Autumn 2012 - Winter 2013
aim is to
foster respect for the
environment and compassion for living
enhance understanding of
and to inspire all
students to take
that will make
the world a better place
animals, people and the environment.
We still adhere to the Roots and
Shoots ideals of people,
animals and the
environment as shown in he headings of this blog. 'One World' has
taken on new meaning this year as our community has become
Follow Millie's and Sam's Send My
Friend to School BLOG
and download resources for the campaign
CHRISTMAS FAIRTRADE CAKE BAKE AND SALE
Fairtrade bake sale is a customary part of the Fairtrade group's early
Christmas celebrations. Thanks to to Mrs Waine and to students of all
ages, several students were able to stay after school for a bake-off in food technology.
The event was sponsored by Sainsbury of Ringwood and we are very
grateful to Vikki Jordan for her support.
bake sale and sale of Fairtrade goodies followed the next day when we
were joined by Mrs Whalen's smoothie makers and by a lady who made up a
display of crafts from the Philippines. These were sold in aid of the
PCF, a group who support highly disadvantaged children in the
Philippines. Despite students mistakenly thinking they could pay on
'cashless' as they are accustomed to doing now, all cakes sold and again
we are grateful to have had the support of Sainsbury's Ringwood.
Right: Robbie's magnificent Dorset apple cake
Thanks to Ms Wood, Mrs Waine, Vikki Jordan and to all those who supported the sale either by
helping or by buying. Special help to the cooks. We were able to send £100 to the Philippines
AMBASSADORS FOR GLOBAL EDUCATION ADDRESS THE WESSEX UNITED NATIONS
article below was written by Virginia Kelly on behalf of the UNA and was
published in this form by the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington
for All. Universal
Goals (MDGs), and
campaigning hard to
their many peers
Below: left to right -
Sam Whittingham, Samantha Kimberley, Millie Wells and Peter Williams OBE
competition for 14
Sinnott Foundation and the NUT.
in India to
to campaign for
to foster practical
words of their
fellow students such as
Samantha have become
Ideal School” and
for an Education
be just for
Desmond Swayne, who
of their promise
These included speaking to the APPG on Global Education,
participating in a
Day ‘thank you’ day in
wonderful speech about
of education for
girls. They joined other global campaigners at the UN and made
strong links with young disabled campaigners. Most recently they have
highlighted the plight of Syrian child refugees.
Williams, OBE (see
photo above)His career
and he has been a
be established. Education
which has been
amongst the most
much but does
quickly? And how
are specific and
it: we must
and give them
the stepping stone
where you were
links outward from
Education for All Day Conference
English breakfast was not what we expected when we arrived at the
National Union of Teachers headquarters at Hamilton House in London!
Having run a highly successful Education for All Day in July, we
were invited to present to the first ever EFA Day conference at Hamilton
House London, to invited schools, and to the Steve Sinnott Foundation
and the NUT, the two major sponsors of the Send My Friend to School
Campaign. On arrival we were greeted with that hearty English
After the presentation:
From left to right: Sam., Millie, Jade
Former Young Ambassadors
for Global Education had been invited to the conference and this was the
first time they had been able to meet and chat. All
students, linked by a common concern for the 57 million children who are
unable to attend school, got on with each other very well indeed.
See below, with Mary Sinnott.
It was a
particular pleasure for us, and Broadstone Middle, to meet Mary Sinnott,
whose husband Steve Sinnott had set up a trust fund that supplies some
of the funding for Send My Friend to School.
involved the presentation of our work for Education for All Day
but Millie and Sam were asked to brief the audience, with slides, about
their fact-finding visit to the Delhi slums. Iona Spence-Dingle and Jade
Wardle provided excellent support by talking about the day, and Jade was
able to show the article she had written in August and that the Steve
Sinnott Foundation published in ‘Engage’. Later in the day, children
from a junior school gave a talk about the support that they are able to
offer to a school in Nepal through a direct link.
set up a stall and answered questions posed by other visiting children.
(See photo below.) This
was a good opportunity to engage with the audience and to for our
students to gain new ideas and perspectives.
delighted that students of one of the excellent schools that we worked
with on EFA Day, Broadstone Middle, were able to join us for the day. It was good to see the effectiveness of our work with junior schools as
the Broadstone school has subsequently extended the work with great
success. We understand that parents at a recent parents' evening,
were asked to inscribe on a Send My Friend puppet, what they thought
made a good teacher!
FREE YOUR FEET
So when we took the phone call and
were asked by ‘Living Streets' if we would like healthy, alert students
arriving at a safe, congestion-free school gate every morning, we agreed
that we would. We learnt from Helen Corkery that Living Streets' Free
Your Feet challenge is a simple and effective whole-school walking
provide base-line data, we carried out a
quick ‘How do you travel to school’ survey in tutor groups, then Helen Corkery came in
from Living Streets and showed all year groups
PowerPoint slides in assemblies.
Free your Feet increases students’ awareness of the physical,
psychological and environmental benefits of walking, and encourages them
to walk as much as they can during their school journeys. Having learnt
about the benefits of walking to school, and using tutor group time,
students recorded their walking on postcards during a week near the end
of the autumn term.
postcards were collected at the end of the week, and entered into a
prize draw, with one student winning the £50 shopping voucher. Everyone
who walked at all (however far), had an equal chance of winning, but on
the last day of the Christmas term, the prize went to a delighted Year 8
Another survey will be carried out in the spring term and Year 9
students will be able to run 'Campaign in a Box', an interesting
business and enterprise opportunity
MORE ON RECYCLING!
MILK BOTTLE TOPS
We were really pleased
to receive a cheque for £140 for our milk bottle tops.
money goes straight to Naomi House and we hope to invite a
representative in to talk to a group of students about Naomi House's
work as it's important to keep each generation of students informed. Our
bottle top collection was started by students Harriet King and Liz
Spender many years ago, and has kept going with huge success ever since.
Likewise, it was a real pleasure to
give the Royal National Institute for the Blind a huge sack of postage
stamps - a quantity that they were quite overwhelmed by! It was good to
receive a letter of thanks from the RNIB and a small
poster which will spur on further collections.
Our aluminium collection is the only
form of recycling for which we gain money. Aluminium is collected in
tutor groups and is sold for cash. This is reinvested in environmental
projects at school. Empty pill packets and shiny paper (like crisp
packets) are plastic and they are useless. In fact, they contaminate
our aluminium so badly that the scrap metal merchants refused to accept
our aluminium last October.
Thanks to a team of made up by Year 7 boys, Jonathan, Aaron, Oliver,
Finn and Henry, our aluminium is finally sorted. This has taken the
team many lunchtimes and has quite rightly gained the team members many
VIvos. The task was unpleasant but necessary; to separate steel
from aluminium and then to separate out real rubbish. People had handed
in crisp packets, old pill packets and laminated foil from pet food as
aluminium. Please remember that only aluminium - foil (as in turkey
foil) and trays (as in frozen food and ready meals, and aluminium cans,
mince pie containers and
tea light holders with the wick removed (the wick holder is steel)
go to reception. Steel cans go in one of the NFDC collecting bins. If in
doubt please use a magnet from science to test a can.
PENS, MARKERS AND HIGHLIGHTERS
How often do students return to school
in September, or after Christmas, with a superb felt tip collection?
Many buy markers, corrector fluid and pens from the school shop, and
many student Vivos are spent on stationery. How ironic it is that so
many are left on the floor and are picked up by teachers and by
We started collecting pens, markers and
felt tips in October and intended this to be a means by which staff
and students could hand in old and useless markers, pens and felt tips.
However, much of our collection consists of items that have been abandoned by their owners
at the end of the school day and we are grateful for our cleaning staff
who collect them up. Our collection is now quite substantial and when we
reach 5kg., will be sent off to the admirable firm, Terra Cycle who will
melt them down and recycle them. We are an official TERRA CYCLE Brigade.
Download a poster and watch a video
THINK - PICK UP
- REUSE PENS MARKERS AND FELT TIPS.
We started paper recycling well before
we became a Green Flag Eco-School, and we continue to do so today.
Periodically we show small groups of students how to make high quality
paper pads from nearly new photocopying paper. The photo below
shows Year 7 students with their Year 11 'trainers' Sam and Katy.
Recycling remains a top priority so thank
you to ALL STAFF, STUDENTS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS FOR YOUR EFFORTS ON
As a reminder, we would like more pens,
makers, felt tips (dead or alive), more stamps, milk bottle tops,
spectacles, hearing aids, bras and aluminium. All fund good works and
This House Would Ban All Forms of Animal
University debating societies across the UK Over the
course of four days, in mid October debated the motion that ‘This
House Would Ban All Forms of Animal Research’. Biology teachers all
over the country held similar debates at their schools. Each ended with
an audience vote that allowed all students to indicate where they stand
on the motion.
Jeremy Bentham famously wrote ‘The question is not,
can they reason? Nor can they talk? But, can they suffer?’ The
answer to this question is very obvious – of course animals can suffer –
they can feel pain, they can feel stress and they can feel lonely.
Imagine if you were locked in a laboratory all day on your own, and then
taken out by strange people to be injected with needles or cut open.
Why is an animal’s life worth any less than our own? Thus began our
animal research debate.
Sixth formers Robbie Shaw, Georgia Cookson (in action
above), George Bratt,
Sam Kimberley and Bronwen Pounds battled it out in this debate that
aimed to lay out the best arguments for and against banning animal
research so that participants had the information necessary to make up
their own minds. Students’ waged war and the debate became increasingly
heated. And the result? The motion was defeated by just one vote with
the participants recognising that just occasionally, animal research is
the only option.
MEETING THE MINISTER
The description of the event below written for national newspapers was
supplied by Action Aid
students from Ringwood, Millie Wells, Sam Whittingham, Samantha
Kimberley and Katy Barrett, were joined by other teenagers from across the UK
to ask minister Lynne Featherstone what the government is doing to make
sure every child worldwide gets a chance to go to school.
Wells and Sam Whittingham, 2013 Young Ambassadors for Global Education,
were joined by Global Campaigners, Katy Barrett and Samantha Kimberley. They travelled to
London to join with other young people who were deeply concerned about the 57
million children worldwide who are missing out on education
The four were invited
to Oxfam HQ for the morning while in the afternoon they had a private
meeting with Lynne Featherstone. At Oxfam HQ Ringwood students
presented their work to other young advocates for global education. They
were careful to allow other schools to show what they had done in their
own brilliant campaigns. The primary objective was to prepare a collage
representing all campaigning by Ringwood School and the others. This was
then to be presented to Lynne Featherstone, Undersecretary of the
Department for International Development. Students much enjoyed hearing
about other schools’ campaigns and decided that making the collage was
fun. The final piece looked great!
