Macmillan Academy first registered as an Eco- school almost 10 years ago. These schools demonstrate reductions in carbon, waste, and water. They also promote healthier living and encourage community cohesion. In 2010 we were successful in achieving the highest award, the Green Flag Award which we have held now for 6 years and is on display at the front of the academy.
It is everyone's responsibility to live our daily lives in a sustainable way that respects the environment and conserves valuable resources. It is important to think globally but act locally!
Something exciting has been happening in a corner of our school grounds over the last two weeks. An amazing palet of colour has been developing and new visitors have arrived on site! This is all because of the work of some Y9 students and the Eco-Squad in sowing a wild flower section through our new Orchard. Next time you play sport on the new astro pitch look to your right and you will see the wild flower meadow in the Orchard. We have had help from One Planet Pioneers in Middlesbrough, in developing the site and any parents visiting to watch matches, can take a rest on the new seat originally from Stewarts Park, now renovated and donated by our volunteers. Although the fruit trees in the Orchard were planted over a year ago, the wildflower seeds were only sown in March this year and due to the very wet then dry weather have had ideal conditions to grow.
The wild flower Orchard is part of our Polli:Nation project, a national scheme to help to increase the number of pollinating species like bees and butterflies in our area. We have already spotted the comma and peacock butterfly and lots of ladybird larva are now inhabiting the site. You can see blue cornflowers, orange and red poppies and oxeye daisies producing amazing colours in the meadow, alongside lots of other wildflower species. Also to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of WW1 dark red poppy seeds were available, which we also included in our mix and are now shining through to remind us of all the lives lost during this war. We are working with Beverley school (for children with autism) and two other local primary schools as part of our cluster for this project. They are also making changes to their school grounds.
You can visit the Polli:Nation site through FROG and here you can read our blogs describing how the project has developed and what changes we have made to the academy site. To quote Hans Christian Andersen ' Just living is not enough.... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.'
Students can get involved by joining the Eco-Council which has representatives across all year groups including sixth form. Ideas can also be sent via the FROG page.
We are already doing a whole range of things to promote sustainability here at the academy. These include:
Turbines and solar panels are installed on site to harvest energy from renewable sources. We encourage the switching off of lights and computers, closing windows and we have installed low energy bulbs to reduce our energy usage. We buy local products to save our C footprint.
last year students litter picked in and outside the campus to help the community and wildlife.
Bags and bins are available in classrooms and offices for paper and plastic bottle recycling. Recently Northumbrian water swapped plastic for reusable water bottles. We use recycled material where possible and have a battery recycling scheme in place.
Some toilet bricks are installed to reduse water usage and many of our taps have an automatic turn off.
Many staff are involved in the love to ride national cycling scheme and an increasing number of our students bike to school. Our policy is no sweets in the academy and we have great healthier lunch choices.
We have an established eco garden, allotment plots and a wildflower orchard. In previous years students ( including Eco- council members) have planted bulbs at Stewarts park. Camped out in the woods. Completed book reviews. Built bird boxes. Grown vegetables. Planted native tree species to improve local woodlands.
Exciting developments are taking place in the Ecogarden including the planting of medicinal plants to form an apothecary garden just like in Harry Potter and our frog population continues to thrive.
Other projects we would like to get involved with include: