Current Eco-Themes

Litter and Waterways, Biodiversity, Circular Economy, and Energy & Climate.

Belltrees have been encouraging biodiversity within school: “With the ponds system we have been able to bring back the frogs, birds, and wildlife”.

“We have installed efficient air conditioners to reduce energy usage, LED lights, power point timers, solar panels, fly screens, and opening the door instead of putting on the heater. We are trying to become net-zero!” (Angus)

Some current Eco-Projects

The students at Belltrees have showcased a multitude of project-based learning activities. A recent interview with the students sought to uncover some of their favourite moments:

“We have been planting fruits and vegetables in the garden bed and orchard. We then picked, cooked and ate them. We made burrito bowls and ate them for lunch.” (Trixy)

“We have done a project called GAIA, which stands for Green Annual Innovation Award. We find problems in our school and make videos with solutions to show what we can do to help the environment.” (Renzy)

“I have learnt how to farm sustainably and how living things flourish.” (Angus)

What are the key environmental lessons?

“Ideas of sustainability permeate the whole curriculum” – Ian Judd, Teacher

Systems thinking is a key teaching at Belltrees, which considers how the Hydrosphere, Biosphere, Atmosphere, and Geosphere interact.

“Last term the assessment involved looking at a problem and coming up with a solution, utilising stemmed methodology to apply scientific methods to addressing environmental issues. It was really good watching them problem solve and use a project-based learning process to come up with solutions.”

Some projects being experimented with in lessons

This term the students are looking at drones, rockets, catapults, spaghetti towers. These are examples of fun, hands-on project-based learning, “with an environmental culture that permeates the whole school.”

Coming up next term, the students will be using their engineering skills and design to come up with a solution to help ‘Buzz Lightyear’ who is stuck on the moon. Ian Judd explains: “They will create a moon diorama, a Rube Goldberg machine, which involves fun interactive learning that enables them to learn scientific design process, with the environmental sustainability permeating throughout”.

What words of advice do you have for others starting their EcoSchools journey?

“The whole idea of Eco-Schools is that you can embed it into the curriculum. We want to create mentoring where the schools that have done it can help the other schools and teachers along the way.” – Ian Judd, Teacher

Recent Belltrees Eco-Projects