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GREEN LINKS Education for Sustainable Development & Global Citizenship Newsletter Issue 21, Autumn 2012 Fairtrade Day at Ysgol Y Lawnt Pupils at Ysgol.

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Presentation on theme: "GREEN LINKS Education for Sustainable Development & Global Citizenship Newsletter Issue 21, Autumn 2012 Fairtrade Day at Ysgol Y Lawnt Pupils at Ysgol."— Presentation transcript:

1 GREEN LINKS Education for Sustainable Development & Global Citizenship Newsletter Issue 21, Autumn 2012 Fairtrade Day at Ysgol Y Lawnt Pupils at Ysgol y Lawnt in Rhymney recently held an African themed day to celebrate their first anniversary of gaining Fairtrade status. Children arrived for morning lessons dressed as either a person, animal or Fairtrade product from Africa. At the request of the eco- committee, children had been encouraged to make their own outfits with re-used or recycled materials. Pupils of all ages spent the morning learning about Fairtrade and got to taste a wide range of Fairtrade foods such as fruit and chocolate. Members of the eco- committee also presented a lively drama to fellow pupils during morning assembly, explaining how buying Fairtrade products can help others in poor countries to have a better standard of life, with sufficient food, clean water, medical services and education.

2 Fairtrade Day at Ysgol Y Lawnt A total of £160 was raised on the day. At the close of the afternoon, a cheque was presented to Martha Musonza Holman by the chair of the eco-committee. The money will be used by her charity Love Zimbabwe to help disabled children in Zimbabwe. Pupils are eagerly looking forward to her return visit in December when they will learn how their money has been spent. As in previous years, pupils were keen to raise money to help children in Zimbabwe. Members of the eco-fashion club had worked hard for weeks beforehand printing shopping bags with African animals and threading wooden beads onto bracelets to sell. Year 4 pupils had spent the morning making biscuits using Fairtrade ingredients. The recipe from Zimbabwe was a little unusual as it contained grated sweet potato. They also had to ditch the digital scales and instead measured ingredients with cups and spoons. Their biscuits were sold to parents in the Fairtrade café, together with a tropical punch made with Fairtrade orange juice. Pupils also raffled a food hamper of Fairtrade foods, kindly donated by the Co-op in Pentrebach. For more information about Faitrade in the Caerphilly county borough please contact Tracy Evans, Education for Sustainable Development Officer at Over one hundred and fifty parents turned up in the afternoon to see their children parading around the school yard in their colourful costumes. This was followed by a Fairtrade fair, where parents and children were able to learn more about Fairtrade. Pupils persuaded over 70 parents to sign a pledge that they would buy more Fairtrade products in future, as part of Fairtrades Take a step campaign for 2012. The tasting sessions of Fairtrade fruit from ASDAS proved very popular. There was also a wide variety of Fairtrade snacks and craft items for sale from Fairdos in Cardiff. Pupils also helped to run a stall of Fairtrade craftwork produced in Zimbabwe.

3 Pride in your Place Awards 2012 Please return your completed application form together with any photographs and other supplementary information to: Rhodri Lloyd, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Public Services, Ty Pontllanfraith, Blackwood Road, Pontllanfraith, NP12 2YW. Tel: 01495 235178, e-mail: The awards are an initiative that acknowledges the endeavor, innovation and commitment of those who have helped to make our area cleaner, safer and greener and a better place to live and work. The Awards scheme is open to all residents, schools, businesses & community groups within the County Borough. Ysgol Y Lawnt won the overall award for the 2011 Pride in your Place Awards, along with the Recycling in Schools category. There are 11 award categories: Recycling in Schools Environmental Education Healthy Living Sustainable Transport Environmental Champion Youth Environmental Champion Go Wild Keeping Up Appearances Best Environmental Business Best Community Project Best Kept Area Overall Best Project Award The closing date for applications is 5 th October 2012. All applications will be assessed by an independent panel. Those short listed candidates will be invited to an award ceremony on 23 rd November 2012 You can apply for more than one category but you will need to send a separate application (and supporting evidence) for each category. Please contact Rhodri Lloyd for an application form, Tel 01495 235178, email Every year thousands of people do their bit to improve the quality of the environment across the whole of the Caerphilly county borough.

4 After much hard work, the eco-committee are really excited to achieve green flag status. They enjoyed being able to show Eco Schools everything that we try to do here in line with our eco code 'Working together to make the world better'. The eco-committee wanted to keep the news a secret from the rest of the school until they could announce it in assembly! They then decided to have a green day, where everybody wore green to school to celebrate our achievement. Pantside Primary School Achieves Eco School Green Flag Status For more information about the Eco Schools Programme in the Caerphilly County Borough please contact Tracy Evans, Education for Sustainable Development Officer at WHAT HAVE SCHOOLS BEEN UP TO! Would you like to promote your schools achievements here! Share good practice and ideas with other schools. Email information, articles and pictures to Tracy Evans, Education for Sustainable Development Officer at:

5 St Gwladys Bargoed School Goes Platinum The practice of recycling and conserving the environment has been embedded in the school for more than a decade. Children, led by their Eco Committee, have recycled a range of items from newspapers, plastic bottles, batteries, and ink cartridges to Yellow Pages. The assessor, Matthew Bunt recognised the excellent whole school approach that was demonstrated and the work of a knowledgeable, articulate Eco Committee. He comments that there are always innovative Eco Projects in place at St. Gwladys. The Headteacher, Kathryn Evans, recognises the dedication and hard work of the children, led by the Eco Co-ordinator, Mrs. Paula Salmon. It is very heartening to see the commitment of young people in tackling pressing global concerns in a practical way at local level. Their determination and enthusiasm has been remarkable and we are all very proud of them. St Gwladys Bargoed Primary has become the first school in Caerphilly County Borough to be awarded the Platinum Eco Flag. This prestigious national award has been achieved by only twenty nine schools in the whole of Wales. For more information about Eco Schools in the Caerphilly county borough please contact Tracy Evans, Education for Sustainable Development Officer at They have also monitored energy conservation within the school. St Gwladys was a joint winner of the UK Yell Challenge Award in 2008 and has been successful in numerous competitions. The community has played their part too, responding to such initiatives as the Trolley Dash and Waste Not Wednesday.

6 The assessor was very impressed by the whole schools enthusiasm for the Eco Schools Programme and the level of staff and pupil involvement with environmental issues raised by the programme. Cwrt Rawlin Primary School Achieves Platinum Cwrt Rawlin Primary School are the second school in the Caerphilly county borough to achieve the Eco Schools Platinum Award. The assessors commented: · Fantastic Eco-Schools assembly delivered as part of the assessment. It really captured the breath of Eco-actions the school is involved with in a fun and dynamic way. · Many examples of the pupil voice in action. The tenacious approach taken to plastic bottle recycling being a point in case. The Committee never gave up on their goal, a very important part of being a Platinum Eco-School. · Excellent level of child friendly monitoring in place across many topic areas showing environmental improvement. · Brilliant, brilliant Eco-Code. The reasoning behind the image/words was incredibly well articulated by its creator. · The curriculum links and outstanding levels of display on Eco-Schools show it is really at the heart of the school. For more information about the Eco Schools Programme in the Caerphilly County Borough please contact Tracy Evans, Education for Sustainable Development Officer at They have now joined the elite group of Platinum Schools.

7 National Quality Award Achievements Markham Primary School and Bedwas High School have become the first two schools in Caerphilly to achieve the Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Scheme National Quality Award. When they received their awards they were two of only 22 schools throughout Wales to achieve this prestigious award. The healthy schools scheme aims to tackle all areas of health and well-being including food and fitness, mental and emotional health, environmental issues and global citizenship, personal development, safety and hygiene. It also actively encourages pupil participation in all aspects of school life. In order to achieve the National Quality Award, a school must demonstrate excellence in all of these areas. Markham primary school has been involved in the scheme for 9 years, whilst Bedwas High School have been involved since 2000 when the scheme was introduced to Caerphilly as a pilot initiative. In both schools staff, governors, pupils and parents have seen many positive changes to children's behaviour and lifestyle patterns. For further information contact Carin Quinn, Healthy Schools Practitioner on 01495 235240

8 Fairtrade School Award Schools need to achieve five goals to achieve Fairtrade School status, these are: 1. Set up a Fairtrade Steering group. (This can be linked to you Eco School Committee or School Council). 2. Adopt A Fairtrade Policy. 3. Commit to Fairtrade Products. 4. Learn about Fairtrade (Cover Fairtrade in at least two year groups, in at least three subjects across the school). 5. Take action for Fairtrade (Do at least one event or activity each term, including during Fairtrade Fortnight). Ysgol Y Lawnt – achieved Fairtrade School status on 19 th May 2011 Tir Y Berth Primary – achieved Fairtrade School status on 5 th July 2011 Hendredenny Park Primary – achieved Fairtrade School Status on 16 th April 2012 Ysgol Gynradd Gymreag Caerffili – achieved Fairtrade School Status on 25 th July 2012 Fochriw Primary School – achieved Fairtrade School Status on 16 th August 2012 For more information about the Fairtrade Scheme in the Caerphilly county borough please contact Tracy Evans, ESD Officer at To date five schools in the Caerphilly County Borough have achieved Fairtrade School Status. Congratulations to:

9 Fairtrade Wales – New Grants Available You can apply for any of the following three themes: Events & Campaigns Fairtrade and Young People Try Something New So, be it funding for a local Fairtrade stall or a campaign to help local businesses switch, to involving local youth groups in Fairtrade, please get your applications in. Fairtrade Wales are delighted to announce the launch of their 2012 round of Fairtrade Grants. Thanks to renewed funding by the Welsh Government, they are now able to award a total of £11,000 in small grants of up to £500 for Fairtrade projects or events in Wales. If you would like to apply or would just like to find out more, please email the team at or call 02920 803293 Fair Trade Wales (FTW) exists to grow the Fair Trade movement in Wales. I n order to maintain and improve Wales' position as a Fair Trade Nation – we support the grassroots movement to increase the awareness and consumption of Fair Trade by the people, organisations and businesses of Wales as well as embedding Fair Trade learning into the Welsh schools curriculum. The scheme aims to enhance and grow the Fairtrade movement by utilising the strength of the Fairtrade groups and individual supporters to engage with the general public and consumers. There are 3 streams to which groups and individuals can apply: Campaigns and events, Fairtrade and young people and Try something new. You can apply for a maximum of £500 per application though we do accept applications for up to 3 years (totalling £1,500) FTW has a grant of £25,000 annually, provided by the Welsh Government. Of this £11,000 is available as part of our small grants pot, which we disperse on behalf of the Welsh Government subject to accountability, rules and conditions that surround public funding. There will be one round with funded projects expected to be completed within 1 year. A 1 page report will need to be submitted to Fairtrade Wales within 6 months of funding having been received.

