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ECO Group

Today we did a plant safari, looking around the site and seeing what plants we could find listed on our RSPB Plant Safari sheet. We discussed various plants the children found. We used magnifying glasses to look at different things. They then used that magnifying glass to look in depth at the plant or flower or leaf that they had chosen to draw. We then had a very focused quiet session looking at things in detail, looking at patterns and tiny little parts of the plants. These were activities on our RSPB Wild Challenge!

What a lot of jobs we did today! We potted up tomatoes and spider plants. We took photos of our bee hotel for the University of Sussex. We checked the growth of our legume seedlings and measured them for the University of Southampton project. We watered seedlings and earthed up our potatoes. Next week we are going to do a plant safari and take time to do some investigating the detail of something we find interesting and 'slow down' to draw it. The second group also planted some plants in the garden and the last few people left at the end of the day got to play the name game! What I love most about taking these children outside is the things not planned, like bowing and saying 'Good Afternoon Your Majesty' to Bumblebees and an in depth discussion about an Honesty plant!

Today we did a bug hunt! We looked in the garden, allotment, wild garden, banking and Forest School area to see what we could find! We know what bugs we didnt find such as ear wigs and are going to develop some earwig homes to see if we can attract them. If you have any large yogurt pots, pot noodle pots etc then please send them into school. Our legume seeds have started to grow!!

Today we tested the ph level of our soil to see if it was acid or alkaline, so we can see if this affects the legumes we are growing. Nothing showing yet, although tiny shoots on the potatoes. Not much joy with sweetcorn or tomatoes either but it is very cold. Fingers crossed May brings some warmer weather, although that means more watering!! A couple of the children took the photos today, so enjoy their efforts!

This week we continued with our planting theme. We added seeds to the garden to grow flowers to bring the bugs and bees. We planted legumes as part of our Citizen Science project with University of Southampton - lentils, chickpeas, lablab beans, broad beans, peas and french beans. The University want to see if some of these unusual legumes will grow in the UK. They are all set in lines in our Allotment - we are waiting with baited breath to see if they grow! Well Mrs B is! We've still got to ph test the soil! We also talked about soil and what lives in the soil and the jobs those things do and to test this we also planted ... pants! We've got to wait 8 weeks and then dig them up and see what has happened. We also took photos of our Bee Hotel, to send off to the University Of Sussex, who are seeing what type of bee hotel is most successful - we have solitarty bees regularly nest in the hollow canes.

Today we did lots of jobs! We looked at our seedlings that have grown over the holidays, or not grown in some cases! We dug a hole for a new washing up bowl 'pond', we planted more seeds, planted our potatoes in bags, talked about the big bird watch results and about our new citizen science project, growing different types of legumes. More on that in future weeks.

Today only a limited group of children could come outside as others were on a trip to Church or practicing their dance routine. However we got quite a bit done with sweetcorn seeds planted, tomato and cucumber seeds planted and some hollyhocks. We also planted the extra garlic in the allotment and scattered some wildflower seeds on the banking. We have also been accepted on to a University of Southampton citizen science project. They are going to send us some lentil and chickpea seeds after Easter to see if we have any success growing those. We are also sending photos graphs of our bee hotel off to the University of Sussex, Buzzclub, so they can check what happens to our solitary bees. The bees that were laid as eggs last year are waiting to hatch out at the moment. Roll on spring!

Today we planted some mini trees that will hopefully grow into a hedge and some fig trees in our orchard space. Cross your fingers that they grow. The hedge is in the forest school and is part of our fairy space, so hopefully the magic is still inside the fairy doors and the fairies havent minded being moved about!

Today we went around our site and investigated the different types of animal homes and habitats we already have, to help us plan the activities for the rest of the year, so we can get at least our Bronze RSPB Wild Challenge. We identified the habitats we didn't have, like a hedge, or those that need improving, like our stone piles, to increase the capacity for biodiversity on our school site. Mrs B used that information and the discussion that followed to create our BIOdiversity Action Plan. Will we achieve everything? We are aiming high, and we will do our best! We didn't see many bugs today - too cold!

