Pupils Teachers and Parents 
School Gardens on show at Arley Garden Festival
Lots of primary schools exhibited their amazing gardens, displayed in raised beds, at this garden festival on 25th and 26th June 2011. Here's one. there are more on Flickr here. Unfortunately not all are pictured as I didn't get there before dismantling.

Grow More in your Edible School Garden
RHS School Gardening Training Course, Tues 19th May 2015 at Millbrook Primary School, Stalybridge, 10am – 4pm, £95. “This course is for those of you with some basic experience of edible growing who would like to confidently plan the planting and harvesting of your edible crops across the school year.”. See RHS website. If that fails, it may be on https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/Training-courses-and-events

  EMPTY CLASSROOM DAY is back for 2015 and schools are signing up to be part of it! Make sure you sign your school up to do at least one lesson outdoors on 19th June here.

School's competitions open for entries!

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, 23-27 July 2014

The schools' competitions at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park are now open for entries and there are two competitions to get involved with!
School's Container Competition 2014
Schools are invited to create a recycled or handmade container planted from seed with flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. And this year's theme is Carnival Colour so when designing your container, think colour, vibrancy, parades and music!
To enter, complete and submit this application form by Friday 7 April 2014.
Find more information, prize breakdown and the full competition rules on their website.
School's Trug Competition 2014
Their second competition this year invites schools to create their best looking display of kitchen garden fruits and vegetables inside a trug to be judged during the show. There are separate classes for Primary and Secondary schools.
To enter, complete this application form and email it to georginabarter[at]rhs.org.uk by Tuesday 15 July 2014.
Find more information, prize breakdown and the full competition rules on their website.

Sustainable Schools Conference
run by Cheshire and Warrington Education for Sustainable Development
The 2013 conference was held in January 2013
Contact Laura Stanley, 01925 442615 or
email lstanley[at]warrington.gov.uk for the next one

There are links to lots of fun websites here
Has a schools page, with teaching resources, national curriculum links, current 'to do', and games. Local schools involved include Ashton Hayes, Comberbach, Cransley, Helsby Hillside, Manley, St Mary's, St Wilfrid's, and The Grange; and Delamere Forest Education
Dept. Click here.
Garden Tools
Weaver Vale and High Legh Garden Centres stock child-size garden tools: spades, forks, rakes, draw and push hoes, lawn rakes, hand tools and watering cans. They've also got a voucher scheme offering gardening goods for schools
 Food For Life Partnership
Garden Organic and the Soil Association are partners in Food for Life, an accreditation scheme promoting local and organic food for school meals. It offers a structure for improving the food culture of the school, promoting increased uptake of school dinners, especially free ones; ethical sourcing, eg local, freerange or organic produce, and MSC (Marine Stewardship
Council) fish, onsite preparation, and pupils' (and parents') involvement in learning about growing and preparing food. Food waste is also addressed. Schools are graded bronze, silver or gold depending on how many criteria, and at what level, they achieve.
Local schools registered include: Cransley School, Crowton Christ Church C of E Aided Primary School, Frodsham C E Primary School, Lambs Grange School, Little Leigh Primary School, Sandbach Community Primary School, Sandbach High School. More info on the Food for Life website, including courses and other helpful resources.
Lots of Science Stuff!
A good knowledge of science can help you work out how to reduce your impact on the environment. And it's fun! Wander round www.planet-science.com, and get your parents and teachers looking too!

Appetite for Action
helps primary schools tackle a range of sustainability issues through the topic of food. Developed in conjunction with teachers, the website offers schools free resources: lesson plans, fact sheets, activity ideas and films, helping pupils to reduce food waste, grow their own fruit and vegetables, understand composting and reduce waste to landfill. Plus a chance to join in a school challenge to reduce their schools CO2 impact and potentially win £3000 and Sky News visiting their school for the day. See the Appetite for Action website.
Wildlife Watch
Co-ordinated by the Wildlife Trusts, there are many groups nationwide. They usually meet monthly, with knowledgable adult leaders and youngsters keen to learn about wildlife. Locally, there are regular meetings at Marshall's Arm and elsewhere in Cheshire: see their webpage.
Optional membership offers a magazine.
For details of Wildlife Watch and other events at Marshall's Arm, refer to the Marshall's Arm page of this website.
The RHS has a Campaign for School Gardening, with resources such as seeds, information, local advisors and CPD training. Click here.
The RHS has a number of one-day CPD courses to help teachers: local ones are detailed on their website here.

Get Your Grown-ups Growing 2013
RHS are encouraging schools to host gardening events in October where grandparents, parents, carers and friends are invited to help in their garden.
The first 2000 schools to sign up to Get Your Grown-ups Growing (GYGG) will receive a free pack which includes seeds, stickers and a poster for your event. Sign up to GYGG here and claim your free pack now.
All schools that host GYGG events will have a chance to win a £4,000 Wisley 8 10x8ft greenhouse donated by Hartley Botanic.
On the website you'll find all the resources you need to organise a successful event at your school. Whether or not you already have a garden you can gain lots of benefits from joining in, and spreading the word about the value of growing to people of all ages.