Their time with the
Minister arrived finally. Students went in in cabs to the
Department for International Development, DFID, in Whitehall where their
private meeting with Lynne Featherstone MP took place. Students’ photos
were taken with the minister together with the collage made earlier in
the day. The meeting with Ms Featherstone followed and students enjoyed
the opportunity to ask questions. They included questions such as,
“How can we ensure that children who are disabled get the education they
need?” and, knowing how poor some teaching had been in Delhi, “How can
we make sure that teaching is of good quality?” The meeting was ably
chaired by our Global Ambassador, Sam Whittingham.
warmed to students’ questions and answered them as honestly as she
could. They learnt a great deal about what the government is doing to
try to ensure that the quest for getting all children into education by
2015 is addressed. At the end of the meeting students formally presented
Lynne Featherstone with their collage and discussed each school’s
efforts to help the Send My Friend to School campaign. They were
slightly surprised to learn that at this point she seemed completely
unaware that Millie and Sam had been to India on a fact-finding mission
to the slums!
Ms Featherstone said,
”It was fantastic to meet such passionate
children who care so much about the world they are growing up in and
helping to shape. I was impressed by their understanding of the
importance of education and their commitment to help less fortunate
children across the world receive the education they deserve. Education
acts as a ladder out of poverty and helps young people reach their full
potential. Making sure children in developing countries get a good
education is a priority for DFID and we are working with other countries
to make sure that education is an important part of the new set of
development goals to be agreed in 2015.”
Millie, Sam, Sam and Katy particularly enjoyed the company of students
from Kingsbury School, a school that is celebrated on the Send My Friend
website for their great contribution to the campaign. It was good to
spend time with students who understood the issues so well.
THE BADGER CULL
As many of you may know and may be
following with a close eye, the Government has decided to implement a
badger cull as a measure to control TB outbreaks in cattle. Bovine
tuberculosis is a huge problem for farmers, with over 38,000 cattle
having to be slaughtered as a result of the disease. However, many key
scientists have been surprised at the decision to cull badgers following
the report of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB. The report
stated that ‘badger culling is unlikely to contribute positively, or
cost effectively, to the control of cattle TB in Britain’ and
recommended ‘priority should be given to developing policies based on
more rigorous application of control measures to cattle, in the absence
of badger culling’
Students who are interested in wildlife
were joined by Mr Treagust's regular debaters, and as should be the
case, both sides of the argument were hotly debated. STudents were
particularly concerned about the manner in which badgers are killed,
which seems hit and miss to say the least. However, some students had
direct experience of the effect of badgers on a cattle herd and it
became clear that this was no black and white issue. The result was a
narrow defeat for the proposal that the badger cull is necessary.
Ringwood students are in support of the badger.
Thanks to all particpants, and special
thanks to those who proposed and opposed the motion. In the true spirit
of debating, they sometimes did not present their own personal views.
in many classes enjoyed
an unusual treat after half term. We
were able to mount a superb display of fungi, legally collected from
the Forest two days earlier in short forays organised by the
Hampshire Fungus Recording Group.
were immediately able to see the diversity within the Kingdom Fungi
and they learnt about edible and poisonous specimens. They
particularly enjoyed hearing about the more unusual
are very grateful to the Hampshire Fungus Recording Group who
provided interesting leaflets and most of the fungi.
A second foray provided a great lunch of
chanterelles (felft). Chanterelles seem to be worth their weight in gold. They
are golden looking, golden tasting, and golden priced. The cap is
fleshy, with wavy, rounded cap margins tapering downward to meet the
stem. The gills are not the usual thin straight panels hanging from the
lower surface of the cap, as we see in the common store mushroom.
Instead, the ridges are rounded, blunt, shallow, and widely spaced. At
the edge of the cap they are forked and interconnected. The
chanterelle's aroma is unmistakably different and (fortunately) easily
– A CHILDREN’S CRISIS
Global Campaigners team was set up by Millie Wells and Sam Whittingham
in order to take the Send My Friend to School campaign further. Team
members this term, have written and delivered assemblies and follow-up
activities for students in tutor groups about the plight of children in Syria. They
used the materials from OXFAM such as these Syrian refugee
Syria is a crisis for children and several students felt very strongly
about the plight of these children and wanted to do something. After
learning about Human Rights, many signed
this petition which went to the United Nations this week.
Others Tweeted and several students wrote to
Two tutor groups sent 30 small postcards
to politicians, (some, with children's responses typed out by Sam
Whittingham are shown
here) and students in
Mr Denham's tutor group wrote letters to Justine Greening, David Cameron,
Desmond Swayne and Lynne
Featherstone. Nadia and Lauren (below) were thrilled to get replies from Downing
Street, Desmond Swayne and from DFID.
Well done girls and well done to the Global
Several of the new Forest villages
enjoyed Apple Days. Minstead's (below) was particularly informative and
was enjoyed by several students.Thanks to Transition Southampton, many
staff and students have been able to buy raspberry canes, blackcurrants
and fruit trees at much reduced prices. Most will be delivered in
collected poppy seeds from our wildflower meadow earlier this year as
they are easy to harvest and to separate from other seeds. We have had
several sessions making these into seedballs (see GYO below). Students
were provided with a mixture of clay, compost and poppy seeds and were
invited to make them into marble sized balls. These neat creations have
all the components needed for growth when water is added. They will be
sown in the school grounds next spring.
photos show our progression from large seedballs last year (left) to this
year's smaller versions with a higher proportion of clay to compost.
Our new greenhouse and shed arrived in October and the
GYO group were pleased to transfer garden tools over to the shed but
disappointed to be unable to start anything in the greenhouse. The
group started work in October, clearing beds and spreading manure on
them. They are probably in better shape than they have been for two
years! One enthusiastic group of girls has cleared the largest of the
beds specifically for poppy seeds which we hope will grow in time
for next year’s centenary commemoration activities of the 1914-18 war.
Thanks to Transition Southampton, we have been able to
enlarge our area devoted to soft fruit and have planted blackcurrant and
more raspberry canes and sowing more poppy seeds round the
highlight for some GYO students was a visit to Westminster Abbey to a
Harvest Festival service where students presented a basket of
home-produced food supplemented by foods from New Forest Marque.
MALALA DAY, JULY 12th, IN LONDON
"Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy
and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights."
Our Global Campaigners in
Westminster. Great campaigning earned them this place. See article
survey is being run by the Society for Biology. Last year they received
6000 records of flying ants and there seemed to be a slow double peak in
flying ants. This year they are also keeping a look out on the species
that are flying. They expect most to be the black pavement ant but they
are asking people to send in a sample so that ants can be identified.
Find our more
Big Butterfly Count
Once again students are taking part in
Big Butterfly Count
during July and August. This year it has been given David Attenborough’s
backing, and the BBC have produced a special butterfly Springwatch. It
was excellent and it will be available on i-Player for several weeks. So
far, thee seems to be LOTS of Gatekeepers in and around Ringwood, lots
of small whites and few
Peacocks or Red Admirals. However, the summer weather looks promising so
we should get a good count.
Butterflies react very
quickly to environmental change making them excellent biodiversity
indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife
losses. The count also helps Butterfly Conservation to identify
trends in species and this lets them plan how to protect butterflies
from extinction, as well as understand the effect of climate change on
Count butterflies for 15
minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather. In August most
butterflies are at the adult stage of their lifecycle, so more likely to
be seen. Records are welcome from anywhere: from parks, school grounds
and gardens, to fields and forests.
If counting from a
fixed position in your garden, you do this like RSPB Birdwatch, ie
count the maximum number of each species that you can see at a single
time. Eg, if you see three Red Admirals together on a buddleia, record
it as 3, but if you only see one at a time then record it as 1 (even if
you saw one on several occasions) – so you don’t count the same
butterfly more than once. If you are counting on a walk, simply total up
the number of each butterfly species that you see during the 15 minutes.
identification chart and
submit your records. You can submit separate records for different
dates, and for different places that you visit. Remember that your
count is useful even if you do not see any butterflies or moths.
You can only send in your
sightings online at
or new this year is a free
smartphone app for Big Butterfly Count that lets you carry out and
submit your Count all in one go. Unfortunately, no counts can be
submitted on paper or by email, text or phone. The website will be open
to receive records throughout July and August.
OUR FINAL SEND
MY FRIEND EVENT OF THE TERM
School had an Inset Day on our #Education for All Day so couldn't join in
with our events. However, whilst we were helping the school with
gardening, we were able to fix a date with the children's enthusiastic
year 6 teacher. That date was the day we had agreed to the interviewing
of key students and to the filming of the school by the Global
Campaign for Education. Oxfam's John McLaverty also made his last visit
of the year. Poulner Juniors were treated to a day in
the new conference centre. This, on a hot July day, proved an excellent
gathered outside on the picnic benches while we prepared. We were
treated to spirited singing that seemed to be being led by one of our
students, so we invited them in! For the last time this academic
year, Sam and Millie explained their findings from Delhi and showed the
children their Delhi slides. They were also able to talk about
as were the Global Campaigner team. There is no doubt that these
children fully understood Education for All and they completed the
puppet making exercise with the help of our Global Campaigners with real enthusiasm.
More puppets for Mr. Swayne! We hope he's handed the over to Mr Cameron.
Above: Poulner Year Six with
Ringwood's Global Campaigners
PRESENTATION TO THE ROTARY CLUB AND SCHOOL
students gave a presentation to Ringwood's Rotary Club and some of the
School Governors. They were asked to speak about the Ambassador
Eco-Schools Award that we obtained earlier this year. They explained
that this was not simply a 'next step' after our 4th Green Flag award
but rather that it showed a capacity to work beyond the school, and to
share good practice. This is exactly how we have been working throughout
the past year: we have shared good practice with six neighbouring
schools, working intensively on energy with three of them. We also
explained how a perceived need to boost our Global Citizenship work led
to our involvement in the Send My Friend to School Campaign.
Millie described their activities since winning the Steve Sinnott Award
which had allowed them to travel to Delhi and then to the United Nations
for Malala Day. The setting up of the Global Campaigners group and their
work on the Education For All Campaign was very well described by the
Photo: Philip Wells
were overwhelmed by the achievements of the students, and one lady
commented, "What can I say? I had no idea that Ringwood School was
involved in all this. I am awe-struck."
to Nuala, Katy, Sam K, Isaac, and of course to Millie and Sam for a good
evening's work. Well done to Jade for writing a small
article for the Steve Sinnott Foundation on the work of the Global
Campaigners throughout the summer of 2013.
Friday 12th July – MALALA DAY!
The big day finally arrived,
Malala Day! This was a day for Malala Yousafzai, the
who was shot by the Taliban last October, simply for advocating that
girls be able to go to school. After a long recovery in a Birmingham
hospital, she celebrated her 16th birthday at the United Nations
headquarters in New York,
speaking in front of a group of 500
youth delegates from around the world,
All had convened at the UN to honour Malala’s bravery and to reaffirm
their support for the right of every child to be in school and learning
by 2015. We had the fortunate and humbling opportunity to be part of
this global youth effort.
Today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known. The
vast majority of these youth live in developing countries. Together, we
have unprecedented potential to advance the well-being of the entire
human family. But first, everyone deserves education, safety
from violence and freedom from hunger.
These were amongst the demands made in ‘The Youth Resolution: The
Education Young People Want’, an official document drafted by youth
leaders and presented to the United Nations on Malala Day. We owe it to
57 million children
who are out of school to put these resolutions into action.