10 The Green Grin o meter, a web based sustainability index for children and young adults has been developed to raise awareness and understanding of sustainable development and global citizenship. Green Grin o meter Kids find out how to be greener, healthier and happier with the Green Grin o meter Caerphilly CBC worked with the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and Torfaen and Carmarthenshire County Borough Councils to secure funding to develop the Green Grin o meter, to help raise awareness and understanding of sustainable development and global citizenship to children throughout Wales. The Welsh version can be accessed at: The English version can be accessed at: Children answer a series of eleven questions looking at their life and feelings to calculate their score on the Green Grin o meter. Their score is made up of three parts, health, happiness and ecological footprint. Depending on their score they then receive top tips on how to improve their score and live a more sustainable lifestyle. You can also visit the Sustainable Caerphilly website to access the Green Grin o

11 Fairtrade and Your School A wide range of educational resources, many bilingual. A sale or return service, which means that you can come and choose products (food and crafts) to run Fairtrcome stalls and activities. Pupils are welcome to come with a teacher and can learn by helping to choose Fairtrade products. A visit to Fair dos with pupils for a learning experience. We welcome groups of up to 8 children for an interactive session of 45 minutes to one hour. A chance to learn about Fairtrade and study a large range of unusual crafts, as well as the more familiar Fairtrade foods. Sessions can be in English or Welsh. Visits must be booked in advance. Fair Dos, South Wales' premier fair trade shop, is committed to seeing more local schools gain Fairtrade status. We also firmly believe that learning about fair trade can be fun as well as educational. With this in mind, we would like to let you know what we can offer your school: Fair Dos/Siopa Teg 10 Llandaff Road, Canton, Cardiff CF11 9NJ 029 2022 2066 b or

12 Be a Two Zero Hero Competition – Sustrans Do you think the streets outside our homes and schools would be better if cars didnt go quite do fast? Design a postcard telling them your thoughts. Be creative! It could be a drawing or a diagram. A poem, song or rap. One amazing photo might say it all…or a collage of several. If you are good at catchy slogans, perhaps a few words would say it better than a hundred? Or maybe you have so much to say only a letter will do! You could use a little of these ideas or invent your own. Visit to download an entry form and create your design within the boundaries shown. Complete all the information required and then post your entry back to: Be a Two Zero Hero, Sustrans, 2 Cathedral Square, Bristol, BS15DD or you can scan your completed entry to Sustrans think 20 miles per hour should be the usual speed limit on the roads where people live. Can you be a two zero hero and tell them how slower speed limits might change your life? Sustrans have some fantastic prizes including a BMX stunt display for your school from Inspire Promotions! All entries must be received by midnight on Wednesday 31 st October 2012. The competition is open to anyone aged between 7 and 11 years.

13 A Caerphilly Primary School Teacher Taps into Welsh Water A primary school teacher, from Caerphilly, has traded the classroom for the great outdoors as he begins a year-long secondment with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Waters Cilfynydd Education Centre. Matthew Seamons joins the centre after deciding to take a break from teaching at Bedwas Junior School, in order to quench his thirst for a more practical teaching experience. This experience will be a learning curve for me as well the children, and I cant wait to transfer the new skills I learn here to my teaching at Bedwas. Welsh Waters education manager Claire Roberts said: Our annual secondments allow teachers to spend time working within industry and are excellent opportunities for their professional development. Having a fully qualified teacher, bringing their own unique experiences to the centre, each year benefits Welsh Water as they offer us fresh ideas. We are really looking forward to working with Matthew over the next 12 months. Our education programme is kept up to date with the National Curriculum and the outdoor learning agenda and the visiting youngsters learn about the importance of water and the vital role it plays in our everyday lives. Welsh Water's Environmental Education centres provide year round activities free of charge. All lessons fully integrate the new skills curriculum through a hands on practical approach to thinking and learning. To book a visit to Cilfynydd Environmental Education Centre ring 01443 492720 Four years into his employment at the primary school, Matthew has lent his teaching talents to the education centre, to deliver a range of practical activities and outdoor lessons to youngsters on the water companys behalf. Throughout the academic year the centre, situated just outside Cardiff, receives thousands of visits from pupils who come to learn about the environment and the importance of water. Since opening in 1996, over 144,000 pupils have visited the companys four environmental education centres at Alwen in Denbighshire, Cog Moors near Cardiff, Elan Valley in Powys and Cilfynydd near Pontypridd. Matthew replaces Sharon Phillips who is returning to her teaching post at Deri View Primary in Abergavenny, having been with the centre for the past 12 months. Matthew said, Working with a prominent business such as Welsh Water is a great opportunity for me. Im looking forward to getting out in the open and teaching children about the environment, and all the challenges that we face today.

14 Join Your Local Forest Education Initiative (FEI) Group Forest Education Initiative (FEI) aims to increase the understanding and appreciation, particularly among young people, of the environmental, social, and economic potential of trees, woodlands and forests and of the link between the tree and everyday wood products. The Caerphilly FEI Cluster group is an active group with members from a variety of backgrounds all with an interest in environmental and forest education. New members are welcome to attend Caerphilly FEI Cluster Group meetings. It s all free! For further info or to find out when the next meeting is please see the website: Or contact Juliette: Tel: 0300 068 0300 Members benefit from: Sharing good ideas and networking Advice on using the outdoors for learning and improving school grounds Information on Forest Schools Funding opportunities and cluster groups