Big Bird Watch 24! Well we went outside today, even though it was cold, with or binoculars, toy birds and books to see what we could see! To be honest not a lot!. A couple of pigeons, crows and jackdaws, gulls in the air but nothing on our bird feeders! We might try again next week! But good use of the binoculars! We also talked about an app called Merlin, that listens to bird song and identifies the bird that is singing.

It was too windy this week to do the Big Bird Watch, so we got on with our Allotment planting instead - garlic! Honestly should have been done much earlier in winter but we struggled to find any garlic to plant, so we will just have to wait and see what happens. We are hoping to make garlic bread later in the year!

Another special visitor this week! We acted as mystery shoppers, giving artist Clare Taylor, our opinions about her Sherwood Forest project, which are learning resources about the trees, animals and insects which live in Sherwood Forest. The children were allowed to play with the resources and then completed an evaluation for her, all linked to our learning about nature.

We had visitors this week! Sarah and Tony from Maun Conservation Group joined us to talk about birds! They showed us where to put up our bird boxes that Mrs B has found in a cupboard! We just need to persuade Mr Peabody to put them up! We also had a walk round the site to see what birds we could see. One group saw a heron fly over! Then we talked in the Community Room about different birds we might see when we do our big bird watch in a couple of weeks. We also looked at couple of bird nests and Sarah had brought a blackbird egg to show us. They have given us books and posters to display.

We were busy last week! We also planted acorns that will hopefully grow into young trees to be planted in Sherwood Forest. Year 3/4 children did this in their classes but the Year 5/6's had a sneaky extra session and then some helped me to tidy up the Community Room. Thank you to those children and also the yr 5/6 teachers for letting them join in this activity. Hopefully ECO Group will visit the Seed Bank in May to see if any of the acorn have grown.

Today we made bird feeders. Good fun and hopefully they will like them.

Today we made our ECO badges!! Using acrylic pens, palm drills, and birch wood cookies. Some children have still got to finish theirs off, so we are going to all wear them when they are all ffinished. They look great!!

Today in ECO Group, we talked about the weather and how it makes us feel and completed our weather diary - the difference from one group to the next was amazing - started with blue sky to raining at the end. We did some really good work today - we gathered seeds from our old flowers, planted our lavender plants, sowed some seeds in the allotment space and we all tasted apple - grown on our very own tree!! Some children have already done their half term holiday homework - about recycling. Bring the sheet back next term for a small prize. Next term we will be looking at 'switch off fortnight', so looking at how to encourage everyone to turn off lights and close the doors to reduce our energy usage and save money. Plus making our ECO badges!

Today in Eco Group we put clothes and paired shoes in our new clothing bin! This bin is on the s hool site for everyone to use to raise money for school. Please place and items to be donated in a plastic bag, clean clothes and paired shoes only. Help us to raise money for school as well as sending clothes to be reused!

Today we emptied the compost bin!! Sounds easy but it's a big job but a necessary one!! We now have somewhere to put the fruit waste that we collect from all over school, plus we have lots of bags of compost, to help our plants grow strong and healthy. Looking forward to next spring and growing seeds for our Allotment!

Today we held our first ECO group session! Due to the weather we stayed inside and talked about recycling and what goes in what bin. They might ask you if you can start recycling soft plastic at home, which we do in school and I take to the local Coop. We have also agreed, by voting, that we will be making our own ECO badges, so that's a future activity we will be doing. They have also come home with a spider plant! Their challenge is to keep it alive. It's an indoor plant and is in a pot with holes in the bottom for drainage, so will need something under it! Cross your fingers for a few weeks of better weather so we can go outside next week! We have a compost bin to empty and wild flower seeds to sow.

STARTING THIS SATURDAY - 2nd SEPT!! Wildlife Watch 2023 - check out what you can get up to each month with the Wildlife watch team on Titchfield Park and Quarry Lane Nature Reserve. 2 hours of wildlife fun!

Queen bumblebee visits our Allotment! How did I know she was a queen? She was huge! Bright and shiny new looking and with a very deep buzz! The buzz is caused by her wings vibrating and she is so big they need to go fast to keep her flying! She is, I think, a buff tailed bumblebee.