The document is a solemn call on all governments and institutions to
ensure free access to quality education for the 57 million children
unable to attend school and undertake concerted efforts to advance
The Youth Resolution was presented to the Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
and called for adoption and accountability by all governments. The young
people resolved to no longer be indifferent to the challenges of our
an orphan of the Korean War, himself rescued by the United Nations, told
the youth assembly, “Extremists showed what they feared the most: a girl
with a book.”
Sitting among youthful campaigners from around the world, the
determination in their voices, the diversity of their experiences, and a
shared need to create a world in which all children are able to get an
education was a moving experience. But most moving of all was the
appearance of Malala herself, a leader, the symbol of the movement. She
was rightly introduced by former Prime Minister and UN special envoy for
global education, Gordon Brown as, “the most courageous girl in the
world.” In a powerful speech Mr Brown said,
last 30 days without food, you can last 8 days without water, you can
last 8 minutes without air, but you can’t last a second without hope”
Malala’s speech moved many, including her mother, to tears.
a high-pitched voice that showed her youth, her message was grown-up,
well beyond her years. It was a rousing, impassioned speech, one so
defiant and so poignant that it prompted everyone hearing it to rise to
their feet in spontaneous, thunderous and prolonged applause.
She began by asserting,
"Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy
and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights."
Then with wisdom beyond her age, she
spoke of Gandhi, of Nelson Mandela and of Martin Luther King as her role
models who had inspired her to continue her fight. She explained that
she was proud to be wearing a pink shawl that had once belonged to
Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister of Pakistan.
And as she spoke, it was quite clear that she too was in the process of
earning her place in history. Speaking of the attempt on her life she
"We realised the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns. The
extremists are afraid of books and pens."
terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our
ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear
and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”
She said that
she did not seek revenge on the Taliban, because she wanted education
for the sons and the daughters of all the extremists, especially the
“I don’t even hate the Talib who shot me. Even if there is a gun in my
hand and he stands in front of me, I would not shoot him.”
Her compassion, her determined spirit and her absolute refusal to give
up, not just on herself, but on the 57 million youth who are still not
able to go to school was humbling.
so that those without a voice can be heard,”
And indeed, that’s why we had all assembled there that day. We all
believed so strongly in the fundamental right of all children to a
quality education. ‘Leave no-one behind’ sums it up, and could be our
mantra. Furthermore, we all believed in the power of youth, like Malala,
to bring about that change.
It is difficult to describe what we all felt on Malala Day: we felt
exhilarated yet humbled. We all felt proud to be involved in this great
movement, activists being very definitely led by Malala to create the
world that we all wish to see. In the final moments of her speech,
Malala called upon all the governments to fight against terrorism, to
protect children from brutality and harm. She called upon the United
Nations to expand opportunity and education for girls all over the
we reflect on
the Youth Takeover, coming out of Malala Day,
we know that 500 people left with hope that the future will find a more
secure world, a more educated people and less burdened children; a world
in which countries like India where our journey began, cares for its
young and nurtures its future.
Follow Millie's and Sam's Send My
Friend to School BLOG
My Friend' website gives further details
Meeting Philip Parham, the UK Ambassador to the UN
On our first
full day in 'The Big Apple' we met with the Deputy UK Ambassador to the
UN, Philip Parham. Millie and Sam wanted to address three main issues
from the youth outcomes document. Their chosen areas of focus included
girls, children with disabilities and the global lack of trained
discussing the 1.7 million professional teachers needed. Mr Parham said
that, like us, he feels that a proportion of the UK's international aid
should be targeted at training more teachers so that the quality of
education and learning can rise.
and Sam told him of what they had seen in India; sometimes girls missing
out on education because of their culture or due to them being pulled
out of school as they are being sexually teased or harassed. Again Mr
Parham was supportive of our cause and explained that the UK government
is trying to support 1 million more of the poorest girls in school
through the Girls' Education Challenge. This is an initiative that calls
upon NGOs, charities and the private sector to find better ways of
ensuring girls receive a quality education and transform their future.
He was keen to say how important the British government was in working
towards progress on education. This week, the UK government has reached
their commitment of 0.7% of GNI on international aid, something we had
learnt from Desmond Swayne two days earlier. This, he thinks, has given
the UK soft power within the UN to take leadership in achieving the
promises made at the millennium.
Finally we expressed our concern about the education of children with
disabilities. We felt very strongly about this issue as we had met the
inspiring young campaigners from Leonard Cheshire Disability the
previous night. We recounted the stories of Markson and Andira who not
only face two barriers - access to education and quality of education.
Mr Parham explained that this was also an issue close to his heart as
one of his children has a disability. He also said that we need to
disaggregate the figures to make sure that more children are accessing
education across all groups of society. An education for all really
should mean an education for
gave generously of his time and we were left with the strong impression
that this kind and generous man is really doing his best for those who
lack a quality education.
the UN – and a Youth Orientation session!
The Youth Orientation session was designed to fire everybody up in
readiness for Malala Day. We all thought it was great to finally get
into the UN building. While lining up to pass through security it was
good to talk to other campaigners from all around the world! Once in the
orientation session the atmosphere buzzed! Chernor Bah, the charismatic
Chair of the Youth Advisory Group (YAG) led the session and got everyone
in the mood by calling out , "I say Malala, you say Day' then everyone
would chant 'Malala' 'Day', 'Malala' 'Day!'
People were split into small groups and asked to discuss what inspired
them to campaign for education for all. Next everyone was asked to sum
up the need for education in one line! The session ended with a hot seat
between two people in each group who appeared to be the most
influential. Questions were fired at them. This orientation session was
fantastic for Millie and Sam as being the youngest at the UN, they very
much enjoyed meeting and having discussions with other young people who
are passionate advocates of education for all.
One of our Young
Ambassadors was invited to sit on an advocacy panel (above) and that fell to
Millie as Sam had excessive commitments the previous weekend that would
prevent him preparing a speech. Millie, the youngest by a very wide
margin, talked very clearly about the way in which 'Send My Friend'
campaigning worked. Sam made a name for himself by operating every
speaker's presentation - without seeing them beforehand.
Above: Millie speaking on the panel
of an advocacy group.
campaigners in New York
On our first evening in New
York, Karen Garvin of Action Aid had arranged an urban picnic in an area
adjacent to the Unicef building. Here Millie and Sam met with inspiring
young campaigners for everyone's rights to an education. This included
young disabled and it was a privilege to meet the young people sponsored
by Leonard Cheshire homes. Millie and Sam quickly recognised that #educationforall
should include those with disabilities and hope that this becomes a
focus for next year's 'Send My friend to School' campaign.
Also at the picnic were Nina
and Abigail, two young ladies from the Cameroons and Zambia. Each had an
amazing story to tell and each illustrated so well the difference that
education had made in their lives. Furthermore, both were aware that
they were excellent role models for the power of education and both were
working hard to ensure their stories were heard in their own
Millie and Sam also met
Zarmina Rasouli, a young Afghan woman who joined us in our hotel and
talked to us about being a girl in Afghanistan. As we expected, it had
been very difficult. The five years of Taliban rule saw the erosion of
many rights of women (and men) n the country. Women were often confined
to their homes and girls were out of school and many of her friends had
been forced to marry young.
We learnt that while many of
her friends’ parents left the country for Pakistan, her parents remained
in Afghanistan. This was the first time she mentioned her parents. They
were critical in her life story. As she couldn’t leave her home, this
meant she couldn’t continue her education.
Despite these risks, Zarmina
took the risk and mustered up the courage to return to school in 2005 to
complete her 12th standard education. Even when studying, she
wanted to do more and she joined a local group ARU (a partner of Action
Aid) as a social organiser during her summer holidays. She also joined
Action Aid in mid 2005 as a volunteer.
We heard she is doing a degree
in Business accounting while working at Action Aid. She is now a
provincial manager working in 288 villages. She works in the most
marginalised communities where there are specific problems relating to
women and children. Her example has motivated many girls to come out of
homes and go back into education, and as a result of Action Aid’s
programme, more than 300 girls have completed 12th standard.
When asked why she withstood
the pressure from the Taliban, she credited her parents. Zarmina’s Dad,
when asked whether he wanted Zarmina to marry, he replied, “No, you will
have to kill me first.” She also spoke about the importance of Action
Aid’s work that was different in towns and rural areas, and about
network groups and practical actions that help get children into school.
We all found her story of
perseverance very moving and very much hope we will be able to meet up
again tomorrow, on Malala Day.
GLOBAL CAMPAIGNERS visit parliament
Seven of Ringwood School's Global Campaigners were
invited last week to take part in an historical international event.
They visited the House of Commons on Friday July 12, to be part of
Malala Day and were invited take part in a day of action in support of
the Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai, as she addressed the United
Nations in New York on her 16th birthday. Malala made a courageous stand
for the rights of girls to have an education and
was shot by the Taliban last year.
Student members of Ringwood’s Global Campaigners Group were addressed by
Lord Ray Collins, Shadow Minister for International Development and were
then shown films of attacks on schools and of the difficulties
encountered by young people in different countries who want a chance to
go to school.
brainstormed problems, questioned MPs and their
three key messages together with a ‘call to action’ from
the UK, were relayed to the
UN General Assembly
in New York. They said,
“This can’t be taken as another flimsy petition. The
Millennium Development Goal [to get all children into education by
2015] is approaching and we need to take action now. It’s about time
we make our voices heard and eventually we will get 57 million more
children the rights and education they deserve.”
Above: This IS a brainstorm from our Global
Wearing ‘Send my friend to school’ T shirts and holding
giant posters of Malala, the global campaigners posed for a photograph
with other students before crossing the river to the Southbank Centre
and enjoying a live feed to the UN.
Afternoon speakers included education advocate Sarah
Brown before the live feed to New York let them hear speeches from
former Prime Minister Gordon Brown (now UN Special Envoy for Global
Education), UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and finally Malala herself.
Millie Wells and Sam Whittingham, currently UK Young Ambassadors for
Global Education and winners of the Steve Sinnott Award 2013, were in
New York at the United Nations where they represented the UK and heard
the speeches first hand.
At the Southbank Centre, the Ringwood students listened
to Malala’s compelling message, many with tears running down their
faces. Malala's place in history as the number one advocate for the
rights of girls to an education was assured as she spoke, “Malala
Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every girl and every
boy who have raised their voice for their rights’.
The atmosphere was electric.
The Global Campaigners team is one of the most
significant outcomes of Sam’s and Millie’s campaign. We are very proud
of this group and know that they have left a blazing trail for other
winners of the Steve Sinnott award to follow.
Millie and Sam whist in New York were also able to speak
with young people who had been plucked from poverty by charities, and
given an education. That included Ban Ki-moon, who explained that education
is the best way for people to lift themselves out of poverty, and said
that as an orphan of the Korean War, he had himself been rescued
and educated by the United Nations.