15 Caerphilly Woodland Olympics at Aberbargoed Grasslands Field games comprising javelin (stick) throwing and discus (log slices) Boating activity – the challenge of using just natural materials to build a boat to float and race across the pond to the finish line Willolympics – using willow to create a crown for each competitor adorned with leaves, reminiscent of the crowns worn by ancient Greek Olympians The final activity was very well received as each group sent forward a brave competitor to take part in the cowpat tossing competition On July 6th, Aberbargoed Grasslands hosted the Ancient Greek-Caerphilly Woodland Olympics where the Spartans battled with the Corinthians. The day was rounded off with medals and gifts being awarded to the crown wearing competitors at the Woodland Olympic Award ceremony. Everyone got into the spirit of the Games and all thoroughly enjoyed the day, I think the highlight for me had to be the entertaining sight of an excited crowd cheering on their team- mates throwing cowpats across a field! (Juliette Staples, Education Officer, FCW) This was a Caerphilly FEI cluster group event for member schools, organised by staff from CCBC Countryside Service and Forestry Commission Wales. Many thanks to all those involved who made it such a fantastic day! Visiting local school groups from Markham Primary, Ysgol Penalltau and Hengoed Primary took on the characteristics of six ancient Greek Olympic states and competed for points in a variety of challenging events throughout the day: For further information about the Caerphilly FEI Cluster group or if you would like to join please see the website: Or contact Juliette: Tel: 0300 068 0300

16 Centre for Alternative Technology Wheres the Impact – Teaching Resource There are literally thousands of processes involved in the production of any given product. This innovative, interactive teaching resource from the Centre for Alternative Technology explores what the eco-footprint of a product is, and helps to explain the many and varied impacts of any product.Centre for Alternative Technology Pupils use a set of cards to tell the story of a product from beginning to end. This flexible resource can support learning from KS2 to A-Level in subjects such as design and technology, geography, science and politics and ethics. Resources to download: Sustainable Food - An overview of the issues, challenges and possibilities related to the way we produce and consume food. Energy Futures - The challenges and possible energy futures in a nutshell. Sustainable Building – A look at sustainable building design, materials and energy use. Zero Carbon Britain for teachers – An overview of the ZCB 2030 strategy as a useful starting point. School & Home Energy Surveys – Short audit tools for pupils to do in school and at home. What are the impacts of the things we buy? Where is the energy used? What are the impacts on other people and the environment? Chocolate harvested in West Africa… Bauxite mined in Australia… Aluminium smelted in Iceland… Plastic toy made in China… Shipped, flown and driven to your supermarket in the form of a 'Kinder Egg' sold for 60p.

17 Eco School Green Flag Renewals – New Procedure As part of the Eco Schools programme Keep Wales Tidy have introduced a formal procedure to encourage schools to adhere to the green flag renewal timeframe and to ensure schools receive support working through the Eco Schools programme. A formal letter addressed to the head teacher is sent to the school six months before Green Flag status is due to expire. The letter will remind the school that an application for Green Flag renewal will be due by the 2 nd anniversary of the award. After the 2 nd anniversary of the award, with no application having been received, another letter is sent to the school, addressed to the head teacher. In this letter will be stated that the last deadline for application to be received is within 30 school days. If the school has not sent an application by the last deadline, a standard letter will be sent to the head teacher advising that Green Flag status has been removed. They will no longer have the permission to display the Green Flag or use the award logo on school documents. The school will be encouraged to continue working towards Green Flag status, but when they do apply for status again, it will be for the 1 st Flag. In order to ensure that the above system is upheld, the following procedure has been introduced by Keep Wales Tidy.

18 Eco School Platinum Award Information 3 rd Green Flag to Platinum For Example: Photos showing developments throughout the whole eco school experience. Statistical data showing an impact on topic areas (increased bio-diversity, reduction in energy consumption). Surveys recording a change in attitudes of pupils/ staff/ wider community. You will be expected to gain the platinum award with no recommendations. You will need to provide evidence/ figures demonstrating the improvements you have made in all 8 topic areas, or demonstrate that no improvements can be made. During your assessment the assessors like to see an overall evaluation of all your achievements across the 8 topic areas presented by the pupils and that you have matched the green flag criteria.

19 School Ambassador Project Background - The School Ambassadors project has been running for a number of years and is aimed at primary school pupils. They currently have over 130 school signed up as active across Wales. Childrens Commissioner for Wales Two Ambassadors are voted by their peers to take on three jobs: 1. Tell other children in their school all about the Childrens Commissioner for Wales 2. Tell the children in their school all about childrens rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 3. Ask children in the school what could be made better and then work with other people in the school to change things. We currently send schools a pack for pupils and guidance for staff on how to support the pupils and are in the process of developing a new online resource, which will be launched in the autumn term. This new resource will enable pupils to learn more about the role of Ambassadors, the Childrens Commissioner and childrens rights. Why? Included within Welsh Governments Getting it Right (2009) action plan – its response to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Childs recommendations – one of the key areas for improvement is awareness of the UNCRC. We believe passionately in childrens rights and have seen the benefits of promoting pupil voice and participation not just to pupils (increased self esteem, learner well being and confidence), but to staff and whole school communities in supporting a positive and co- operative environment for learning. If you are interested in joining our Ambassador project please contact: Kath Mattingly Participation Officer (Ambassadors) You can also download the ambassadors toolkit at ambassadors/ ambassadors/


21 DOGS TRUST FREE WORKSHOPS Looking for ideas for personal and social education? Dogs trust is inviting your school to take part in one of their FREE educational workshops. The curriculum linked workshops for 5 to 11 year olds use fun activities to explore the theme of dog ownership Our lively interactive workshops are: Tailor made to suit different ages, abilities and learning styles. Designed to develop pupils confidence, thinking, self esteem, communication and teamwork. Designed to deliver activities that support Key Stage 1 & 2 attitudes and values. Please call me on 01656 729379 / 07843 348419 or email Alternatively visit for more information. Lynn Jones, Dogs Trust Education Officer for South East Wales.