Summer Fair and today! Everyone helped as much as they could to set up the stall and we made earwig homes!! Our stall seemed to do well, everyone shared the jobs. It was a bit hectic keeping track of everyone but I was very proud of them all for pulling together and getting stuck in. Next time we'll have more outdoor plants to sell!! Well done to everyone.

Today we were few so we got lots of little jobs done! We sorted the milk lids, watered our plants, tried broad beans, sorted the KS1 lost property for our summer fair stall, cut some lavender and weeded the path. Phew!! We talked about earwig homes, but decided to wait until we have more yogurt pots!!

Today we potted up our Spiderman Plants ready for the Summer Fayre. The second group sorted out half of the lost property, another half to go!

Today we have dug up the pants we planted 8 weeks ago to see if the cotton has decomposed and been eaten by worms and other creatures in the soil! Check out the photos for what happened. On eof our group members made a special milk bottle top collecting box for her class, well done! We have also scattered some poppy seeds on the banking, looked at our veg and completed a Plant Safari, which will go towards our RSPB Wild Challenge. The second group also looked for signs of animals on our site and we saw some amazing bugs and creatures while we were out. We are aiming for RSPB Silver before the end of the year - fingers crossed

Over recent weeks we have looked for bugs, looked at the clouds, and watered our veg in the new Allotment. We found SO MANY bugs! What we are doing on our school site is amazing and your children are part of that developing process. Ive added these photos. We didn't try the knot tying!

Well today we planted up our Allotment space. I'm honestly not sure if the sweet peas and peas will grow, but fingers crossed for the broad beans! We did the weather diary too. And also put some flower seeds in between the rows. I only took photos of the second group today, the first group were so busy planting, we just forgot. Hopefully the marigolds, which have been potted up to larger pots will be big enough to go in the garden soon. Next week some children are in Keswick so those that are left are going to have a go at knot tying to create a square shape from sticks to create a space to plant their own little flower garden!

What a busy afternoon we all had - lots of activities to do! We planted pants - to find out about the soil condition! We have got to wait to dig them up in 8 weeks to see if they've decomposed. We noted how many worms and bugs we saw in both places we bought pants. We looked at our seeds, which are popping up. We should have broad beans, sweet peas, peas, sunflowers and marigolds. We also potted some baby spider plants. We hope they will grow so we can sell them. Next time we meet we are going to run a badge repair workshop, so make sure they have their ECO badges on the 4th May.

Today we planted trees! Some fruit trees and tiny sapling hazel, crab apple and rowan trees. We worked hard, in teams to give our trees the best start. We also agreed to do the RSPB Wildlife Challenge, so we started our Weather Diary and picked litter as well. Busy but productive session!!

I only managed a quick photo of one group today, during our recycling quiz session! We talked about the colour of our bins at home and at school and what goes in which bin. It is very confusing what our bins are used for but i think we all learnt something today. At school we do recycle soft plastic, so that does add to the confusion! We will review this later in the year to see if they remember. Challenge them at home or get them to help you!

Home Zero - Museum Visit. Lovely photos of our educational visit to Mansfield Museum to learn more about sustainability and old paintings! Look at the concentration on their faces! I know they enjoyed it and i hoped they learned from it too. Some of it was complicated and there was a lot going on!

Today we made our very own ECO badges from discs of wood! All the children did very well at using palm drills to make a hole in their wooden disc. They then wrote ECO and drew a picture on the reverse. They need to wear it in school each day to show they are in the group!. I need the lanyards back at the end of the year, (if they survive that long!) We will work on the knot tying in future weeks!!!

We've done the RSPB Big Bird Watch! We didnt see loads but a mix of blackbirds, sparrows, crows and pigeons. Plus the odd black headed gull - which we learnt have a white head in winter and a brown head in summer - never a black head!!! Mrs B was a bit rubbish and had lost the binoculars, so we used toilet rolls instead. I found them as soon as the children went in!!! Typical!

