The autumn term has been a busy time for Dolphin’s Sustainability Drive. Our Incredible Edible garden is developing well and we continue to explore options for our school travel plan. The School Council has been actively supporting our sustainability messages and will be working closely with Funraisers in the New Year to ensure our school wide events are environmentally sound. The students have been thinking hard about the festive season and considering how they can give in a way that is kind to the planet. Many Dolphin children demonstrated ingenious plans for ensuring our recent Charities fair reduced its waste impact this year.
Single use plastics hit the national headlines this term coinciding with a focus on our society’s plastic habits in the Earth Studies department. The children also learnt about how plastic waste is being considered as a recycling opportunity by a few inventive, young minds and some year groups enjoyed learning about the teen cleaning the oceans and Pharrell Williams’ Bionic Yarn.
In class, children have discussed ways in which they enjoy spending their time with you and special things you can do together to avoid the annual rush to consume. Of course they still want to buy and receive gifts and will be thinking hard about what to give you this year so we hope it opens up conversations at home. One step in the right direction is avoiding excessive wrapping paper waste with some clever ideas from companies like Happywrap!
Greening our school
Our facilities team has been starting to consider how we can ‘green’ our buildings and Paul Ducker, from Dolphin’s caretaker team, has volunteered to explore our campus’ carbon footprint. We look forward to involving the children in the New Year so that they can learn about Paul’s fantastic research and ideas.
Paul is the newest member of the Dolphin School care taking team, joining Alex, Phil and Ross in the important task of keeping Dolphin’s buildings and grounds in good order. Paul trained as a Quantity Surveyor and is fascinated by the opportunities and challenges of sustainability, particularly the role of schools. He is keen to explore how the care taking team can contribute to the challenges of greening the school’s buildings and we appreciate the team’s vital support in our sustainability mission!
Crafting from Nature - A message from Naomi:
All year groups have benefited from the Forest Schools experience this half term and creating sustainable Christmas decorations has been our main focus. We have foraged for natural resources in the copse and raided my 'art cupboard' which consists of used ribbon, string, scraps of material, random buttons and, of course, glitter. We have achieved so much in such a short time, albeit with numb fingers and feet like blocks of ice!
The children, as always, take on tricky challenges with a smile on their faces and warmth in their hearts. They have been an absolute joy to work with and I do hope they return home, not only with dirty clothes, but with an abundance of stories of the fun times we've had together.
Our film screening of 'Demain' on Friday 5th May 2017 drew a great crowd to Dolphin’s school hall and created much buzz and debate. An audience spanning all generations (8-80 year olds!), comprised of pupils past and present, local businesses, neighbours, friends, sustainability experts and activists, who enjoyed the opportunity to explore issues raised in the film and a chance to contemplate what they might do differently ‘Tomorrow’…
Demain is split into 5 episodes covering all aspects of our daily lives – Food, Transport, Democracy, Economy and Education. The French film makers travel the globe meeting groups who are creating practical solutions to ensure small, local communities can thrive, grow their own food, reduce pollution, maintain a healthy, local economy, create new employment opportunities, protect small businesses, reconnect with nature and generally have a great time coming together to make change happen. The film highlights the role of governments and multinationals, suggesting that we do not need to rely on these alone. One fact that surprised many audience members, was that small farms produce most of the world’s food.
The film encouraged us to ponder our convenience, consumer-led culture and to take steps towards a circular, sustainable lifestyle and we had these reactions:
It was a really inspiring film - I've already told loads of people to go and see it too.
Like the repair cafe, these events attract a very special group of people who care and want to do something different.
Great, great, inspirational film. Thank you to Dolphin school for hosting it - very forward looking of you - and the children there are lucky to see it at such a young, formative age. There is hope!
Richard J. Francis, Environmental Tuner, www.sensescape.co.uk
What are we going to do at Dolphin?
At Dolphin School we have decided to take matters into our own hands and as part of our social responsibility, we are embarking on a Sustainability Drive, inspired by the five aspects of daily life highlighted in the film. Our first project is to create an 'Edible Garden', which will be managed by Head of Modern Languages and keen gardener Siân Moore and designed by Landscape Gardener and Year 5 mum Jennie Herrington. Support for the project from the film audience was overwhelming and on Saturday 3rd June we held our first working party to get the project off the ground. If you fancy your hand at digging, painting fences and planting, please do sign up using the link below.
Sign Up to Help with the Edible Garden
Incredible Edible Garden Plan
Inspiration for changing our school run came from Copenhagen where town planners realised many decades ago that if they build more roads, there will be more cars and that the same is true about cycle lanes – they chose the latter and now one can travel 50 miles in and around the city with a bike. Only one member of the audience was able to travel to Dolphin without a car for the event. When Mrs Lewis asked children in the audience whether they would use a safe foot path or cycle lane to get to school if it was available, the answer was unanimous – ‘Yes!’ It is this theme that has inspired our second sustainability project on our 'School Travel Plan' and we are seeking volunteers to share ideas that could allow more Dolphin kids to walk or cycle to school.
Other projects where we are looking for skilled members of our community to help include ‘Green Our Buildings’, ‘Repair Club’ and our new ‘Sustainability Committee’.
If you have knowledge, time or enthusiasm to share, or simply want more information on the projects, please sign up here to help:
Sign Up to Help with our Sustainability Initiatives