Achievements & Plans

Eco soc silver awardStarting out as a few students and one teacher in September 2016, Environmental Society, by July 2018, had grown to include student representation from every year group, alongside teaching staff, support staff, staff governors and a parent, reaching a major milestone when we achieved the Eco-Schools Silver Award.


The following sections document our achievements to date, our plans for the future, and how you too can get involved:

Getting involved

Get involvedDo you ever feel powerless? 
 
Especially when confronted by problems the size of climate breakdown, plastic pollution and wildlife decimation? Us too – but getting involved in our work and campaigns is a great way to begin to take on these planetary emergencies.
 
There are loads of ways in which you can get involved! From something as simple as attending a meeting or supporting a (Re)Love Our Stuff sale, to something as big as leading a campaign or running an event, your involvement is invaluable to our work, and any time or energy you can give is greatly appreciated.
 


Students and Teachers:

The best way to get involved is to come to one of our meetings – every Friday lunchtime at 1pm in Room 31. There, you can find out how you can get involved, or suggest your ideas for new projects and campaigns. Alternatively, if you know you want to be involved with a specific branch of Environmental Society, such as Eco-Warriors or the Biology Garden, Recycling, then you can get stuck in straight away with those.


Parents, governors and members of the wider school community:

Support from the wider school community is critical to our success, and any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Here are some ideas:

  • Could you be a representative on our committee, bringing in new perspectives, supporting core projects and suggesting your ideas?
  • Could your skills in advertising help us reach more people, more effectively, with our campaigns?
  • Could your skills in teamwork and leadership help us be a more successful group?
  • Does your organisation specialise in green technology or youth engagement?
  • Could your business sponsor an event, a raffle or a fundraiser?
  • Could you come to speak at an event, or run a workshop?
  • Would your charity/NGO be interested in partnering with us on a campaign, or piloting a schools’ programme?
  • Could your gardening skills help develop our school grounds?
  • Could your knowledge of investment and finance enable us to run a community energy project, such as getting solar panels for the school?

The more people on board, the further and faster we can make change.
We can’t wait for you to join us!
 
Sam Gee and Rohan Selva-Radov
Year 11 and 9
Student Chair and Deputy Chair


If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.
 

Looking Ahead - Enviroblog

Looking to next year, Environmental Society is keen to build on the success of our most recent innovation of a school-wide EnviroBlog  showcasing the best work of students and staff about the environment, with more submissions of articles and blog posts from anyone within the school community, on all things environmental.

So far, we have covered topics as diverse as “Why learning a language could help save the planet” to the impact of climate change on women and girls. Alongside this, we plan to hold more talks and debates throughout the academic year, continuing with our virtual collaborations with other societies and a (Re) Love Our Stuff Competition once school resumes.

Upcycling Competition

Content upcycling comp

Projects Achieved

Starting out as a few students and one teacher in September 2016, Environmental Society, by July 2018, had grown to include student representation from every year group, alongside teaching staff, support staff, staff governors and a parent, reaching a major milestone when we achieved the Eco-Schools Silver Award.

For the Eco-Schools Silver award, we focused on Biodiversity within the school grounds.

Biodiversity topic for the Silver Award

Bird box 13 RSPB bird boxes in the Biology Garden purchased using Jack Petchey funding. 

and Bat Boxes

BatboxWe used Jack Petchey funding to purchase a range of wildlife shelters including nestboxes, batboxes and even a hedgehog home!

We worked alongside the Parents' Association and Junior Natural Sciences Society to renovate the school's Biology Garden including planting wildflowers, and we now coordinate a group of about 15 students in Year's 10 and 11 completing their Duke of Edinburgh volunteering by conserving the Biology Garden, with us offering lunchtime sessions four times a week.

We developed a lesson plan that gave Year 10 GCSE biologists the opportunity to sample the nitrate and phosphate pollution levels in the Biology Pond using testing kits from the Freshwater Habitat Trust. The work of the Year 10 volunteers enabled us to achieve an incredible 95% reduction in the levels of those two key pollutants.

How can we measure InvestigatingEnvironmental Society also delivered an assembly about the school’s progress with @EcoSchools, an exciting schools’ programme that empowers young people to protect the planet. Click here to watch EnviroSoc’s video explainer to see how it works.‬

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.

 

Achieving Pastic Clever

001Journey to becoming Plastic Clever and the revitilisation of the Biology Garden.

Working closely with the caterers in the canteen, we are helping the school become ‘Plastic Clever’, following the initiative set up by UK charity Kids Against Plastic, with the introduction of wooden cutlery and reusable food containers among other improvements to the layout of the canteen and promotion of more environmentally conscious ways to eat at school. 

The overwhelming success of the revitalised Biology Garden on the school site means that student volunteers are now also involved in composting food waste from the canteen. 

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.

Recycling and Waste

RecyclingThe greatest achievement in the area of waste this academic year has been the reinstatement of the school recycling system, which we have been without for almost two years. With fortnightly external collections, the new system will allow us to drastically reduce the environmental impact of the school.

Even better, the system is an improvement on the former paper recycling system that was rescinded in 2016, bringing Dry Mixed Recycling for a range of materials to the school for the first time, allowing us to further cut down on the amount of waste going to landfill. 