Millie and Sam were able to speak to Philip Parham, UK
Ambassador to the UN, who like many
MPs they have spoken to welcome the UK's global
leadership on international development and aid. Several, such as
Desmond Swayne MP commended the Prime Minister for his role co-chairing
UN's High Level Panel on Post-2015
and for the Government's Budget Statement announcement that it will
achieve the historic target of spending 0.7% of GNI on international aid
Millie and Sam talk to the All Party Parliamentary Group at Westminster
On Tuesday 9th July, Mark Williams MP and the APPG on
Global Education for All hosted an event to celebrate the
Send My Friend to School campaign
and this year's theme, "Every Child Needs a Teacher". The All-Party
Parliamentary Group on Global Education for All is a group of
parliamentarians from both Houses and all parties, who have come
together to support strong UK action on achieving the Education for All
The event, which took place in a packed Jubilee Room off
Westminster Hall, saw MPs, Peers, our young campaigners Millie and Sam,
government officials and representatives from civil society and the
private sector come together to discuss strategies for closing the
global trained teacher gap. The event came a few weeks after the UN had
published new figures
showing that 57 million children of primary school age are still out
of school around the world - only a small improvement on the
previous year. And that just as progress appears to be stalling, donor
aid to basic education had declined for the first time since 2002.
that 1.7 million more new teachers need to be recruited to achieve
universal primary education by 2015 (nearly 1 million in Sub-Saharan
Africa alone). This does not include the 5.1 million teachers who need
to be recruited simply to replace those retiring or leaving the
profession. In addition to this major global gap, the event also
discussed some of the specific challenges facing teachers in developing
countries, such as class sizes as high as 150 students to one trained
teacher in some countries. Other issues include the inequitable
distribution of teachers with fewer, less qualified teachers in poor and
rural areas, and the lack of teachers trained in an inclusive approach
that supports children with disabilities and other marginalised groups.
Send My Friend to School
Young Ambassadors, Millie Wells and Sam Whittingham,
were invited to speak. Other speakers included
Dr Edem Adubra
International Task Force on Teachers
for Education for All and
Marg Mayne, Chief Executive
of VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas)
who highlighted the work her organisation was doing to strengthen
education systems and teacher training.
Earlier this year, Sam and Millie
with Oxfam UK and Oxfam India
to see some of the education challenges there for themselves. They
explained that they represent around 500,000 young people from schools
around the UK taking part in this year's Send My Friend campaign, who
are calling on world leaders to fulfil their promises to education for
Millie told the audience that they were going straight from this event
to New York, where they were due to meet with
Malala Yousafzai and hundreds of
other young campaigners for a "youth take-over" of the United Nations.
On Friday 12th July, Millie and Sam were at the UN General Assembly to
Malala give her first public speech
since she was shot last year by the Taliban for her determination to go
students' report was greeted and reported very enthusiastically by the
audience. They posed for photos with many of the MPs in attendance (who
were suddenly called to vote in the House of Commons) and after
questions and afternoon tea, they departed for Heathrow and New York.
Desmond Swayne MP
Mr Swayne could not attend the APPG (above).
However, he did agree to meet Millie and Sam after the session and the
students were pleased to be able to show him some of their photos from
They were also able to
present him with Ringwood's Send My Friend puppets
(below) We hope that he will continue to support the Send My Friend to
We currently sponsor one
Chimpanzee through the Jane Goodall Foundation and Bella, a
young orangutan at the
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
in Borneo. We receive newsletters about Bella's progress
through Orangutan Appeal UK, and the most recent is
displayed in Lab 4. We support Orangutan Appeal UK as it's a
registered charity based in Brockenhurst in the new Forest
and their periodic talks such as one this week, allow
student participation. Here we learnt that Bella is due for
release, so we may sponsor Beryl instead (below). The
charity is dedicated to the rehabilitation and preservation
of orangutans and the conservation of their habitat.
The Appeal strives to protect
remaining wild populations of orangutans by providing
support and funding for projects across Malaysian and
Indonesian Borneo; and by raising awareness of the plight of
this great ape across the globe.
AGAIN - AND OTHER POLLINATORS
Honey bees, although still a common insect, have declined
significantly in number over the past century. This winter's losses of
honey bee colonies were the worst since records began six years ago,
according to a survey carried out by the British Beekeepers Association.
The number of managed hives in England is also believed to have fallen
from 300,000 to 135,000 in the past 60 years. Urban beekeeping,
however, has never been more popular. But instead of providing a helpful
solution to the reduced population of honey bees, more city hives could
be doing more harm than good. If there are too many colonies in an area,
then the food supply will be insufficient. This will mean that colonies
do not thrive, and may also affect other species that also visit
Remember that bees' food supplies come from flowers. We
should therefore be encouraging the planting of more wildflowers in our
school grounds, our gardens and in public places. Borage, catmint,
lavender and wild marjoram are top favourites for bees
A few classes have carried out BUGLIFE's excellent
POLLINATOR SURVEY. Full instructions and good identification sheets are
available on Buglife's website
here. Why not try this yourself in the school holidays, and
submit your results to Buglife?
IT’S STAG BEETLE
Stag beetles are Britain’s largest terrestrial beetle, named because the
male’s huge jaw-like mandibles look just like a stag’s antlers. The New
Forest is a stronghold. We are taking part in
Buckets 4 Beetles! This
website gives instructions.
If you have found an adult stag beetle
you can give them some soft fruit or sugared water and move it out of
harm’s way but the best thing is to let them get on and find a mate! If
you have found stag beetle larvae please rebury them with some of the
wood and soil in a shady undisturbed area. Don’t forget to log your
The main threat
facing stag beetles is a significant loss of their habitat. Many
woodlands were sold for development in the inter-war years and many of
our surviving open urban spaces have sadly been developed since then.
‘Tidying up’ of woodlands, parks and gardens has led to the removal of
dead or decaying wood habitats which is the stag beetle larvae’s food
source. Tree surgery operations such as stump-grinding of felled trees
removes a vital habitat for the beetle. So the main way in which you can
help is by preserving woody soils and not tidying up too much!
They are also
vulnerable to being crushed by traffic or feet so it’s good to get them
out of people’s way. And changes in weather patterns are also likely to
have an impact. Exceptionally dry or wet weather is likely to
substantially affect the larvae, whilst wet and windy weather can
inhibit adult beetles’ flying ability.
Morning Gardening Sessions
We have continued gardening throughout this hot
dry summer. Enthusiasm amongst Year 7 students is undiminished and we
are simply limited by time and teacher availability.
Despite the weather
we have managed good crops of strawberries, very much helped by Phil.
Our onions, shallots and garlic are also excellent and some have been
given to students in home economics. We are in desperate need of a
greenhouse to extend the growing season, and of a shed to protect and
store our gardening tools.
Below: Phacelia, one of the bee-attracting
plants in our wildlife meadow. An early plant, unfortunately it did not
last into July but it DID attract bees!
Love British Food
invited UK schools to get involved in a Harvest competition organised
now heard we’re amongst the winners so will get the chance to attend
the British Food Fortnight’s special Harvest Festival at Westminster
n the 16th October
2013, where students
will rub shoulders with VIPs and a few celebrities. The school had to
submit plans to create a Harvest box that celebrates the food produced
in our part of the country. The Harvest box will contain fruit and
vegetables we have grown ourselves, food students have cooked in class,
and a selection of food from local producers in their region.
Well done cooks
Gardening with Poulner Juniors
When Poulner Junior School asked us to help with
their gardening, we happily accepted. Katy and Sam made and
presented a short Powerpoint about gardening at Ringwood, and about our
small wildflower meadow. Care for people, the environment and animals is
central to Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots cause and we try to share
this philosophy wherever possible. here, Katy and Sam shared the
problems of Britain's bees with their young and enthusiastic audience.
We then gave the children some of our own wildflower seed that we had
collected from our meadow in the autumn. We have already given seed to
14 schools but Poulner was happy to accept more.
A good sowing session followed outside, with
other students involved in weeding and composting. We were
impressed with Poulner's gardening and would like their students to come
and help us!
We are very sorry that Poulner cannot join us on
our Education for All Day but have fixed a date at the end of term when
Year 6 can join our Global Campaigners for their own session!
A Day at Minstead Study Centre
with Burley School
It is always a pleasure to spend a day
at Minstead Study Centre. Children of all ages are excited and
often inspired by it, and young children find it quite magical. There is
no other place that is as capable of
inspiring all students to take
that will make
the world a better place
animals, people and the environment (one of our core aims).
particular visit was very special. Firstly, as one of our 'energy'
schools, we knew the children; we have worked with them on several
occasions. Indeed students had visited the school two weeks earlier in
order to plan the workshops for Minstead. Secondly, we were able to run
an Education for All Day and it was a particular pleasure to take some
Global Campaigners to carry out a 'Send My Teacher to School' workshop.
Millie and Katy gave an introduction to
the problems of #education in Delhi, showing the Delhi slides to an
appreciative young audience (see top right image). The Global Campaigners then swung into
action, showing the children photos of #Malala and other young people
with stories to tell. They worked with the Year 6 children to produce
'ideal teacher' puppets, 'ideal' schools and postcard messages. It
was clear that the message had been well understood. The children kept
their puppets and promised to send them to Desmond Swayne MP. We were pleased to be able to offer a
full length Education for All Day session and our early start meant that
students could also run four other workshops around which all children
Of course, an energy workshop was top of the
agenda. This was a school with which we had already worked with
twice. Accounts of those sessions are given elsewhere. On a beautifully
sunny summer's day it was appropriate to make sustainable forms of
energy a real focus. This was particularly the case at
Minstead where we knew the children were getting training about energy
saving! The hydrogen car, smoothie bike and pizza box ovens were a great
hit (see images below).
All enjoyed a Fairtrade session, showing impressive understanding of the
Fairtrade concept. Ringwood students also offered a recycling and waste
workshop. Ringwood students were able to reinforce the recycling
messages the Burley children get at school but were also able to show
them how to make a bracelet from recycled sweet wrappers, how to make
glue from milk and then use it to make recycled newspaper bags such as
those we saw being made by women in Delhi.
Mikayla Howard ran an
environmental arts and craft session making leaf prints (below).
students enjoyed a pond dipping session in Minstead's lake-sized
POND DIPPING AND SPECIES IDENTIFICATION
Finally students enjoyed a pond dipping session in Minstead's lake-sized
wildlife pond (below). Ringwood students showed the juniors the
techniques of pond dipping and tried to discourage the practice of
peering into the net before gently emptying the net contents into a
white tray with pond water. Students managed to identify lots of the
freshwater invertebrates ('minibeasts' to juniors) and we were pleased
to see that the presence of large indicator species such as dragon fly
larvae, suggested the water quality was excellent.
A SPECIAL HIGHLIGHT! THE NEW
A final highlight was a talk from
Davide of Southampton University. Davide runs the new Forest Cicada
project and is carrying out research at Southampton University on the
New Forest Cicada, an organism that is critically endangered and has not
been spotted in the New Forest for 200 years. Davide explained to an
attentive audience of Ringwood and Burley students (below top
children are able to hear the cicada's high-pitched noise, whereas
adults cannot. He has developed a useful app for smart phones that
detects any cicada when in the vicinity, producing a sonogram on a smart
phone screen with 30 seconds of monitoring.
Davide had planted 'fake' electronic cicadas in Minstead's grounds, in locations likely to provide habitat - sunny,
south facing areas with plenty of shrubs and trees. Sure enough, the
Burley youngsters could hear these 'cicadas' well before adults. The
smart phones with the app certainly worked, and confirmed the presence
of the cicada! We encouraged all students - both Ringwood and
Burley - to be vigilant over the summer: the weather is very promising
and we are optimistic that there will be sightings. The 'Cicada Hunt'
app can be downloaded from i-tunes and the project website,
is both interesting and highly informative.
