St Mark's C.E. Primary School in Wigan win Appetite for Action 08/09
Winning school of the Appetite for Action competition for 2008/09
St Mark’s C.E. Primary School, Wigan, was the overall winner in the Appetite for Action challenge competition for 2008/09.
St Mark's team, the Eco Warriors, took on the Get Growing challenge winning £3,000 and a visit from Sky News.
St Mark’s showed improvement in the 3 key measures of the Get Growing challenge.
- Increasing the number of food producing plants from 1 to 5 of the same type, to over 90 different varieties including herbs.
- Increasing the number of students involved in growing activities from no students to the whole school taking part.
- Increasing the size of their garden, utilising an area for food growing and container planting.
How did the project work?
The Eco Warriors completed a survey, giving an initial snapshot of what was happening in their school. Then they created an action plan, identifying improvement targets to:
- Involve parents and the community in digging over the flower beds to remove weeds and then use beds to grow vegetables.
- Appoint water monitors to water plants and to check water wasn’t wasted (the school has a water meter so water use was monitored).
- Set up a compost bin and inform staff and parents.
- Apply for funding to develop the school garden.
- Encourage other classes to use the school garden.
- Grow a variety of fruit and vegetables.
The team also established campaign objectives:
- An Eco-Code to help their growing programme and link to the Eco-Schools Green Flag award.
- A noticeboard/newsletter to keep everyone informed.
Which activities helped St Mark's to win?
- Taking part in a Royal Horticultural Society Pea Trial, growing mangetout and sugar snap peas.
- Growing potatoes as part of the Potato Council’s ‘Grow Your Own Potatoes’ initiative.
- Planting more than 10 kinds of vegetables as well as fruit and flowers.
- Making scarecrows to keep the birds off.
- Learning about composting as part of National Compost Awareness Week and beginning to compost.
- Meeting a honey bee expert who visited the school with an observation bee hive.
- Creating a wildlife garden.
- Publishing 2 editions of their Eco-Schools newsletter. Issue 1 included the Eco-Code.
- Starting the noticeboard; displaying a gardening calendar, interesting facts and photographs of events, such as donated frogspawn being added to their new pond.
- Starting to develop a field at the back of the school for allotments to be shared with the community.
The Eco Warriors completed 2 comparative measurements of their growing activity identifying the improvements they made.
What is Appetite for Action?
Appetite for Action takes Global Action Plan’s highly successful Action at School programme and delivers it online. Schools can choose to take part in a challenge around food, waste or growing involving a step-by-step process designed to reduce their CO2 impact and increase sustainable practices.
Appetite for Action links to respective National Curriculum’s and nationally recognised structures such as the DCSF Sustainable Schools Framework. By completing a challenge schools are eligible to apply for EcoSchools Awards (Green Schools in Republic of Ireland).