Making bird feeders! I've heard all about how they used their seed! We saw a blackbird feeding off one today!

ECO Group comes together to say thank you to TESCO for our Forest School shed!

Making Reindeer Christmas decorations out of natural resources - ECO Group fun!

Looking for worms - and relocating some turf to make our banking around the playground into a better habitat for bugs!

Eco Group composting! Emptying the bin to get out all that lovely rich compost for our planting next year.

Milk Lids for John Eastwood Hospice - we have put together our last collection of lids for this year! We will still be collecting next year, so if you've room then save your lids over the summer!!!

Last formal session of the ECO Group - this was the last planned session of the two groups. Some children chose to stay with their classes as they were doing some exciting outdoor games or things in class!! As the ECO group made such a great job of making the butterflies for me to use in Forest School, they had the choice to make something this week for themselves. They should have brought home a little wood round! Many of them put a hole in theirs using a palm drill, so they could thread a string through when they got home. We also did some watering, planted a couple of plants and started sorting the last of the milk bottle lids. Any milk lids should be brought in next week, so that we can get the last donation for this year to John Eastwood Hospice by the end of the school year. Thank you for your support this year. Your children have enjoyed being part of the group, I hope and we have done many interesting things. Looking forward to next year!

Butterfly Creations - today we made butterflies! That looked like the real thing. We used acrylic paint pens to colour and a palm drill to make a hole for a strong. We will finish them next week and then Mrs B is going to varnish them, so the Nursery children can look for butterflies when they have their Forest School session. The photographs are of the year 3/4 group.

Only year 3/4 took part in ECO this week as Year 5/6 were doing something else - Summer Term is always busy!! But they had great fun using the magnifying glasses, looking at bugs and plants in close detail.

Our year 5/6 ECO team with all the lids we have collected for John Eastwood Hospice! What an amazing community we have, for people to go to such trouble to collect, wash, bring all these lids into school. Our children are still keen to sort them out and give them to JEH to help them raise more money, so please keep donating them to school

On Thursday 21st April, all of the ECO group members got together for the first time to meet with Lisa Todd, from John Eastwood Hospice. 


Lisa told us all about the hospice, how it cares for people who are very poorly and how our collection of milk bottle lids helps them to raise money. The Hospice needs to raise £650,000 every year to cover the costs to care for their patients. 


They sell the milk bottle lids to a company who chop up the plastic and create 'pellets' that are then used to create many, many other plastic items.


The ECO Group are very pleased that they are doing something that stops plastic going into the ocean or just being destroyed, as well as supporting a charity to raise money. 


We are going to continue with our lid collection and also help Lisa by sorting out lids from other organisations who are not as thorough as we are at only providing milk bottle lids!


Thank you to everyone who has brought their lids into school. Please carry on! We are also encouraging another school in our collaboration, Berry Hill Primary School to collect milk bottle lids too!

Look what we did today - sorted milk bottle lids for charity and opened up our parcels from Morrisons - lovely new buckets, tarps and a shelving Unit for the greenhouse.

Making Twig Hearts or Fairy Rope Bridges? Making things out of natural resources was our theme today. Everyone took home a lavender bag, the lavender seeds were picked and dried from our own school garden earlier this year. We all made something - the twig hearts went home and the rope bridges are in our garden ready for the younger children to find!

Look what we did today!! Washed the yogurt pots from lunchtime this week, sorted out the bottle tops, made posters and sorted out waste paper.

Big Bird Watch - it might look like we are just having a great time but there was some serious conversations happening too - just very quietly! We saw a blackbird, crows and a pied wagtail!

Making bird feeders to take home!

ECO Group have been trying to ty knots to make Christmas decorations! Knots are tricky. We have been trying a clove hitch and shear lashing to make stars and Gods Eyes. A couple of ECO Group Reps will deliver these decoration to Newgate Care home to hang in a tree outside, along with a few bird feeders.

ECO Group Go Tree Planting on Strawberry Hill Heath. Good fun and great commitment was shown by all group members. We were told how to use the tools safely, split into smaller groups and then got on with the job in hand. We planted 36 native oak trees on a site that was formerly a conifer plantation, so good for wildlife, for our wellbeing and our planet. Well done everyone involved. Very proud of the way you worked hard and behaved.

