School’s special eco-friendly timetable aims to inspire students

Hillcrest Primary School children at Downham Market with the milk bottle igloo the pupils have made

Hillcrest Primary School children at Downham Market with the milk bottle igloo the pupils have made as part of their Eco-stem week. Site manager Mike Dunne, and teacher, Gemma Farr, with from left, Bethany, James, Henni, Eddie, Dexter, Oscar, Liliana and Bethany. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A primary in west Norfolk collapsed its normal school timetable this week to teach children about the importance of the environment and sustainability.

Hillcrest Primary School children at Downham Market inside the milk bottle igloo the pupils have mad

Hillcrest Primary School children at Downham Market inside the milk bottle igloo the pupils have made as part of their Eco-stem week. From left, Henni, Bethany, Bethany, Eddie (front), James, Dexter, and Liliana. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Hillcrest Primary School in Downham Market held an Eco-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) week to raise the profile of jobs in these sectors and to encourge children to contribute towards a more sustainable future.

Children from all year groups learned about environmental issues such as renewable energy, recycling and climate change.

Headteacher, Matthew Try, said: "We want to inspire the pupils, the parents and the whole school community to do their part."

Children took part in workshops and constructed models from reusable material to encourage them to reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly.

Hillcrest Primary School children at Downham Market, from left, Eddie, Oscar and Liliana, with the m

Hillcrest Primary School children at Downham Market, from left, Eddie, Oscar and Liliana, with the milk bottle igloo the pupils have made as part of their Eco-stem week. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


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A 5ft igloo made out of around 800 milk bottles was constructed over the course of the week with the help and supervision of site manager Mike Dunne.

Mr Dunne said: "It's probably taken us around nine hours to build.

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"It's become such a focal point because the children have seen it at different stages and can now see what they created."

Gemma Farr, science teacher, who coordinated the week said it was important for the children to learn about how environment.

Mrs Farr said: "We hope to inspire the children to make a change, whether it big or small, to make a more sustainable future.

"It's in the news all the time and it's become very topical recently.

"It's good showing them while they're young so they can take it in and begin to think about the future.

"The children are already thinking about the impact waste has on the environment.

"Some have already told their parents how they want to change.

"One girl said she wants to stop using plastic bags for her lunch and use a reusable box.

"Every time we leave the classroom now, the children will say 'you need to turn off the whiteboard to save electricity' and some have even been doing that at home with their PlayStations and lights.

"It has been brilliant, everyone from the teachers, pupils and parents have got completely on board with it."

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