To date, no
New Forest cicadas (Cicadetta
have been found in this area. The App, however, proved its worth in
Davide's recent visit to Slovenia.
for All Day
to Find 1.7 Million Missing Teachers!
Keen to keep
up the pressure on world leaders to find enough teachers and get every
child into school, we took advantage of the Steve Sinnott Foundation's
Education for All Day on 21 June to introduce the 'Send My Friend'
campaign to Year 9 students at Ringwood School.
the focus for the 2013 - 2014 campaign as the United Nations estimates
that there is a global shortage of 1.7 million teachers, with 1 million
professional teachers needed in Africa alone. In the year 2000, world
leaders made a promise that every child would receive a quality primary
education by 2015. However, there are still over 60 million children
missing out on even a basic primary education, with millions more
struggling to learn in oversized classes and with unqualified teachers.
The Plan for
allowed to take all Year 9 students off timetable for various
activities, such as making puppets with key messages on what makes a
good teacher and a good school. We were able to share our experiences in
the Delhi slums this spring. The school also benefitted from a visit
from John McLaverty of Oxfam Education, who accompanied us to Delhi.
began with a presentation in all tutor groups that ended with 'Turn on
the Light', a short film. Year 9 then went to the hall and lessons began
for other years.
languages department supported the campaign by creating their own
puppets. They asked the question, "What makes a good teacher?" to
students in other year groups, but here students had to answer in
German, French or Spanish. The puppets now adorn the entire length of
the languages corridor.
in the canteen lent got involved in the day by serving Indian food. The
Chicken Korma was delicious!
What Makes a
students' views about what makes a good teacher were very different from
those of the Delhi students. Top of the Delhi students' lists is that
the teachers turn up for lessons - something we take for granted here.
9 students also added their voices by writing letters and a wall of
messages. These will be sent to MP Desmond Swayne to pass on to the
Prime Minister to remind the UK government of their promise to make sure
all children have access to primary education by 2015.
We feel a
need to push the Send My Friend campaign to its limits at Ringwood and
beyond, and to this end we have been working over the past few weeks
with a great group of Year 9 and 10 students who we call the Global
Campaigners, and we have shared everything we learnt in Delhi.
We have held
weekly meetings and now the Campaigners are really useful in our
campaign to get 1.7 million teachers into school. On June 21st, the team
of Global Campaigners were able to help us teach the lessons to Year 9.
Each campaigner worked in a tutor group looking at case studies supplied
by EFA Day, designing 'ideal teacher' puppets and ideal schools, tweeted
and wrote to every politician possible.
A FOCUS ON WATER
water is a key issue in Delhi (see our photos below) and will become increasingly so, we asked
students carry out a audit of their own water use. They then had to
calculate how many buckets they would need to carry this much water.
Many tested the weight of a water bucket on their head! Below: the
importance of water in Madanpur Khadar, Delhi. The water tanker arrives!
the Junior Schools
the campaign further, we held a special assembly and workshop sessions
for Year 6 students from Ringwood Juniors and Broadstone Middle School
who also enjoyed a lunchtime Bollywood session on Ringwood School Radio!
We wanted to make sure that as many people as possible get to hear
children's stories and the challenges they face in getting a quality
education. We visit Burley School tomorrow for a similar exercise, and
Poulner School in Ringwood for a workshop near the end of term. Again,
we'll be assisted by the Global Campaigners.
Two of our
campaigners, Jade Wardle and Amy Whitwham, said: "It was great
day. It inspired others and students learnt a great deal. It showed just
how lucky we are to live in a country where education is free."
MESSAGE IN A BOOK
When we heard about
Message in a Book, we resolved to give the project a go, little imaging
quite how successful it would be!
Below - one
student's message to an anonymous book buyer.
The idea is to
write a meaningful message in the front on a book, on an Oxfam template,
then donate it to the nearest Oxfam shop. Someone who buys the book
should read the message and hopefully will be inspired by it themselves.
We took as a major focus the eight Millennium Development Goals. Given
the work we were doing on MDG 2 (see below) and MDG 3, this seemed
appropriate. Interested students came to an early morning session where
key students were able to deliver messages such as , "What ARE the eight
above) then went back to their tutor groups
where they encourages students in the groups to follow suit.
Year 8 made a major
effort with every tutor group contributing. We ended up with about 150
donated books, each with its own message. We invited the brand new
manageress of Oxfam (on her first day in post) to collect the books! We
made her a poster to explain our actions and she mounted a huge window
display of students' messages as well as selling the books.
Below: a poster
successful campaign was a real 'care in the community' action and is one
which we will definitely replicate!
GREEN FLAG NUMBER FOUR AND
WINNING ECO-SCHOOLS' AMBASSADOR AWARD
Green Flag 4 arrived, all older students had left school for study
leave. We therefore had a very modest celebration in the Jubilee Garden
with those present for the Message In a Book campaign and some of our
Year 7 gardeners. The event was well reported by the Bournemouth Echo.
We were very pleased to hear that
we are an Ambassador Eco-School too but we have not yet received the
special flag and plaque.
We heard on May 1st that we are top of the league;
a Green Flag AMBASSADOR Eco-School, a status awarded to very few in the
country. It means we’re one of the very best, but it also means we have
a job to do as ambassadors of Eco-Schools UK. Several months have passed
since our assessment but we know that the assessors were really
impressed by the strength of leadership throughout the group and
particularly amongst students.
The leadership of the older students was described as
inspirational. The way in which younger students were encouraged to join
in with activities and slowly take on leadership responsibilities
themselves, whilst learning and having fun, was described as excellent.
Students’ relationships within the groups that frequently cross the year
groups were described by our assessor as a unique strength. Ambassador
Schools have all been given a specialism. Ours is Inspirational
Leadership: Pupil leadership for Secondary age pupils’
61 MILLION CHILDREN ARE OUT OF SCHOOL
We saw some of them in India, often desperate for education.
Hundreds of millions more are not learning
There are 969 days until we conquer the Millennium Development
Challenge or getting all children a primary education. It sounds
like a long way away, but it's not. The global education
community needs everyone's help to keep education in the
public eye every one of those 969 days if we want to see real
CARROM ARRIVES AT JOSH
When Young Ambassadors, Millie and Sam visited Delhi
they were repeatedly struck by the friendliness of the young people they
met, whether at the Josh Project, the YP Project or EFRAH. All three
groups seek to empower young people in different ways. Millie and Sam
wanted to make a small donation on behalf of Ringwood School as a
gesture of solidarity and to show appreciation for the warmth of the
welcome. It was agreed that something that would benefit girls who drop
out of education with frightening frequency would be appropriate.
We have now heard that
has bought three carrom boards for the Youth Resource Centre and the
girls of the Minority Resource Centre. The students are enjoying playing
with the boards and they have also become a source of enjoyment for the
Josh volunteers. Chandni a volunteer at JOSH has shared with
that she hadn’t played the carrom board in her life before this but that
she has learnt quickly and enjoys it a lot
Josh purchased the carrom boards because we learnt in our discussions
that this game brings people closer and encourages conversation, and
that it is particularly enjoyed by girls.
Kekhasa, a girl student at the Minority Resource Centre says she often
sees boys playing cricket and badminton in the streets. Her parents
allow her brother to play these games but that she is not allowed out.
This often makes her feel depressed. She tells us that the new carrom
boards have provided some joy because they give her time to play and
also to have a chat with the other girls.
The centre is now forming a carrom club and we are really pleased to
have enhanced the experiences of those at the centre.
We are so pleased to have these photographs and delighted to be able to
display them. We hope that the young JOSH students will tell us the
rules of the game
OWL PELLET DISSECTION
Jason Bridges of Liberty's visited us a
few weeks ago with four birds. This was an inspiring visit from which
students learnt a great deal. He has been collecting owl pellets for us
in the intervening weeks. Students enjoyed exploring the contents of the
pellets which obviously depend on
its diet. Our pellets included bones, stones, fur, feathers,
bills, claws, and teeth. Students were surprised to find not only chick
skeletons but skeletons of small rodents too!
There is excellent information about
the pellets regurgitated by birds of prey here.
RINGWOOD MINI MARCHERS ARE ON A MISSION
Mini marchers gathered outside Ringwood School demanding
a change for our broken food system and a fair deal for smallholder
farmers. They told students how Fairtrade can save smallholder farmers
from real poverty. These farmers produce our staple crops like coffee,
sugar, tea and cocoa. Mini marchers then asked students to sign a
petition urging David Cameron to take action for smallholder farmers at
the forthcoming G8 in Northern Ireland.
Mini marchers gathering outside Ringwood School
Not content with this, mini marchers suggested students
watched a short film about the plight of cotton farmers in India. They
told students that the biggest cotton producer in the world is the US
and that when cotton prices fall, the US subsidises its farmers. Indian
farmers don't gain this protection. When prices fall, these poor farmers
have no income. they are committing suicide at the fastest rate in
history. The film the mini marchers asked students to watch is
THE MARCH TO OTHER SCHOOLS
The first groups of mini marchers hi-jacked their
own sixth form student and took themselves to Ringwood Juniors. Although
the school is little more than a mile away as the crow flies, this was
as far as their tiny legs could manage. They posed for a few photos
before marching straight into the school.
Next, it was the protest march to Burley. Cleverly
the mini marchers managed to persuade students that they needed to be
taken by minibus. Their arguments were so convincing that one student
was convinced that they needed their own step ladder to get into the bus
and out again. The photo shows their arrival at Burley and the
emergence of a leader who commanded the mini marchers to follow her into
the school. Once inside the door, they made themselves comfortable,
posed for a few photos and then settled in the book corner with three
students who read them a story while the rested their tired, aching
Find out more about the campaign
here and download your own
NEW RESIDENTS OUTSIDE ART
To the great delight
of countless students, five baby chaffinches
made themselves heard this week. One had fledged by the time this photo
had been taken.
We also have a second brood in our
sparrow lodge outside chemistry, several sparrow nests in the pyracantha
and a new dove nest (with ONE baby) in one of the trees. Like this
chaffinch nest, it is in a very public area where it goes un-noticed by
all but the keenest students!
OUR ENERGY PROJECT WITH TIPTOE SCHOOL
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN GET INTO A G
Surprisingly, Ringwood and Tiptoe School students
managed ELEVEN with ease!
energy students ran a workshop for Tiptoe children, Dan Fish brought
along his GWiz.
Dan, described as
'Britain's greenest pensioner' not only owns the petite electric car,
but he powers it ONLY with electricity that he generates himself from
the photovoltaic cells on the roof of his bungalow in Bashley. Dan was
also keen to show children his hand tools, making the point that fuel
and electricity are not always needed! The GWiz therefore brought a
Dan with the GWiz and Ringwood and Tiptoe students
ENERGY WITH TIPTOE
in Years 8, 9 and 10 gave an entertaining play for the benefit of the
youngsters who were invited to interview the Ringwood 'villagers' about
the energy guzzling or saving habits. They were surprisingly astute in
their calculations, rightly guessing 'businesswoman' Sam with her liking
for private jets and constant holidays had an appalling carbon
footprint. Likewise, 'green activist' Katy and 'hippie' Rosie divided
the Tiptoe children's votes for the lowest count! Those in between
proved far more challenging to pin down.
children were invited to brainstorm energy saving ideas with their
new-found older peers and the evidence was clear: they had learnt a
All children were
given the opportunity to handle the thermal imaging camera that we had
used in early spring to detect energy losses from the school buildings.