22 Well our so called summer has been a wash out and not just for us. Many breeding birds suffered too. The wet weather has meant a shortage in their natural food which has seen many birds dying whilst still in the nest. At the moment, I am still seeing young birds in my garden from second and even third broods, and I m sure this is the case everywhere. On a more positive note though, there has been some breeding success. We have seen the longest day come and go, and the autumn will soon be upon us, and some of our bird life will be making their long journeys back to Africa and other far away locations. The male Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) will have already done his part in the breeding process. Males arrive here first from their African wintering grounds, and begin the familiar call which gives them their name. Only the male does the cuckoo call, and did you know that it is no coincidence that they are shaped like a small bird of prey? Apparently, this shape frightens the parent birds off their nests as the Cuckoo flies low over them, thus revealing to the female Cuckoo where nests may be. The female then lays an egg into the host species nest and disappears. There are over fifty known bird species which have had to play parent to a Cuckoo chick and rear it. NEVS NATURAL BITS We didn t have many Common Swifts (Apus apus) with us this year, and I love their screaming calls as they fly acrobatically over our roof tops. They arrive here in the latter part of April and leave between July and September depending on how late they have nested. There are some amazing facts about this bird with its characteristic sickle shaped wings, such as it spends nearly all of its life in the air only ever landing to breed (under eaves of houses or on cliffs), it sleeps whilst on the wing by reaching a certain altitude then going into a kind of sub-sleep and they even mate whilst on the wing.

23 Our summer visitors such as the Cuckoo, Swifts, Swallows and indeed the warblers, all make our summers a memorable time in their own distinctive way, but sadly they will have left by the autumn for warmer climes. However, our autumn brings with it new arrivals. Two thrushes arrive here from Scandinavia and other east European countries – the Redwing (Turdus iliacus) and the Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) and both are a lovely sight. In fact, on a clear autumn night listen for the seep seep calls of Redwings as they migrate in large groups. They feed on our native Hawthorn (Craaegus monogyna), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Cotoneaster (Rosaceae) and Holly (Llex aquifolium) berries. They will come into gardens when berry numbers fall to feed on apples, pears and other tree bearing fruits. If you have any apples that are past their best, then place these on a lawn or open space, and be delighted by these colourful birds. Telling them apart is easy; the Redwing has a bold eye stripe and a deep red colour under its wings (which gives them their name). The Fieldfare is larger with a striking streaked breast and a slate grey head and rump. One of the best places to see both species is at the Merthyr Mawr sand dunes near Bridgend. They feed here sometimes in their thousands on Sea Buckthorn berries (Hippophae rhamnoides). Did you know that the dune system here is the highest in Europe, and that flint arrow heads have also been found there? NEVS NATURAL BITS CONTINUED… If you are in forestry plantations, look out too for the Siskin (Carduelis spinus), a tiny finch which also comes here from Scandinavia to feed on cones of both Norway Spruce (Picea abies) and European Larch (Larix dicedua). The Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) is also present, generally all year round. There is a small group currently in the forestry area of Wern Ddu near Caerphilly with a group of about a dozen birds at Draethen (near Rudry). They have a distinctive chip chip call. Their beaks are unique with the upper mandible crossing over the lower mandible to forma type of tweezers effect as they extract the seeds from within the cones. The summer is a wonderful time of the year, and as this drawn to an end we will see the arrival of autumn, with its vibrant colourful leaves and foliage, crisp still mornings and new bird song. Written by Neville Davies.

24 RESOURCES National Botanic Garden of Wales The National Botanic Garden of Wales offers over 40 different curriculum linked programmes or workshops for schools from foundation phase to post 16. Example of programmes offered: Foundation Phase: Sowing and Growing Waking up the baby plant inside a seed is a magical experience. Learn more about seeds and how a plant starts to grow. Take practical action – during your visit, learn how to make pots and potting compost, plant Marigold seeds and nurture them through to flowering back in school. Send in a digital photo or drawing of an insect sipping nectar from your plants and you will earn an NBGW Helping Nature Certificate. Tedwens Adventure In this highly popular programme we invite your childrens Teddy bears to join our Tedwen on an adventure through meadows and woods to find the Secret Pond. On the adventure, children discover other friendly animals who teach us how to survive in the Garden by finding food, drink and shelter. We even sing about it! KS2 Fair Trade What is it and why should we engage with it? Using the plant collections of the Garden, this challenging workshop links the producer with the consumer and deals with issues such as inequality, global markets and consumer power. This actively explores the concept of Think Global, Act Local. Earth Walks Getting children to use all their senses to explore the natural environment. Earth walks have been used throughout the UK, Europe and the US to help children understand the wonders of nature. Their experiences can be used to explore language and poetry back in school. For further details and to make a booking contact: Kay Bailey on 01558 667150 or