Learn about children and life in far-off countries! Oxfam's children's pages has stories from children abroad, recipes and fair trade, and information on countries.
This is from Dorset Cereals.
  • A host of easy recipes - Elderberry pie, Courgette chocolate cupcakes, No cook apple and date chutney, spicy parsnip and apple soup, red cabbage coleslaw, pumpkin pancakes with buttery apples, mini dorset apple cakes, pea muffins, rocket pesto. 
  • Win a magazine subscription for your school - Grow Your Own or Teach Primary
  • Win a composter, child-size, two-bay box style
  • A petition, to get every schoolchild sowing, growing and eating. Every school should have a food patch at least 2x1m, with tools, seeds and information, and let's make it fun!
Click here for the Edible Playgrounds website
Lots to interest teachers, parents and secondary school pupils regarding careers in Science, Maths and Technology. Includes a fun game pointing to careers with lots to little maths/science involved, and an opportunity to contribute to an ongoing saga from Women into Science, Engineering and Construction.
 Animated about Ocean Acidification
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Pictures of snowflakes - see http://library.ssec.wisc.edu/bentley/search.php?job=search
Wilson Alwyn Bentley, a Vermont (USA) farmer, captured images of snowflakes in
the days when photography was young. He devised his own camera setup, using splints, turkey feathers and a black board to make magnified (69 to 3000 times) images on photographic plates.
Generation Green
is a new scheme for schools. Calculate the school's carbon footprint, appoint lights monitors, get parents doing home energy saver reports... they add up to leaves you can exchange for wormeries, education kits, or bikes. And a chance to win solar panels.
Children's games on the site require Adobe Flash Player 10.

Creeping Toad - Environmental Art & Celebration – Education, Training & Workshops
From environmental educator Gordon MacLellan. Creeping Toad projects revolve around celebration, and set out to help people discover their own ways of valuing the 'specialness' of their homes, schools, neighbourhoods and the wildlife that surrounds us. Website, with contact details, calendar of events, and worksheets.
Nature Detectives
Nature Detectives is run by the Woodland Trust, and runs a photo competition (closed 30th September 2010, for ages 14 and under), has loooaaads of downloadable information and games (try the Trump Cards for Fungi!), a bird food cookbook, and more. There are even templates to design your own worksheets/playing cards/bingo/wordsearch. Some of the games require parental help regarding software. See their website.
Grow Your Own Potatoes
The Potato Council offers the challenge to primary schools to grow the heaviest weight of potatoes - from free seed potatoes (Rocket and Vales Emerald) and a growing kit. Register now for 2012 issue. Click here.

What a playground!

For more pictures of this Liverpool schoolground, see http://cheshirepermies.btck.co.uk/GardenPhotos

Forest School Camps
A national organisation offering camps to children and older people. Some camps are family, some for children from 6-and-a-half, others for 18+. They're run by volunteers. See https://www.fsc.org.uk/

Cheshire Landscape Trust offers free trees and local apple trees
More information about CLT on this page.

Talks and demonstrations on Love Food, Hate Waste are offered by both Cheshire councils in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy, to schools and other community groups. They're given by passionate volunteers. Contact wastereductionvolunteers[at]keepbritaintidy.org

 Schools that grow fruit and veg
More than half of secondary schools do not offer students the chance to grow food. Apart from the lessons possible – science, nutrition, geography, maths, even enterprise (eg selling produce), environmental awareness and community spirit (links with the wider community – even donating food to hospices, etc.) – they also eat healthier. Research shows that more than 96 per cent of children are not eating enough fruit and vegetables and that children in schools that grow food eat more than one and a half more of their five a day than other school children. DEFRA’s launched a task force to identify the barriers stopping the other schools (primary and secondary) joining in, to report in September 2011.
See Garden Organic website. The School Report, produced in 2010, is inspiring!
  School Vouchers from Weavervale Garden Centre
Strikes Garden Centres, including Weavervale and High Legh, offer vouchers for
every £10 spent. These can be redeemed by schools at the rate of 500 = £100 gift voucher. Details at http://www.klondyke.co.uk/node/114
The Oxfam website has a teachers' page, resources include:
  • active citizenship - includes assembly ideas, new year resolutions, regional
  • conferences and more
  • children
  • climate change
  • development
  • environment
  • fair trade
  • food
  • sustainability
  • trade and globalisation
  • water

Win a trip to Highgrove!
A window box of flowers, your own vegetable patch, or chickens in a run – Mygrove’s Patron, The Prince of Wales, has set up an online competition to encourage children to blog about their gardening efforts to be in with a chance of winning a trip to Highgrove. Schools around the country will be updating their own blogs alongside the Mygrove team, who will share lots of tips and advice from the Highgrove Gardens. To get gardening today, and take part in 'Mygrove', visit The Prince of Wales’s website and encourage your local school to sign up!
 School Food Waste