The school has been given the images and this, along with a Hampshire
County Council full energy audit, should give the school a firm
foundation on which to build. The camera was supplied with the help of a
grant from the Sustainable Development Fund of the New Forest National
Park, and Tiptoe is the third school with which we have used it.
LOOK WHOO'S TALKING
We were lucky enough to have a visit from Jason Bridges of Liberty’s
reptiles and raptors, during a Friday morning wildlife session. We were
even more privileged to benefit from his choice of bird. First out of
the box was a beautiful English tawny owl, the owl students were most
likely to have seen or heard. Indeed Archie was particularly vocal in
Next appeared a superb kestrel. This bird may be seen over fields and
roadsides as when
hunting, the Kestrel hovers about 10–20 m above the ground, searching
for prey. We learnt that In addition to having exceptionally good
eyesight, Kestrels can also see ultra-violet light. This is useful in
locating voles because they leave a trail of urine wherever they go and
the urine glows in ultra-violet light!
A Little Owl charmed the students, who heard that this bird prefers open
country such as mixed farmland and parkland, although it will also nest
in buildings. It takes a variety of animals from insects, earthworms and
amphibians to small birds and mammals as prey. We learnt it is largely
diurnal and often perches boldly and prominently during the day.
Last to appear was a bird guaranteed to enchant: a young Indian Rocky
Eagle Owl that had been hand raised by Jason from an egg. This beautiful
owlet, looking like a teddy bear, was allowed to walk around the desks,
to the great delight of the students.
We learnt a great deal of good biology from Jason. He went into great
detail about owls’ eyes. Owls have their eyes set in the front of the
face. Their eyes are very large in comparison to their head, and instead
of being round like ours, are pear-shaped. What we see is the small part
of the eye. The biggest part at
the back of the eye has a lot
of room for the special light-receiving rods in the retina. This allows
the owl to see well in low light conditions.
Because of the shape of the eye, their eyes are fixed in the skull and
cannot move up or down or side to side. This of course makes the owl at
risk to attacks from behind, but a special neck mechanism allows the
head to turn around very quickly,
and almost upside-down. It is able to achieve this by having a long and
very flexible neck, which is not always apparent, as it is hidden by
feathers and the Owl's posture.
As most owls are active at night, their eyes must be very efficient at
collecting and processing light. This starts with a large cornea (the
transparent outer coating of the eye) and pupil (the opening at the
centre of the eye). The pupil's size is controlled by the iris (the
coloured membrane suspended between the cornea and lens). When the pupil
is larger, more light passes through the lens and onto the large retina
(light sensitive tissue.
explained that an owl’s eye colour can give some indication as to its
activity time. An owl with very dark eyes is normally active at night
(nocturnal), an owl with yellow eyes is active during the day (diurnal),
and an owl with orange eyes is active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular).
This suggests that the tawny owl is nocturnal and the baby Indian rock
eagle owl is crepuscular. The little owl is unusual amongst the owl
family in that it is diurnal.
One student asked a very good question, “Can an owl turn its head around
through 360o? We learnt that an owl's neck has 14
vertebrae, which is twice as many as humans. This allows the owl to turn
its head through a range of 270 degrees measured from a forward facing
position. So it cannot turn its head around through 360o!
This was a superb visit and we are enormously grateful to both Linda
Bridges and to Jason for providing such an informative and entertaining
OUR ENERGY PROJECT COMES HOME
FINDING RINGWOOD'S HOT SPOTS
Having carried out thermal imaging at both
Morgan's' Vale and Burley Schools, and with Tiptoe yet to come, some of
our students were well acquainted with the state of the art thermal
imaging camera that was loaned from New Forest Transition and funded by
the New Forest National Parks Sustainable Development Fund. Images below
show some of the key players in the energy team using the camera to spot
A thermal imaging survey of the building fabric
is an excellent way of identifying defects including thermal bridges,
discontinuity of insulation and air leakage paths. We chose a cold March morning to survey our own
school. There was plenty of choice! We also wanted a DULL morning
because direct and diffuse sunlight warms surfaces distorting readings. Students were able to use the
thermal imaging camera throughout the school. Indoors they found unlagged pipes throughout the school: they appeared white on the image
showing a temperature of 70oC and more! Most of these
were near the ceiling meaning that not just was heat loss excessive, but
most of the heat was near the ceiling! They found that the tops of the
flat roofs viewed from the outside were hot, and the automatic doors
were letting the cold air fly in, chilling interior surfaces. The skylights on the flat roofs were also
a source of heat loss. They were waterproof but not air tight.
The worst culprits overall
were the temporary classrooms (the 'huts'). Students spent lots of time surveying these buildings.
Particularly interesting evidence came from
the image to the right which shows that the left hand
classroom's heating was not on but the right hand classroom's
was running full blast, and most of that heat was being
immediately transferred to the walls and windows of the
building, then lost to the outside world.
Geography building likewise proved interesting. The new double
glazed entrance appeared well insulated but both the flimsy
walls and the windows of this building proved great heat
emitters. This was the case on all sides of the building. As
shown, the downstairs rooms were real sources of heat loss.
Thermal imaging is a complex subject
and requires a good understanding of science to interpret
images. Our students have learnt a great deal from the process
A complete handbook for our FLIR
camera can be downloaded
SEND MY FRIEND TO SCHOOL - A STANDING OVATION AT THE NUT CONFERENCE
Millie and Sam presented the result of their fact
finding Delhi tour to delegates at the National Union of
Teachers annual conference held in Liverpool on Easter Saturday. This is
how the event was reported in the Southern Echo
It was a speech that gained the respect and applause
from hundreds of teachers across the country.
But surprisingly it was given by two Hampshire students
aged just 15 at the National Union of Teachers
conference. Millie Wells and Sam Whittingham from
Ringwood School were the first ever Young
Ambassadors to gain a standing ovation. They spoke about
how children abroad have the same rights to
education as young people in the UK.
The cause is close to both of their hearts, as they
visited India as part of the Send My Friend to School
Campaign where they witnessed the inequalities of
education facing children in India.
The Send My Friend to School campaign aims to get
thousands of children across the UK to speak up for the
right to education and remind world leaders of their
promise that all children should get their chance to go
Please sign up at
Speaking after the conference, Millie, 15, said: “We
hope the teachers gained a different perspective on
teaching and the challenges facing some education
systems abroad. The audience at the conference were
really engaged with what we were saying and we hope they
will sign their schools up to the campaign.”
During their speech Millie and Sam showed a short video made by Oxfam during
their Delhi exposure tour. The link to it in Vimeo is
Left: Millie and Sam with Sophia Ireland
(Oxfam) and Samidha Garg (NUT). Centre:standing ovation begins.
Right: outside the Liverpool conference centre
Follow Millie's and Sam's BLOG
SEND MY FRIEND TO SCHOOL: THE DELHI
text below is a transcript of Millie's and Sam's speech that they gave
at the National Union of Teachers conference at Easter. It is the Young
Ambassadors' first-hand account of their visit
Good afternoon. My name is
Millie and mine is Sam we are the Young Ambassadors for the Global
Campaign for Education. We are here to talk to you about our
extraordinary fact finding mission To India.
We entered the Steve Sinnott
Award as we wanted to be a voice for children around the world who
struggle to get heard in their wish for an education. We realise how
lucky we are to have the opportunities that a UK education gives you.
The idea that where you are born can all too often dictate the chances
you have in life concerns us. As a child I am no different from any
child whether there from India Africa or the UK; we are all children who
should have the equal right for an education, a start in life. Everyone
is born with talents and without education many of these are not
discovered. Education is the way forward as it not only gives you
essential knowledge but `gives you wings` to make the most of life’s
In February we travelled to
New Delhi in India with Oxfam UK. We were accompanied by our teacher,
Gill Hickman, by Samidha from the NUT (one of the major sponsors of
'Send My Friend' and by David Levene and Rachel Williams from The
Guardian, and we were hosted by Oxfam India. The video you are about to
see shows you what we saw on our fact finding mission in New Delhi, the
barriers to education we observed and the challenges that India is
having in getting primary education for all.
Our visit to India was an
extraordinary, life changing experience which will never be forgotten.
We met some fantastic people who really touched us with their kindness
primary education by 2015 was a millennium development goal but that
goal looks as if it will be missed by a considerable margin. And in 2009
India’s Right to Education Act was passed giving a free and compulsory
education for all children aged between 6 and 14. The challenge now is
and will continue to be, delivering on the promises.
motivated young people told us that teacher/student ratios of 1:80 were
more the norm, and we heard that teachers frequently failed to turn
up for classes."
Our visit gave us a real
awareness of the challenges faced within New Delhi. There was a real
will for change within the communities and an urgent demand for
education. Our Ambassador status first took us to the ‘JOSH’ Youth
Resource Centre. JOSH aims to empower youngsters and works
towards effective implementation of India’s (RTE) Act. JOSH’s highly
motivated young people told us that teacher/student ratios of 1:80 were
more the norm, and we heard that that teachers frequently failed to turn
up for classes. School hygiene and sanitation were a priority but rarely
achieved; drinking water is filthy and 30% of schools have no roof.
These students were desperate to learn English.
The EFRAH project
(Empowerment for Rehabilitation, Academic and Health) truly shone out
amidst shocking poverty,. We visited EFRAH’s office in Madanpur Khadar,
a slum clearance area and an Oxfam resettlement colony. We learnt that
there are private schools and different types of government schools.
Funding and teacher quality are variable. We heard important information
about how many girls are out of school: 50% of girls drop out by 5th
standard (equivalent to our year 5) 67% by 7th and 70% by 10th
"Children sat on the floor
writing on their laps, one cradling her two year-old sleeping brother.
There was no-one lse to look after him."
The squalor of the Madanpur
Khadar slums made life difficult yet the girls we met were proud of
their appearance and beautifully dressed. 90% of the homes had no toilet and
open sewers held piles of foul-smelling detritus in which cattle and
pigs foraged. Here, where EFRAH’s schemes help the entire community,
Alok Thakur, the programme manager took us to a
government primary school where resources were sparse. Classes were
overcrowded; there were no toilets and no electricity; children sat on
the floor writing on their laps, one cradling her two year-old sleeping
brother. There was no-one else to look after him. We joined Year 5
English and maths classes where in a trigonometry lesson, children hung
onto the teacher’s every word.
Again we heard that toilets
were a problem. They were often locked for teachers’ use only. Gulashan
said she had never used the utterly disgusting toilets in her school.
Most schools also lacked clean water. Just 5% of government schools
comply with all the basic standards for infrastructure set by the
Education Act. We saw all these issues at first hand at the schools we
"One tragic story that hit
us hard concerns a girl who didn’t want us to use her name. She was
taunted for boys in this way and having been pulled out of school by her
parents she is to be married at 16 and it’s doubtful whether she will
return to education."