Session 4 - outside weeding our garden, learning about spiders and other bugs. Making a pledge about our commitment to all things ECO before we are given our ECO badge! Not everyone was able to be with us, so more pledges to be made next week!

ECO Group - photos of our first few sessions! Our first weeks have been about willow weaving the arches and tying reef knots, planting new plants in the garden, recycling milk cartons, taking cuttings of herbs, emptying the compost bins and thinking about what we want to do in the future. Oh and looking at bugs! We've talked about the rules of ECO Group and being respectful towards each other! See if your child can remember the 5 points on our star!!

First ECO Session - photos of 3/4 girls getting in with the compost and the worms!

There is Hope - Soft Plastics Recycling at Asquith Primary.

Last Eco Group session for the Year - the children have been amazing and seemed to have enjoyed most things we have tried. Today was really hot but we still ticked off lots of jobs that needed doing, most importantly planted the raspberry canes donated to us by Lee Cook, the Forest School Leader who helped us make bird feeders last week. It has been a pleasure to work with the children in the Group this year - they have worked really hard, learned a lot and taught me a lot too. Thank you to each and every one of them.

Mansfield District Council visit the school garden.

We had two visitors last week from Mansfield District Council, who came to to look at garden and the work of the ECO Group on increasing flowers, wildlife and bugs on our school site!

The year 5/6 ECO Group met them and showed them around. They talked about composting, flowers the bugs we have found and our plans for the future. The children worked really hard to remember the names of the plants and flowers we have grown this year!

Check out MDC's Facebook page for the full report - posted on the 1st July. 

This visit was linked to MDC's Bee Kind project - with flowers planted in town and FREE seeds up for grabs on the market stalls. If you are in tow, please ask if you can have a packet of free seeds - we will use them in school if you do not want them for your own garden. 

Mud Cake Making - we got a bit dirty but that was OK! We had a great time, mixing and creating masterpieces from mud and bits and bobs off the forest floor to enter in the Open Studio Notts Inedible Birthday Cake competition.

Cold and Rainy Day Activity - card making for Dunelm Mill's Kindness Project

ECO Group - frame making and weeding

ECO Group outside under the shelter and sorting out the site, creating mini beast rock piles and getting ready for tree planting.

Planting, watering and using our outdoor space

More Eco Christmas Decs made to take home

Christmas Decorations - recycled by Eco Group from bit and bobs around school and sticks from the woods! Have you seen them on the railings?

12/8/20 Compost for the pumpkins

23/7/20 Photos of things we have been up to including some of the school garden!

Painted Ladies butterfly life cycle project

14/7/20 Second lot of Hoverfly Lagoon Pictures!

Hoverfly Lagoon pictures - we need to look after hoverflies as they pollinate our plants and flowers, just like bees.

Butterfly Pattern Images - you could find other things to cut out to use, don't limit yourself to the butterfly.

Things we have been up to! Including some photos of the school garden

Sustainable City video.

Still image for this video
One of the year 5 pupils in school has made this video for a competition entry. It is all about how to make a city more sustainable. I thought you might like to see it. She used to be a member of the ECO Group. You could have think about something similar. The competition has ended now but you can look at the website if you like. Or look at the TED Earth School website for other ideas.

30/6/20 - Out and about with 30 Day Wild. Photos of things i have found or liked the look of ...

30/6/20 - Beeswax Wraps. I'm very excited that you try this one to help reduce the plastic we all use. You will need an adult to help you as the oven has to warm the beeswax so you can spread it about.

30/6/20 Cress sowing!

Ideas for outside activities this week - using your paper plates

Insect home ideas

Garden pond ideas


Two challenges this week - to spot some birds either in your garden, Park or woodland near you using the identification sheet that was in your pack. Try to listen really hard to birds singing to see if you can tell which bird is which. You may find an egg or feather using your egg collection box. Can you identify the bird it's from?

