Henleaze Junior School unveils nature zone
Henleaze Junior School has opened a Nature Zone as part of its sustainable living initiative after winning £20,000 in Asda’s national poster competition aimed at tackling plastic pollution.
In October 2019, Henleaze Junior School was awarded £20,000 to promote recycling and create a sustainability initiative as the national winner of Asda’s ‘Plastic Investigators’ competition. The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly delayed the implementation of the school’s plans, but since schools re-opened in March 2021, they have made great progress and opened the Nature Zone in July.
Pupils at the school are passionately interested in protecting the environment and they have been very concerned to learn about the amount of single use plastic that ends up in the oceans. As part of the schools commitment to sustainable living, each class at the school held elections to appoint a ‘Green Ambassador’ to form a special eco council. These pupils, along with a panel of parent volunteers, have already come up with plenty of ideas for how to use the prize money.
One of these ideas was to create a sustainable Nature Zone in the school grounds. Helped by designer Tom Walmsley, the children designed an inclusive space to enjoy and learn about the natural world, using recycled and natural materials. The Zone includes an outdoor teaching space, a variety of wildlife habitats and is also used to promote pupil’s well-being.
During the coming months, the school will be implementing plans to introduce food growing on the school site, so pupils can learn about food choices, growing and cooking; to reduce the use of single use plastics in the school and in the local community and to introduce more efficient recycling.
Jonathan Parr, Co-Headteacher at Henleaze Junior School said: “The HJS Nature Zone is already adding so much to children's enjoyment of our wonderful outside space, and the learning that it offers. Loads of children have been accessing the Zone during playtimes and lunchtimes (but only 12 at a time, with due care and respect to nature). lots of classes have already had outdoor lessons in the Zone: how amazing to have this incredible new resource for everyone to enjoy!”