EFRAH also runs an
Adolescent Girls Awareness Group that empowers girls to deal with
specific problems, particularly sexual harassment. Girls suffer from
such harassment on their journeys to and from school. Families then
regard this as a loss of honour and pull girls out of school. One
tragic story that hit us hard concerns a girl who didn’t want us to use
her name. She was taunted for boys in this way and having been pulled
out of school by her parents she is to be married at 16 and it’s
doubtful whether she will return to education. EFRAH helps these girls,
suggesting ways to make it easier for them to tell their parents as well
as helping the parents come to terms with what has been happening. All
those we met were desperate to continue with their education.
To combat sexual harassment
EFRAH tries to change the perception of the male culprits by asking
questions like “Do you want to marry an educated woman?” to which they
reply, “Yes.” They pose the next question, “How do you expect the women
to get educated if they can’t get to school as you are harassing them?”
Millie spent time talking to
individual girls, learning their horrific stories while Sam worked on a
puppet-making activity where girls wrote on paper puppets to describe
their ideal teacher. Others focussed on their ideal school.
GIrls suggested that their
teachers should always be there in lessons and should never be on their
phones! They asked that teachers talked to them sometimes and said
their learning could be improved by having smaller class sizes, again
citing huge numbers of children in a single class, with students
sometimes having to sit outside as they couldn’t fit in the classroom.
Above all, they asked for improved sanitation – a decent toilet to use
at school and water fit to drink.
The number of teachers and the quality of teaching was perhaps the most
significant challenge we encountered. Meeting with the All India Primary
Teachers’ Federation, and the Coordinator of National Coalition for
Education and the Global Campaign for Education in India, proved
interesting. We heard that that India alone needs over 1 million more
teachers to obtain the ratio of 1:35 students required in the RTE Act.
This highlights the importance of this year’s focus of the Send My
Friend to School Campaign ‘Every child needs a teacher’.
The YP project helps
children from the poorest of urban slum communities. The YP foundation
trains students of university age as peer educators; they are
articulate, savvy and well connected. We visited a slum community that
lay a few hundred metres from a major tourist attraction – Humayun’s
Tomb – but was completely hidden from view. Students entered the
community from four entrances so the children can see them coming and
usually engage youngsters by playing a little game to get everybody
involved. This builds trust and friendship between the peer educators
and the children, issues that are a major barrier. A game will be fun
but usually involves a deeper meaning at the end, such as the need to
The YP project teaches
children life skills that help increase their memory, concentration and
health awareness. YP educators teach how to be against STI’s like
HIV/AIDS, and they build on the skills needed to get out of poverty such
as ICT skills that may help some to get an office job. They aim to
empower, helping people gain documents and identification to, for
instance, register for school, thus raising awareness of children’s
rights to education and letting people realise their rights to take up
the 25% of places reserved for children from economically worse
YP’s peer educators
were the some of the most inspiring people that we have ever met.
Although most had a good life and full education, they didn’t just sit
back enjoying their university ducation: they realised that they were
privileged and wanted to bring about change so everybody could have an
equal chance. All said they’d gained a new perspective on life: whilst
teaching the children they are always learning themselves.
"We were struck by
their strength and courage. Although often uneducated, these women and
girls were articulate, courageous and presented their point of view
through their compelling and deeply personal testimonies."
The Delhi Committee on
Protection of Child Rights looks into a community’s complaints relating
to child justice, health and education. At an official meeting, we
raised questions about the issue of failing schools and the position of
girls and then attended a public hearing where the community aired their
complaints about the colony to a panel of experts.
Meena from the adolescent girls’ group gave an impassioned account of
problems with class sizes, and dreadful insanitary conditions. Other
complainants included women worried about sexual harassment, security,
health and lack of support for extremely needy relatives. We were struck
by their strength and courage. Although often uneducated, these women
and girls were articulate, courageous and presented their point of view
through their compelling and deeply personal testimonies.
We both gave evidence on
behalf of the girls at the public hearing. As a result, people’s
grievances now go further. The Young Ambassadors, through their
exemplary actions, achieved huge momentum in their relationships with
the Indian partners and young people, and at this point it was clear we
made a difference. We know that our year’s tenure will let us make
NUT SPEECH continues ...
Teachers and educators, please put your hand up if, after 20 days
training, you feel you could teach a class of up to 80 children cramped
in a small classroom in the boiling heat with a fan which doesn’t work.
We should say that you may have another class you are supposed to be
teaching at the same time so you might be in charge of over 160 children
at one time. On top of that some of the children don’t speak the
language as you. I see none of you have put your hands up but this is
the reality for many of the teachers in India.
The Indian government
currently spends only 3.7% of its GDP on education whereas the UK spend
8%. If India has been upgraded from a”poor" country to a
middle-income one, why is money allocated to education not spent?
The Indian government can afford a metro and international
airport in Delhi, and a defence programme but does not allocate money to
education. Neither does it fairly distribute the money to all schools.
We visited two schools within the same local government programme but
with vastly different standards. This is not right.
We feel privileged to have
had the opportunity that few others get, actually meeting community
members, visiting schools and meeting organisations that help to get
more children into education. We would like to thank all the those who
have helped us on the way and the NUT, GCE UK,
Oxfam India and Oxfam GB for giving us all this once in a lifetime
opportunity. Equally we feel hugely indebted to the young people of
JOSH, EFRAH and YP. The warmth of the welcome we received from them and
from their organisers and sometimes their parents was unforgettable. We
are left with the view that every single student at Ringwood, and
probably in the UK, would benefit from this life-changing experience.
We want to create hope for
a better future for all young people across the world so if you are a
teacher, we urge you to sign your school up for Send My Friend 2013.
Every child can receive a good education if the political will is there
and the needs of the poorest are not overlooked.
Images in this article are
David Levene's and Gill Hickman's. We are grateful to the Guardian for
giving us permission to use David's photos. Rachel Williams of
picked up the very topical issue of girls who drop out of education
through sexual harassment. Her article for the Guardian is here.
FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT EVENTS
event ended Fairtrade Fortnight. It is not connected to the marketplace
activities but the account was written by a student. On a very dull
Monday in March, seven students visited Southampton’s famous St. Mary’s
stadium. When we arrived we were given a tour by Peter, one of the
lovely staff. He showed us most of the ‘ins and the outs’ of the
stadium. We then had a talk from a man called Henry from Malawi who had
come over to talk to school and groups of students in the UK to tell
explain how Fairtrade helps him. He taught us about how the sugar farm
that he set up operates and the processing that is carried out before
export. We even learnt that some of the sugar you will find in food in
the Co-operative comes from Henry’s sugar farm! At the end of the
presentation students had the opportunity to present Henry and his
friend from Malawi a Southampton football shirt signed by all the
players on the Southampton football team. Koolskools, who make our
Fairtrade polo shirt, had invited Ringwood students for this
presentation. They had made a logo for Henry’s local football club and
presented Henry with a strip for the entire team back in Malawi. Henry
said that he couldn’t wait to show the children back home the new kit.
“The Southampton stadium was brilliant, I wish we had more time to stay
there!” said Sam.
added, “It was all brilliant, but meeting Henry and his friend and
learning about his background was particularly interesting – I really
enjoyed finding out about how what we do helps people in other
countries. The experience was amazing, and we are all planning to keep
in touch with Henry to see how Fairtrade helps him even more in the
WEAR FAIR - OUR FAIRTRADE FASHION SHOW
SPONSORED BY THE CO-OPERATIVE
Wear Fair 2013 was sponsored by the Co-operative
and their generosity allowed us to run a raffle and to serve a good
range of refreshments including Fairtrade wine. We were also pleased to
accept help from the community and in particular, the Friends of
Ringwood Parish Church who helped with the organisation of the clothes.
We were pleased to welcome the mayor and Mayoress of Ringwood and the
Headteacher, staff and students of Burley School. Comperes Robbie and
Rosie provided an entertaining commentary as staff and students strutted
A very busy Fairtrade marketplace was supported
by local firms such as Timber and KoolSkools and this gave a welcome
extension to the evening. Drinks and snacks were provided by the
The photos reflect Ringwood students' passion
for Fairtrade and are a good illustration of the great atmosphere
students of every year group managed to create. Our labels for Wear Fair
2013 included Nomads, People and Planet, Traidcraft, Bishopston and
Sainsbury. Koolskools brought along the world's first Fairtrade
blazer, beautifully modelled by Callum below! We are really grateful to
all our suppliers for lending clothes in these hard economic times.
Well done to all - the excellent BTEC helpers,
the staff, the models, the Burley children, those who helped backstage,
with music in the school foyer or with refreshments, clearing up and
CAKE BAKE SPONSORED BY SAINSBURY'S,
AND FAIRTRADE MARKET IN THE FURLONG
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight we had a Friday
evening cake bake with baking sponsored by Sainsbury and Waitrose.
Students made a variety of goodies - chocolate cakes, Viennese whirls,
banana cake, chocolate brownies, lemon drizzle cake and more. Members of
staff also baked cakes.
As part of the drive to make Ringwood a
Fairtrade town, the school had two stalls outside the Gateway building
at the town's Fairtrade market. Cakes and cookies were sold on one and
Fairtrade hot chocolate sponsored by Sainsbury's on the other. Other
stalls were taken by Timber, the Fairtrade steering group and
Brockenhurst College. The event yielded an unexpected profit over over
£100 and this money will ensure that the steering group can buy such
essential items as table cloths.
|Below: Setting up early
FAIRTRADE ON THE RADIO
Nuala, Sam and Katy gave a first class interview
on FOREST FM in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight. They were able to
speak with knowledge, understanding and real conviction about Fairtrade
at the school. They chose appropriate music, and were also able to
advertise Saturday's market event.
We have now seen the
very end of last year's wildflower meadow for bees. We donated the
remaining stems to Minstead Study Centre as removing and collecting
seeds is a good learning activity for children and the centre works with
large numbers of children from many schools! We have also donated
seeds to fourteen different local schools. It was therefore a great
pleasure to offer our remaining few seeds to our own students, and
making seed bombs was our final fun activity.
The bombs are designed to be thrown
into areas where wild flowers would make an improvement. It's taken
seriously as this website illustrates
We used local clay to make the 'classic
clay and compost' bomb
ENERGY WITH MORGAN'S VALE SCHOOL
Morgan's Vale School was the first of our
group of energy schools to receive an energy audit from Wiltshire County
Council. We moved in with our thermal imaging camera at the end of
January and looked at heat losses over the entire school. We were
delighted to be able to show most of the older children how the camera
worked. Our findings were predictable - the old part of the school
showed significantly higher losses than the newer part, and the library,
used for music tuition on a Tuesday afternoon, glowed red under the
thermal imaging camera. We, together with the school are producing a
report with recommendations for the Headteacher.
We also spent an evening at Minstead
with Morgan's Vale, working through a role play on energy awareness.
This was a great session, much enjoyed by 16 Ringwood students and, it
appeared, the entire student body of Morgan's Vale!