This morning I saw Great Tits, Blackbirds, Starlings and Goldfinches around the School KS1 playground. Plus my bird bath at home is being well used by the Blackbirds.


Also, can you collect some sticks, pine cones, bits of wood, leaves off the floor of the park or on a walk and create some art with it - i want to see some entries from the ECO Team in the Land Art Competition!!  Don't let me down, guys! Bring some bits of sticks, leaves and cones home with you in your brown collecting bag - we'll make something else later in the week or early next week. 


8/6/20 Arty Creations from things found on a walk!

Land Art Competition Entry

4/6/20 - Our First Land Art Entry

4/6/20 - Can you help me? 


My marigold plants that I have grown from seed, potted up and watered for weeks are under threat from slugs!!

I know many of you don't like slugs (I have heard lots of comments when we put fruit in the compost bin) but can you convince me that slugs have a role in our garden and in the wildlife habitat/circle of life. Tell me some good things about slugs (or snails).

I would like you to come up with 5 good things about slugs or facts about them. Send your ideas to me at

Good luck!

4/5/20 Slug Damage Investigation needed!

1/6/20 Photos You Have Sent into School

Clay models - what have you made out of your clay?

19/5/20202 Things you guys have been doing at home! Please let me know.

19/5/20202      Clay!! What Can you do with it?


Well first I found the idea about making tree guardians - see the document attached to the website. I thought you could make one or two when you were out and about and leave them for people to find. The pictures are ones i made and left on my local Park. You could make one for your garden if you prefer!

Please learn from my mistakes and make sure your tree guardian is either in a hole or you really push it onto the tree firmly, as only one of mine is still stuck to the tree! I really pressed the edges of that last one into the bark of the tree but i wished I had found a hole or a part of the tree which was leaning back for my tree guardians! Also take some wipes with you, for your hands when you've finished!

When i looked on line there were lots more things you could do with you clay so I've put some other peoples pictures up too. You could make a  creature - real or imaginary. You could write facts about your creature - where it lives, the food it eats, how it has adapted to its environment or you could write an imaginative story about it. Or you could use your clay to make a picture. 

Lots of ideas for you to choose. 

Tree Guardians

19/5/2020 Clay!! What can you do with it?

5/5/2020 Making a bird feeder for your garden.

28/04/2020 Recycling Quiz (with the answer sheet but DON'T cheat, do the quiz first!)

21/04/2020 Sunflower Challenge - who can grow the biggest and best SUNFLOWER?

Making your own compost bin

15.04.2020 -The Peas, (and we have carrots!)


You can apply to win one of 'Grow Your Own' home kits by using the following link: It comes with a packet of seeds, a compost disc, a handy growing guide and a special grower’s certificate. This is the same type of pack we received in school, so you can start growing at home. 


The peas we started growing in school and that have been at home with Mrs Brown are nearly ready to plant out, so watch this space for future photos of the planting!




Pea growers of the week this week. This week our star pea growers are ... Amy and Martha.

They are not the tallest plants but have grown the most this week. 

I hope you did a bug hunt last week, when it was cooler. I bet you find different insects if you do another hunt today in the sunshine - lots of butterflies and bees today on my garden!

03/04/2020 Can you do a mini beast hunt?

31/3/2020 - You can see the peas are still growing, not as much this week as there has not been as much sunshine. Joel and Evie are growers of the week this week but everyone's pea plants have now started to grow. I found a plant pot for Ruby and planted some peas for her too. It's an ordinary plant pot but ive put a label on it. Even your peas are already sending out shoots! The carrots are still not doing as well but a few little plants growing."

Wed star grower - The pea plants are really getting going now with some showing over the top of the pots. Leo and Zarin are star growers this week with the tallest plants so far. Mrs Brown put them outside for a bit of sunshine. Even the carrots have started to grow - just.

Mrs Brown took the peas plants home, as we didn't get chance to give them out before we all went home. They are now living in her kitchen to give them the best chance of growing. Mrs Brown planted some peas for the children who were not able to be in the planting session so Libby, Ellie-Mae and Harley all have a pot too. Obviously they are a bit behind the other plants but have just started to send up shoots.