Get to know green team leaders in other local schools and share ideas and resources • Promotion – - Monitor and collect evidence of green team success and pupil development, which may help promote group in future (photos, diary) - Display board to raise awareness -Offer awards to classes that are most sustainable • Support to lead teacher – - Don’t panic, be patient - get support as you go - Access networks like LEEF/LSSF for support and to get relevant training - Buy in services from outside orgs once running - Show OFSTED ESD Report (Dec 2009) to Head teacher to demonstrate added value of offering green activities to pupils - Have strategy in place in case key staff leave • Teacher / pupil enthusiasm – - Ensure activities are hands-on, varied and fun and everyone will enjoy taking part - Clear goals and explanation of why involved - Ask pupils and teachers to ‘sign up’ for group and make it quite official, so they will recognise importance of attending and taking part - Work together to ensure mixed group of pupils • Support from outsiders – - External organisations may be able to provide lesson plans, presentations, templates and notes to make it easier for staff to get involved in green team

Time tabling – -Think about appropriate timings for launch -Inclusive and holistic planning should help embed ESD into whole school curriculum, whilst also helping school to have a more sustainable campus and make links with their local community -If ESD is involved in everything, it will be much easier to run green team activities

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http://www.leef.org.uk/files/LEEFlet_winter_2009-10  

http://www.leef.org.uk/files/LEEFlet_winter_2009-10.doc

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