On average, primary schools' rubbish is 46% food waste, and secondary schools’ waste is 31% food waste. That's 20kg per primary school pupil annually, and 6.5kg per secondary school pupil. Some lessons can be learnt:
  • It helps if free fruit for infants is cut into chunks to reduce full pieces being discarded, the remainder is either offered to older children or returned the next day;
  • Survey the pupils for what they'd like to see for lunchtime, and adjust the menu with regard to nutritional values;
  • Offer an incentive for clear plates, eg squares of chocolate, stickers;
  • Don’t mix cooked and uncooked food waste if you can compost the uncooked. It doesn't avoid food waste, but it avoids that element of the waste bill, associated methane emissions, and contributes to the garden.
See http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6029165
  Climate Change Northwest has a webpage for schools, with information on Teaching Materials, Northwest's Climate Change Youth Champion 2007 (Jessica), and a pointer to the sustainable schools section of Teachernet - (see below)
Visit http://www.climatechangenorthwest.co.uk/?page_id=10
  Learning Through Landscapes
Learning through Landscapes (LTL), focuses on play in school grounds, celebrating what is already good and looking at the challenges schools face in making the most of playtime
for all pupils. 
Visit Learning through Landscapes at http://www.ltl.org.uk
  Energy Zone
Lots of resources from this Energy Institute website: curriculum, events, careers, etc. Click here
  Lots of Science Stuff
Experiments to excite kids; links and people to help present science in the class. www.planet-science.com (a UK website)
  Eco Schools
Cheshire County Council had many resources, and support energy awareness, waste action and a Junior Recycling Club, a School Grounds Group, and more.
Cheshire West link
Cheshire East link: none known, try Cheshire West
   Powerdown, sets of primary and secondary resources that explore the
causes and impacts of climate change. £15 in printed+DVD form, or download
free. See website.

Watching the Carbon Detectives
The Carbon Detectives programme is a Europe-wide initiative linking thousands of schools. It provides support and ideas for actions that schools can take to shrink their Carbon shoe size. There are also tools to allow schools to monitor their progress and report their savings, collectively making a huge difference. If you are a school completion of a simple registration form gives full access to the programme and its supporting tools, including how to work out your school’s carbon emissions. Registered schools can communicate with others in the UK and Europe.
Their three year mission is to:

·          link schools and pupils across Europe to help slow down the impact of global climate change

·          inspire and empower young people to take practical action to save energy and carbon in school

·          enthuse and support teachers to bring carbon saving to life in the classroom

For further information:- www.carbondetectiveseurope.org

Expert Energy Advice for Schools

UK schools could save around £70 million per year by reducing their energy costs. This would also reduce CO2 emissions by up to 300,000 tonnes.

Simple and cheap measures could allow schools of all sizes to use less energy, save money on their energy bills and also reduce their carbon emissions.

Carbon saving advice

Carbon Survey

Collaborative Low Carbon Schools Service

Strategic Design advice

Call the Carbon Trust on 0800 085 2005 or fill in the enquiry form to find out how they can help your school start saving money and carbon.

  Language of Landscape
Schoolchildren across England, Scotland and Wales have the chance to get their hands
on free Ordnance Survey maps, as the national mapping agency launches
the Free maps for 11-year-olds scheme.
This year (whenever I wrote this!) Ordnance Survey is working with Natural England to offer teachers an additional resource. A booklet entitled The Language of Landscape, also created with help from the Geographical Association, will be distributed to teachers in England and features practical lesson ideas and tips on further incorporating map work into the curriculum.
More info on the Natural England website
  One Million Children Outdoors
Natural England is working on a range of projects to encourage an interest in and understanding of the natural environment amongst school children. They want 1 million children to have the opportunity to enjoy nature and the natural environment. Look out for:
the Bumper Book of Nature, conservation volunteering, farm visits, Big Wildlife Garden - here.
  Teachernet sustainable schools
Has a national framework - For food and drink, energy and water, travel and traffic, purchasing and waste, buildings and grounds, inclusion and participation, local well-being, and global dimension.
Moss Green Children's Books
Moss Green Children's Books was set up with the dual aims of helping the environment and raising money for children's charities.
The company is an online bookshop selling stories that educate children about environmental issues in order to help them become more aware of the natural world. The site also provides green ratings of all the titles it sells to allow parents to gauge the strength of the environmental message contained in each story.
The money made from the sale of books is divided between various nominated children's charities.  In total 66% of the company's yearly profits will be donated to charitable causes. 
At the company website, visitors can nominate a charity to receive support or vote for the existing nominee they wish to see profit.  The nominated charities then receive a share of the business's profits based on the proportion of votes they receive via the website. 
To find out more visit the website  (info from Social Enterprise Coalition)

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