25 RESOURCES National Botanic Garden of Wales Secondary For secondary schools they have a wide range of programmes with an emphasis on: Hands on active learning discovery linked to the new skills curriculum Cross curricular learning ESDGC STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Welsh Baccalaureate For further details contact: Kay Bailey on 01558 667150 or Examples include: Lifecycle of Flowering Plants Using microscopy and flower dissection explore the main stages in the lifecycle of flowering plants to include all aspects of pollination, fertilisation and germination. Follow the growth of the seedling plant, through vegetative stages to maturity, flower production, seed formation and dispersal. Life in Ponds Investigate the interdependence of organisms by exploring our freshwater ecosystems. By collecting and identifying fresh water animals from our dipping pools, pupils will discover how different animals move, breath and feed. The information pupils collect, together with support material provided by us, will enable classes to return to school where they can construct food chains and webs, build up ecological pyramids and simple energy flow diagrams. Plant Adaptations How have plants evolved to cope with different climates across the planet? Why do some have hairy leaves or bright red undersides or smell like rotting flesh? What is convergent evolution? Explore our Great Glasshouse, Tropical House and ornamental gardens to find out how Mediterranean, tropical and temperate climates have affected plant adaptations over millennia. Fairtrade What is it and why should we engage with it? Using the plant collections of the Garden, this challenging workshop links the producer with the consumer and deals with issues such as inequality, global markets and consumer power. This actively explores the concept of Think Global, Act Local.

26 RESOURCES Woodland Trust Nature Detectives Free Resources for Schools – available in Welsh and English Green Tree Schools Award Take part in activities = Earn points = Receive free tree packs Points are awarded when your school participates in activities. Activities include: Ancient Tree HuntReduced CO2 Emissions Recycling Christmas Cards/ Inkjet Cartridges/ Mobile Phones Yellow Woods ChallengeVisit a Woodland Share your Woodland Words & ImagesTrees and Flowers Top Trump Cards A Woodland Perspective Wildlife Trails Register for free to start improving your school environment by working towards the Green Tree Schools Award. Diamond Jubilee School Resources Includes Free Trees, Curriculum Linked Resources, Jubilee Writing Competition, downloadable poster Win an outdoor learning kit and Top Trumps cards Free Activity Packs Download by theme: Easter Pack, Outdoor Play, Mini Beast Pack, Trees, Birds, Adventure Pack: Picnic Kit, Ladybirds, Games Pack, Photography, Storytelling, Summer Pack, Winter Pack, Autumn Pack, Spooky Ideas, Fungi, Fruits and Seeds. Free Booklets – Fun Outdoor Ideas for the Whole Year Contains 44 ideas for playtime. Welsh Resource Pack Some favourite Nature Detective activities translated into Welsh Free Sapling Packs - Free trees for schools

27 RESOURCES Growing Schools Resources available to schools If you are a teacher looking for interesting and innovative ways of incorporating outdoor learning into your lessons, this section holds a wide variety of resources related to the outdoor classroom. Grain Chain Re-Shoots Grain Chain is a new and improved educational resource for teachers providing free, curriculum-linked resources with a new families section so that learning can continue outside the classroom. As well as lesson plans, activity sheets and interactive- whiteboard activities, the new website, funded by the Home Grown Cereals Authority, also includes games, videos, podcasts and recipes. Visit for more information. The Growing School Garden! Learning outside the classroom – the manifesto aims to encourage more widespread use of educational opportunities away from the classroom and to inspire schools, and those organisations that support learning outside the classroom, to provide high quality experiences or all children and young people.

28 RESOURCES Growing Schools Growth Through Growing! Two booklets available highlighting ways in which growing related activities are being used to support the learning of students with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, and those with special educational needs. Green Schools Revolution This sustainability project from the Co-op gives signed-up schools access to classroom resources and activities covering a wide range of subjects from bees to water pumps via fair trade and nuclear power. Schools will also have the opportunity to visit a Co-operative wind farm to see renewable energy in action, and seven Co-operative farms to see first hand how food grows and how to cook it. Every school to join will receive a free starter pack bursting with ideas as well as access to online cross curricular resources and activities that the whole school can enjoy.

29 RESOURCES Growing Schools Grow Your Own Salad Initiative! The British Leafy Salads Association has launched a new Grow Your Own Salads initiative for primary schools aimed at children aged 7-11. The initiative is designed to help children develop first-hand knowledge of where their food comes from in their own classrooms. Teachers can apply for free Grow Your Own Salads kits and download curriculum based teaching resources, developed in conjunction with us at the British Nutrition Foundation. The resources include eight pupil friendly worksheets along with whiteboard activities. The resources can be downloaded from the website and applications for the kits can be made online, via email: or by calling 01189 475956. Kits will be delivered in September 2012 designed to be grown in the classroom during the autumn term. Growing School Year Planner! Growing Schools has re-printed its popular colourful and informative calendar-style year planner for the classroom. Its available free, and schools can order a copy now. The year planner is enlivened with inspirational photos, and packed with tips and advice to encourage outdoor learning through growing food in schools. Visit the Growing Schools website to order your free copy. Growing Schools Garden Award! Working with the Botanic Gardens Education Network, Growing Schools has developed an award for gardens that provide advice and training for schools, and demonstrate how gardens can be used for active learning across the curriculum. Gardens of all kinds, including school gardens, are eligible. To find out more, go to To Exemplify good practice, including risk management, in childrens learning in the natural environment Provide training for teachers and educators to develop outdoor classrooms for learning Provide access to gardens that offer a range of plant displays and opportunities for learning outside the classroom

30 RESOURCES Christian Aid Introduce the global dimension to your school day! Download or order easy to use assemblies, classroom activities and games to help students engage with world issues and reflect on their own role as a global citizen. Primary School Teaching Resources Assembly of the month: Did you ever stop to think – Meaning of Lent Butterfly Effect – Climate Change Water Works – About World Water Day and Ethiopia Is It Fair – About Fairtrade No School Today – About the 2011 Global Campaign for Education Never Forget – Looks at conflict of war and peace in the modern world Curriculum Linked Classroom Activities: Abu lives in Kenya, Become a transformer, Crazy climate, Flush, Goat for it. Secondary School Teaching Resources Assembly of the month: Think About It – Reflect on the world and on Lent Butterfly Effect – Climate Change Tapping into a new life – About World Water Day and Ethiopia Send my sister to school – About the 2011 Global Campaign for Education Christian Aid uncovered – Exploring global issues ad the work of Christian Aid Ribbon Red Day – World Aids Day Curriculum Linked Classroom Activities: Changing Lives, Flush, Harvest Lesson Plan, Live Responsibly.