In addition, our dedicated team of Year 7 and 8 ‘Eco Warriors’ is integral to the functioning of the recycling system. Read about their efforts here

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.

Olavian Eco Warriors

Content ecowarriorsOur dedicated team of Year 7 and 8 ‘Eco Warriors’ is integral to the functioning of the recycling system, transferring waste from internal recycling boxes across the school to external recycling bins on a weekly basis. It’s a great way for students in the lower school to participate in a process that helps keep the school running smoothly. Want to get involved? Speak to Rohan Selva-Radov (9N) or Miss Benham. 

We’re actively looking into further avenues for improvement, including reducing paper usage school-wide, recycling printer toner cartridges and introducing book swap shelves in classrooms. In July, we’re launching our first (Re)Love Our Stuff event, an Eco Schools/Keep Britain Tidy project that involves a student-led sale of second hand clothes and books.

Perhaps most importantly, through all of this, we are seeking to educate the school community and raise awareness about environmental issues surrounding waste and the importance of reusing and recycling. 

Josh Selfridge
Year 11
Head of the Waste Topic

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.

Biology Garden

Freshwater habitatWe have the privilege of having access to extensive and beautiful grounds, and we are dedicated to making them the best that they can be – both for students and for nature.

Participating in the Freshwater Habitat Trust's citizen science project by testing the Biology Pond for nitrate and phosphate pollution levels.Our Biology Garden has seen huge improvements over the past few years, and, thanks to the great work of our many volunteers, is the valuable educational and Wildflowersecological space it ought to be. The pond, once covered completely with algae and filled with leaf sludge, is now in a much better condition – so clean that it can now support several species of newts and frogs. The soil beds have also been totally rejuvenated, and now have many plants growing there, such as sunflowers, canon went, wildflowers, peas and radishes. It is already a much better resource for pollinators, which is especially important due to their recent decline, and with new beds being uncovered with every week that passes, its progress will certainly continue into the future.

As well as this, the garden has recently started receiving food waste from the canteen to be composted. The compost not only provides us with fertiliser, allowing the garden to be completely organic, but also creates the perfect habitat for many animals such as worms and reptiles.

PlantingWe run conservation sessions on every lunchtime, and after school on Wednesdays, where students in Years 9-11 complete their Duke of Edinburgh volunteering in helping to protect and enhance this valuable natural habitat and educational resource.

I have loved having the opportunity to participate in this process, and the tangible advancements we have made fill me with hope of what is to come.

 

 

Frank Shrimpton, Year 10

Head of the School Grounds Topic 

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.

Litter

Littler5Throughout this academic year we have worked hard to make sure that we could minimise the amount of litter we had on our school grounds as much as possible – with around 1000 pupils coming in every day this would inevitably be quite a challenge!

In April, Environmental Society organised a Great British Spring Clean event (part of Keep Britain Tidy), to reduce the amount of litter on the school grounds and raise awareness of the levels of litter around the school site.

Litter 2We were delighted by the number of eager students who took part, and managed to collect an impressive 18kg of litter in just 25 minutes! 

We are working together to create a Litter Policy, which will be published here shortly.

Nam Le and Ojas Tiwari
Year 7 and 8
Co-heads of the Litter Topic  

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.

School Grounds

School grounds 2Throughout this academic we have worked hard to make sure that we could minimise the amount of litter we had on our school grounds as much as possible – with around 1000 pupils coming in every day this would inevitably be quite a challenge!

In April, The Environmental Society organised a Great British Spring Clean event (part of Keep Britain Tidy), to reduce the amount of litter on the school grounds and raise awareness of the levels of litter around the school site. We were delighted by the number of eager students who took part, and managed to collect an impressive 18kg of litter in just 25 minutes. all helping to protect wildlife and our school grounds ! 

SaplingsYet another project that we have facilitated was the planting of approximately 600 trees around the school site.

School grounds 1Just before Christmas break 2018, students in Years 7 and 8 took to the fields with their shovels and saplings, in an afternoon off timetable led by the English Faculty, and now the trees are doing very well, with many already producing leaves.

In several years' time, these will have grown into larger bushes and trees – the perfect habitat for animals, especially birds, and also doing our bit to help combat some of the larger issues such as climate change and pollution that our generation faces.

Nam Le and Ojas Tiwari
Year 7 and 8
Co-heads of the Litter Topic

Organised by Environmental Society, 25 Olavian students took part in the national Great British Spring Clean, collecting around 18kg of litter in 25 minutes, 

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.

(Re) love our Stuff

Recycling and waste(Re) Love our stuff Competition


The Environmental Society will be organising their (Re) love our stuff competition once school resumes. 

Watch this space for more information on this exciting initiative coming soon!

 

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.

Cross-Bromley Climate Conference

This year’s eagerly anticipated cross-Bromley Climate Conference, was sadly postponed due to the current COVID-19 social distancing situation.

However, we have been undeterred in our enthusiasm, and plan to hold the event as soon as is safe, whether this April or next, once again on the anniversary of Earth Day. With this conference, and our Green Flag renewal, on the horizon, there has never been a better time to get involved – to be a part in generating change. 

Minutes

Minutes of our meetings will be published here in due course

 

 

 

If we refuse to reuse, it’s the Earth we abuse.