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Picture News Impact Award

Our Project

To work with the local community to improve biodiversity within school and the local area

How it happened

Our School Council meets weekly and at the beginning of the year they discussed the things they wanted to focus on this academic year. As well as traditional fundraising events that they support on an annual basis, such as our Christmas Giving tree and Comic Relief, they decided that environmental and green issues were also important to them and they wondered if there was a way to get involved with the local community.

Around Christmas time, we liaised with our local parish council and discovered that some land local to our school, called ‘The Millennium Meadow’, had become quite run down and needed some attention. Donations of seeds and small plants were sought and we set about arranging a time when we could get together with our litter pickers, spades and rakes. First, the children collected a large sack full of litter, including many crisp packets, which we were able to add to our already prominent in-school crisp bag recycling scheme. Local parish councillors met with the children to show them how to prepare the soil and how to plant seeds and seedlings. Plants such as Devil’s Bit Scabious and Cranesbill were chosen to encourage bees to visit the area. A Year 5 School Councilor said, “At first I was quite nervous and didn’t know what to do, but then I found I really liked digging and I learnt some new talents.” The children spent a happy afternoon in March with local volunteers learning all about biodiversity. On sharing the events on the parish council’s social media, a local resident commented, “Fabulous! Involving the bairns is making such a difference for the community and wildlife.” A parent commented, “Amazing work. Well done everyone!”

In collaboration with our local parish council, we then arranged for a group of children in Year 3 to visit a local allotment and speak to allotment holders about the types of things being grown, and why they had been chosen. They learned about fruit trees and how to identify what type of fruit was being grown. Once again, the children also enjoyed planting seeds and seedlings and had a thoroughly enjoyable morning learning lots about the different types of plants and mini-beasts, like worms and bees, and why they are so important. Loughton and Great Holm Parish Council stated, “We loved having them visit!” and a local resident added, “Love this!”

Over the Easter holidays, a competition was run throughout the whole school, inviting children to design a bug hotel, with the winning design to be constructed and housed within the school environment. We are looking forward to seeing the finished item soon!


The children have been able to learn about the importance of biodiversity whilst making links with the local community. Everyone in the local area, including the school, can benefit from the improved environment, making it a more pleasant, appealing and inviting area to visit. Children have shared their learning with classmates and their families at home, encouraging others to visit ‘The Millennium Meadow’ and consider planting items in their own gardens to benefit the natural wildlife. A Year 6 school councillor commented, “I learned new skills and found a new hobby!” One of our youngest school councillors, in Year 3, added, “I got to achieve one of my life-long goals: saving the world!”


Royal Responders!

One of our school councillors was so concerned about conservation issues that he took his worries to someone whom he knew also carried environmental issues close to his heart – someone at the very highest level... He wrote a very important letter outlining his concerns to King Charles III. Everyone was astounded when William received a very special letter in response to his worries, directly from Buckingham Palace! Deputy Head Teacher, Mrs Frost said, We are all so impressed with William’s passion and dedication about trying to save the planet, which echoes much of the work William and the School Council have been doing this year.”

This really does go to show the impact of all of the conservation work we have been doing, not only on the local community and children within the school, but reaching out even as far as the Royal Family! We are looking forward to continuing what we have started this year for many more years to come.

Gold award winners

We have recently been awarded with the GOLD level impact award for making an impact wider than our school community. Picture News commented the following: 

We reached this decision as we felt that your children have a great passion for the environment, and all your work alongside the Parish Council has made a real difference to your local area. We loved how the children decided to make a difference in an area that was important to them, and it sounds like they have learnt so much about how to improve and develop a natural area with skills that will last a lifetime. Well done for the impact you have made; you should feel very proud!