31 Climate Week 4 th – 10 th March 2013 Register now to take part! To find out more about the Climate Week Challenge and to register to take part go to, email or telephone on 020 3397 2601. Be part of this national occasion An invitation to be part of a supercharged national occasion – register now! Climate Week is backed by every part of society - from the National Association of Headteachers to Girlguiding UK, the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the Department of Education to the NHS, Eco Schools to the CBI. During Climate Week 2012 over 3,000 events were attended by half a million people across the UK. There were over 1,000 pieces of media coverage, including a full feature on Blue Peter! The Climate Week Challenge is a fun, easy and free way to get involved in Climate Week. For the first time ever, it can be held on any day during Climate Week and the actual Challenge will be revealed to teachers a week beforehand. In Climate Week 2012 it was once again Britain's biggest ever environmental competition, with over 135,000 people participating in the one day and one-hour versions. In schools, workplaces, and community groups, teams were challenged to come up with creative solutions to a problem which was only revealed on the Monday morning of Climate Week - to make a space you know more environmentally friendly. Judged by a team of celebrities, winning ideas included the Water Pebble –a gadget designed to save water by timing how long we spend in the shower– and the Eco-Fridge – a fridge powered by the energy from sound waves. Climate Week is Britains biggest climate change campaign - a supercharged national occasion to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates with thousands of events and activities taking place throughout the week of 4 to 10 March 2013, planned by organisations from every part of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

32 National What Day/ Week/ Month September 2012 1 st /30 th September: National 5 a Day Month Each year Produce for Better Health Foundation and the National 5 a Day Partnership takes this time to encourage organisations and individuals to strengthen their efforts to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables. Check out the 5 a day recipes. The 5 a day colour way and There is a rainbow on my plate downloadable colouring and activity pages. 22 nd September: International Car Free Day The objective is to encourage widespread debate on the necessity for changes in behaviour in relation to mobility and in particular the use of private car. 23 rd September/23 rd August: Seed Gathering Season Seed Gathering Season runs from the first day of autumn every month, giving everyone plenty of time to hold events. These could be anything from guided walks enjoying the beauty of colours to workshops and other activities to gather seeds, nuts and fruits to grow a whole range of trees. 24 th September: Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning Macmillan Cancer support are asking people everywhere to join them for coffee and help raise £8 million for people living with cancer. October 2012 1 st /31 st October: International Walk to School Month Gives parents, pupils, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking. 1 st /31 st October: The Big Draw The campaign for drawing invites everyone to join in to discover how drawing stimulates observation, problem solving, invention and enjoyment. 7th October: Jeans for Genes Day Everyone across the UK is being urged to make sure you wear jeans, dress to impress and make an impression on the lives of children suffering from genetic disorders. 6 th October: National Badger Day If you are lucky enough to have badgers living in your area, celebrate them today!

33 National What Day/ Week/ Month October 2011 continued 1 st October: World Habitat Day The UN has designated the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day in order for people to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and to remind the world of our responsibility to maintain human habitat in the future. 21 st October: Apple Day The official date is 21 st October, but you can hold your events anytime between then and 31 st October. Celebrate apples by holding the longest peel competitions, or apple tasting sessions – this year is the 21 st anniversary, so make it special! 8 th – 14 th October: National Curry Week A week of fun, food and fundraising which helps Oxfam to tackle poverty across South Asia. Enjoy delicious food whilst helping those in need! November 2012 19 th – 23 rd November: Anti Bullying Week The theme for 2012 is Were better without bullying. Visit the above website to access resources and ideas on how to mark anti bullying week. 21 st /27 th November: Road Safety Week Road Safety Week is an important event that educates children about the dangers of the road and how important it is that they stay safe. The theme for 2012 is Slower Speeds = Happy People The website contains great ideas for fun and informative activities to organise that week. 24 th November/2 nd December: National Tree Week This week is the Tree Councils festival to mark the start of the tree planting season, as well as a nationwide celebration of trees and woods. Join in with tree planting, walks and storytelling – just some of the great activities taking place across the country! December 2012 1 st – 2 nd December: International Tree Dressing Day Decorate and celebrate a tree in your school, area or street and show how much you value it.

