Eco Schools at Bishop Vaughan
The Eco Schools scheme is an important aspect of school life at Bishop Vaughan. The scheme has been running for many years and has achieved a number of significant achievements. The Eco Committee has achieved the International Bronze, Silver and Gold Eco Awards and a flag is prominently placed at the front of our school. Also the school has achieved the Bronze and Silver Swansea Sustainable Schools Awards and is currently working towards the Gold Award.
Our Eco committee is made up of a number of different groups around the school including; School Council, Sixth form Charity group, teachers, caretakers and canteen staff.
Our Eco Code
This was designed by our Eco Committee and is displayed in pupil planners as well as classrooms.
How are we doing as a school?
Below is a table showing the areas which we target as a school, the progress made and future developments.
Extra-Curricular Activities & Clubs
Monitoring ESDGC at Bishop Vaughan
At Bishop Vaughan we continually monitor the progress of ESDGC across the School. We carry out a Curriculum audit each year to see how the Eco Schools themed are being developed across the Curriculum and also monitor pupil voice to see how pupils feel about our School environment. We have recently setup an online data capture. If you want to share your views about the School environment they can be found in the Geography section of the MOODLE website. Below is an example of one pupils’ views:
Views on School Environment:
Carbon Footprint Calculator:
Case Study of excellent practice by Organic Centre Wales:
Bishop Vaughan is a faith school that has wide catchment and also services a socio-economically deprived estate in Swansea. Historically it had an on-site gardener employed to tend to the grounds but this post came to an end with budgetary pressures. As such the school had opted – as many do – for a low-maintenance approach. However, this was neither stimulating nor useful and so they have gradually been making improvements that also help address curricular needs and have led to a programme of events and awards, including Eco Schools, the International Schools Award for ESDGC and the Swansea Sustainability Awards.
They began in 2008 by planting shrubs and trees around the school site. In 2012 the Eco Committee and the School Council worked together to identify a site for horticulture, and installed a greenhouse and raised beds. The garden was a success and they began to use produce in cookery classes. In initial discussions, the schools identified two areas they would like to develop: a courtyard herb garden, an orchard with Welsh varieties of fruit trees.
Courtyard herb garden
Herbs are a good crop for schools to raise as it is easy to grow sufficient quantities to be used in school meals, and they are a high value crop for sale. The problem for the school was that the courtyard they wanted to use had no water supply and so plants were in danger of drying out in the holidays, for which the solution was a timed irrigation system. The grant was spent on the irrigation system, growing medium, perennial herbs, seeds and a lock-up storage unit. They also held a seminar for staff and pupils aged 11 – 14 who were helping maintain and develop the herb garden. The seminar was held on 8th of July and trained pupils in basic agricultural techniques such as planting, harvesting and weeding.
Pupils were able to count the time they had spent on the project towards their Welsh Baccalaureate community service requirement.
We are continually looking for opportunities to develop the School grounds and develop our local environment. The Eco Committee are currently planning and identifying areas around the School where we can plant Tree Saplings, Daffodil bulbs and establish a Wildflower meadow. Below is the rough draft so far.