School foucs: Reignhead Primary School

It is clear to see why Reignhead Primary is know as one of the most environmentally-friendly schools in Sheffield.

Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 10:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 10:26 am
Pupils sowed sunflower seeds in plastic pots

Pupils have been busy taking part in a range of projects with the Beighton Environment Group.

Year five pupils recently visited the area's ancient orchard, off Robin Lane, to help create a bug hotel for the resident creepy crawlies.

Drilling a bug hotel

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They also helped to build wildlife stack and hibernaculum under the watchful eye of BEG volunteers.

Debbie Matthews, the school's eco co-ordinator, said youngsters started the bug hotel before Christmas and returned recently to the orchard to complete it.

"The hotel involved them making a structure that include terracotta tiles and tubes of metal and cane that the bugs can creep into," she said.

"It has got various levels so that the different bugs enter at different levels.

A year five pupil with Michael Spurr from Beighton Environmental Group. Pictures by Peter Wolstenholme

"The pupils also took part in a bug hunt, which they really enjoyed."

It isn't the first time the youngsters have visited the orchard.

Various events take place their throughout the year including the Apple Day event. This event attracts apple lovers from across the city who get the chance to take part in a variety of activities.

"The orchard is an ancient orchard that was saved by the village," said Mrs Matthews.

Building a Wildlife Stack with Don Ellks, from BEG

"It's all about getting the children to take ownership and really appreciate what they have in the area."

Mrs Matthews said the school is heavily involved in projects with BEG, which regularly gets children involved.

Every pupil in the school has been given some sunflower seeds.

The plastic cups and compost were supplied by the school, while the seeds and labels came from BEG.

Pupils with bug hotels which they could take home

Children are now busy watering and whispering to the plants in the hope that theirs will grow to be the biggest.

Mrs Matthews said pupils will take the plastic cups home and with the help of parents will plant them in their gardens.

She added: "We have set them the challenge for who will grow the biggest."

Youngsters will photograph their fully-grown sunflowers in the summer to determine the winner.

The school's eco work goes far beyond the involvement with BEG.

Late last year the school discovered it had gained its sixth Green Flag Award - the only school in Sheffield to achieve such a feat.

Reignhead Primary School pupils sowed sunflower seeds in plastic pots

Mrs Matthews said: "We did a lot of work and wider learning when we achieved the award for the first time and have just been updating things since then.

"We try and conserve electricity and energy.

"We have a group that goes around turning lights and plug sockets that aren't needed.

"We have lots of eco-clubs clubs - a gardening club, an allotment and a woodland area where we do a lot of outdoor learning and our Forest School.

"We have just started the gardening club up again after the winter and have started planting.

"We are planting a wild flower seed meadow and children have been busy digging it over.

"It is just about improving the environment and making things look nice."

Children water their sunflower seeds
Pupils sowed sunflower seeds in plastic pots
Pupils with their sunflower seed pots
Pupils making the bug hotels
A year five pupil helps drill a bug hotel with Michael Spurr from BEG
Pupils build a wildlife stack with Kay Ashton from BEG
Don Ellks from BEG waters pots for children