34 ECO SCHOOLS PROGRAMME Congratulations to the following schools who achieved an Eco School award last term. Bronze Award Aberbargoed Primary SchoolYsgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni Silver Ystrad Mynach Primary SchoolYsgol Gymraeg Penallta Trinant Primary School Green Flag Pantside Primary School 2 nd Green Flag Blackwood Comprehensive SchoolBedwas Infants School Rhymney Comprehensive School Deri Primary School 3 rd Green Flag St Helens Roman Catholic SchoolTy Isaf Infants School Hendredenny Park Primary School Platinum Award St Gwladys Bargoed SchoolCwrt Rawlin Primary School If you require support with your eco school work or want to know if your ready to apply for your bronze, silver, green flag or platinum award, please contact: Tracy Evans, ESD Officer on 01495 235141 or email CONGRATULATIONS

35 Look whos an Eco School in your cluster group - Share Ideas and Support Each Other School Eco School Award Bedwas High Green Flag (3 rd ) Bedwas Infants Green Flag (2 nd ) Bedwas Junior Green Flag (2 nd) Graig Y Rhacca Primary Green Flag (2 nd ) Machen Primary Green Flag (2 nd ) Tyn Y Wern Primary Green Flag (3rd) School Eco School Award Blackwood ComprehensiveGreen Flag (2 nd ) Blackwood PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Cefn Forest PrimarySilver Fleur De Lys PrimarySilver Pengam PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) School Eco School Award St Cenydd School Silver Cwmaber Infants Green Flag Cwmaber Junior Green Flag (3rd) Cwm Ifor Primary Silver Hendre InfantsSilver Hendre JuniorBronze Hendredenny Park Primary Green Flag (3rd) Nantyparc Primary Green Flag Plasyfelin Primary Green Flag (3 rd ) School Eco School Award Trinity Fields School & Resource Centre Bronze

36 Look whos an Eco School in your cluster group - Share Ideas and Support Each Other School Eco School Award Cwmcarn HighBronze School Eco School Award Newbridge SchoolSilver Abercarn PrimaryGreen Flag Crumlin PrimarySilver Cwmcarn PrimaryGreen Flag (3 rd ) Pantside PrimaryGreen Flag Pentwynmawr PrimaryGreen Flag Tynewydd PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) School Eco School Award St Martins ComprehensiveGreen Flag (2 nd ) Cwrt Rawlin PrimaryPlatinum St Helens Roman CatholicGreen Flag (2 nd ) St James PrimarySilver Rhydri PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) The Twyn SchoolGreen Flag (2 nd ) School Eco School Award Oakdale ComprehensiveBronze Rhiw-Syr-Dafydd JuniorSilver Pontllanfraith PrimarySilver Trinant PrimarySilver

37 School Eco School Award Heolddu ComprehensiveGreen Flag (2 nd ) Aberbargoed PrimaryBronze Deri PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Gilfach Fargoed PrimaryGreen Flag (3rd) Park PrimaryGreen Flag St Gwladys Bargoed Platinum White Rose PrimarySilver Look whos an Eco School in your cluster group – Share Ideas and Support Each Other School Eco School Award Lewis Girls SchoolBronze Lewis SchoolSilver Coed y Brain PrimaryGreen Flag Cwm Glas InfantsSilver Derwendeg PrimaryGreen Flag Glyn-Gaer PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Hengoed PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Llancaeach JuniorGreen Flag (3 rd ) Llanfabon InfantsGreen Flag (3 rd ) Maesycwmmer PrimaryGreen Flag Tiryberth PrimarySilver Ystrad Mynach PrimarySilver Greenhill Primary Green Flag School Eco School Award Rhymney ComprehensiveGreen Flag (2 nd ) Abertysswg PrimaryGreen flag Fochriw PrimarySilver Bryn Awel PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Phillipstown PrimaryBronze Pontlottyn PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Upper Rhymney PrimarySilver White Rose PrimarySilver

38 Look whos an Eco School in your cluster group - Share Ideas and Support Each Other SchoolEco School Award Pontllanfraith ComprehensiveBronze Argoed PrimaryGreen flag Bryn PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Cwmfelinfach PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Libanus PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Markham Primary Green Flag (3 rd ) Penllwyn PrimaryGreen Flag (2 nd ) Ynysddu PrimaryGreen flag (2 nd ) School Eco School Award Risca Community Comprehensive Bronze Risca Primary Green Flag (2 nd) Ty Isaf Infants Green Flag (3rd) Ty Sign Primary Silver Waunfawr Primary Silver School Eco School Award Ysgol Gyfun Cwm RhymniBronze Ysgol Bro SannonSilver YGG FargoedBronze YGG CaerffiliGreen Flag (3 rd ) YGG CastellSilver YG Bro AltaBronze YG Cwm GwyddonGreen Flag YG TrelynGreen Flag (2 nd ) Ysgol Ifor BachSilver Ysgol Y LawntGreen Flag (2 nd ) Ysgol Cwm DerwenBronze Ysgol Gymraeg PenalltauSilver

39 EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP RESOURCE BOXES Nineteen resource boxes have been developed to support schools and youth groups incorporating ESDGC into the school curriculum and youth work programme. The resource boxes cover the following topics: Recycling & Waste Minimisation: Music & RecyclingComposting Primary School Waste AuditGeneric Recycling Secondary Waste AuditRecycling Display Recycled Paper Making School Grounds: Mini Beast Grab & Go Kits Composting School Grounds Energy, Water & Global Citizenship: Solar PV Kits Energy Efficiency Kit Fairtrade & Global Citizenship (Primary) Fairtrade & Global Citizenship (Secondary) Visit the Resources page on the Sustainable Schools website ( to access the resource box booking form for 2011/2012 or contact Tracy Evans, ESD Officer at

40 Do you have something you would like to be included in the next edition of Green Links? Achievements, forthcoming and successful events all welcome. Would you like to see your school in the What have schools been up to! section. Promoting your achievements helps us to share good practice to schools in the Caerphilly county borough. Would you like to promote an future event or project. Please send any articles and photos by 4th December 2012 for issue 22 Spring 2013. If you have any comments regarding the above information please contact: Tracy Evans, Education for Sustainable Development Officer on 01495 235141 or email :

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