Above: Ringwood students get into role as
unlikely characters in a village. There were rock stars, vicars,
housewives, green activists, business women and more - much to the
delight of Morgans Vale children! The youngsters had to interview the
Ringwood students and work out the biggest energy guzzlers.
SEND MY FRIEND TO SCHOOL
Millie and Sam have heard that they
have won the Steve Sinnott Award for their
Send My Friend to School campaign. They are now UK Young Ambassadors for Send My friend and have
a packed year ahead of them. The first event is a visit to Delhi in
India at half term, working with their counterparts in India, with Oxfam
India and above all, with children and their families unable to go to
school. They will be visiting slum areas and slum clearance areas, in
addition to getting a little sightseeing. Details are
here. Well done to Millie and Sam.
done to the school as every tutor group contributed to this.
Above left: presenting the school's model to
Stephen O Brien, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State in the Department
for International Development.. Right: Millie and Sam at Oxfam.
With the Desmond Swayne MP at No 10
ENERGY WITH BURLEY SCHOOL
Our energy work with Burley school began with Katy,
Sam and Isaac having a
short planning meeting before Christmas (see photo below left). Students
discovered that the Burley children have an interest in Fairtrade too.
Work started in earnest with a lunchtime session. The juniors enjoyed an
assembly given by five Ringwood students (photo below right), while the infants enjoyed an
energy workshop with six more of our students acting as explainers at work stations.
More work will follow in March.
Thanks energy group!
HOT CHOCOLATE IN THE
Eight members of the Fairtrade
group, all representatives of the school in the Ringwood Fairtrade
steering group, served Fairtrade hot chocolate supplied by Sainsbury's to grateful passers by.
The first occasion, when the weather was appalling, marked the opening
of late night shopping in The Furlong. The second evening was cold and
frosty, and it coincided with Santa's arrival in town.
THE VEGETARIAN DEBATE
Love animals? Should you EAT them?
Tom Davies and Ed Kleszcz mounted a very strong
defence of meat-eating in our Friday debate. Arguments ranged from the
adaptations of the human gut and dentition to meat eating, to nomadism!
Robbie Shaw and Ellie Bowen put up a brave defence of vegetarianism on
both moral and ecological grounds. They argues that there will not be
enough food to feed the 9 billion people in the world expected by 2050,
unless we substantially eat less meat protein and more plant protein. This
argument did not convince younger children, many of whom thought animals
could be kept at the expense of plants.
Maybe most students in the large audience drawn
from all years, were already committed to meat eating, but nevertheless,
it was with strong and persuasive arguments that Tom and Ed won the hearts and minds of the
debaters. At the
end of this early morning debate, the overwhelmeing majority voted against the motion
that we should all eat less meat. Meat eating lives!
Well done to all, especially those who proposed
and opposed the motion. In the true spirit of debating, sevarl of these
students presented cogent arguments for a view that they did not share!
SEED COLLECTION continues
Our wildflower meadow continues to be a source of
inspiration. We have now cut down most of the flowers and dried them
completely. The photo shows students shaking and sieving several thousand
seeds out of the dried seed pods ready for next year's sowing. Some will
be packaged for sale.
OF OLD LOW ENERGY LIGHT BULBS
AS PART OF SWITCH OFF FORTNIGHT We have set up
a special recycling bank and we can now offically recycle LAMPS, including
those 'hard to dispose of' fluorescents, and compact fluorescents
Low energy light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than old fashioned bulbs,
but to do so they need a small amount of mercury which is why
they can't be thrown away in your bin. In recycling them we protect the
environment, and the mercury, glass and metal can be reused.
School is now an official collection point for school and community.
Please note the following:
The Hazardous Waste Regulations require all types of
hazardous wastes to be stored separately so our new Recolight
containers store all gas discharge lamps, and no other type of waste.
They are sited in the RECYCLING AREA near the site manager’s office.
As there must be no unauthorised access to the containers, they will
only be available during school opening hours. Please
report to RECEPTION or to one of the SITE TEAM between 8.00am –
The site team will be available
cannot accept broken lamps as they pose a risk children and adults on our site
The materials recovered from the various processes
used in the industry can be used in a number of different ways. The lamp
phosphor powders can be recovered and re-used to make new lamps; the
mercury collected, when purified can also be used to make new lamps and in
other industrial processes. The crushed glass can be mixed with a new
glass melt for a variety of applications, from furnace linings to making
Recolight’s educational programme, the
Light Project, is designed to improve youngsters’
understanding of the differences between compact fluorescent lamps and
traditional incandescent light bulbs. A key message is to communicate why
CFLs should be recycled and not disposed of with domestic waste.
We think it is important to teach children about the need to recycle
low-energy light-bulbs as it encourages these messages back into the home.
Furthermore, children are the ones who, in the coming years, will be
buying and recycling them once traditional bulbs are completely phased
out. The Big Light Project
brings home the simple ideas about light and recycling in a number of
engaging ways while communicating serious messages about the environment,
energy efficiency and climate change.
SWITCH -OFF FORTNIGHT NOVEMBER 19th - Dec
Ringwood School has signed up to this important
energy saving challenge that's sponsored by EDF, the energy company. A Switch-off Fortnight Powerpoint presentation
can be downloaded here.
It should get people thinking!
CHILDREN IN NEED AND
FAIRTRADE BAKE OFF
A group of Year 7 and 8 students spent a very
happy hour after school with Mrs Waine making chocolate chip shortbread.
Students were helped by staff from The Hive and by Robbie Shaw (Year 12)
and Sam Kimberley and Katy Barrett (Year 10) They used Fairtrade
ingredients supplied by Sainsbury's in Ringwood for which everyone was
With Children in Need following the next day
(Friday Nov 16th), students donated most of their biscuits to a coffee
morning with a cake and
cookie sale being organised by Mrs Waine. However, everyone was given a Pudsey bag and
a Fairtrade flag so that they could take a few to
share with those at home.
To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's
historic 2012 Diamond Jubilee, the Woodland Trust is helping
millions of people across the UK to plant 6 million trees. We were
delighted to be involved in the Woodland Trust's Tree Planting Challenge,
and pleased to be able to have one more chance in 2012 to mark this
special moment in history.
It is some time since we had a
Big Dig at Ringwood so this was a new experience for these Eco Reps who were
pleased to take part in a planting session on a chilly October morning.
Sixty small holly, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, dog rose and beech saplings
were planted in half an hour. We know we have 'done our bit' for the Jubilee
Woods campaign, and we hope we have also improved the biodiversity of our
SEND MY FRIEND TO
World leaders made a promise to educate every
child by 2015. With three years left, the Send My Friend to School
Campaign asks for help in sending 67 million children to school.
The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games
offered athletes from every country the chance to test their abilities in
hundreds of sporting events. Every child should have the opportunity to
achieve all that they can, and education is key to that; hence the 2012
campaign was GOING FOR
GOLD Inspired by this and by the
astonishing example of Malala
Yousafzai, the young girls' education campaigner who was shot in the
head by a Taliban gunman while returning home from school in Pakistan,
Year 10 students Millie Wells and Sam Whittingham rose to the challenge.
They launched a Send My Friend to School
campaign at Ringwood, one that would touch everyone. Using film
footage of Malala and the excellent resources from the 'Send My Friend'
campaign they created a presentation that reached every student in this
big school. They took assemblies and where that wasn't possible, tutors
showed and talked through the presentation with their tutor groups. groups.
Sam and Millie considered how students could show
their understanding of the issue and pledge their support. Ideas such as
mass crowds on the field, or lines of paper dolls, each made by individual
students, were dismissed as memorable but difficult and not the best means
of showing support. Messages went out on the school's 'Week Ahead' to all
tutor groups, and hearing about the petition in support of the Nobel Peace
prize for Malala, all students were encouraged to sign the petition
online, and were offered the opportunity of wearing a 'Send My Friend'
badge of support. The
petition is here.
Millie and Sam then asked every tutor group in the
school to discuss the issue and to make a doll in gold
coloured card. To show global support for the campaign, each
tutor group was assigned a country. On one side of their card they drew
the country's flag and on the other they wrote a message of support. Gold
dolls from every tutor group were neatly stacked against wooden figures
carved by Millie's brother and they were arranged around a large globe.
Thus the views of the whole school could be neatly collated. The dolls can
be, and currently are, unleashed and displayed, hands joined, for all to
The next move was to consider the most effective
means of getting the school's 'Send My Friend' message out into the wider
world, and to arrange an effective display of students' work. Millie and
Sam invited our MP, Desmond Swayne, who represents New Forest West, into
school to hear of his views about education for all in a formal interview.
They were delighted when he accepted the invitation at very short notice,
and were thrilled to hear Mr Swayne pledge his support and that of his
party. Indeed, he said, there was cross party consensus on the importance
of the issue. Sending all children to school was a Millennium
Development Goal and he said, this is something he was passionate about.
He then shared his experiences of working in Ruanda a few years ago, describing
very vividly the impact that education had on girls.
On the day that Justine Greening announced that UK
aid was to be cut to India (as the students reminded him), and on the day before
the global day of action for girls' eduction, Mr Swayne said that he would
take the issue to Westminster and agreed to try and arrange for Millie and
Sam to meet Ms Greening or members of her team. And - it might be
appropriate to take and present their model. He was delighted
to be associated with the campaign and welcomed its publicity in local
The model meanwhile, is the centrepiece of a
prominent display in school, with the gold dolls unleashed from their
wooden support and symbolically joining hands for all to see. The
children's messages could not be more prominent. Neither could the message
from Desmond Swayne himself because Millie and Sam immediately invited him
to draw the flag of Ruanda on his own gold doll and write a message of
personal support (see below).
Millie's and Sam's campaign has been a real
success and they both deserve our
congratulations. Their campaign has been reported in the local press and
has raised the awareness of members of the public; it has the guaranteed
backing of our local MP who has pledged to discuss this in Westminster,
and the campaign has touched every student and member of staff in the
Saturday November 10th
global day of action in Malala's name
getting school places for 32 millions girls around the world who are not
attending classes.. It marks
exactly one month since the 15-year-old was shot in the head by a
Taliban gunman as she travelled home from school with two classmates in
north-west Pakistan. The UN
Special Envoy for Education Gordon Brown visited Islamabad to discuss ways
of getting Pakistani girls currently out of school into the education
system. He delivered simple messages in the form of a petition from the
‘I am Malala’ website
to the Pakistan authorities on a global day of
action for girls' education: These were the demands:
call on Pakistan to agree a plan to deliver education for every child
all countries to outlaw discrimination against girls
call on international organizations to ensure the world’s 61 million
out of school children are in education by the end of 2015
DID YOU TAKE ACTION FOR THE AWA LAST
Last May students ran a campaign to
help the world's most threatened tribe, the AWA. If you've forgotten, look
back to Activities in 2011-12 when we ran this campaign. Most students watched the campaign group's
presentation in tutor groups. LOTS of you wrote to the Minister of Justice
(even though there was an attempt to block those emails). You asked for
the Brazilian government to act.
The 460 members of the Awá tribe live by hunting
for peccary, tapir and monkey, travelling through the rainforest with
6-foot long bows and by gathering forest produce: babaçu nuts, açaí
berries and honey. Some foods are considered to have special properties
– others, such as vultures, bats and the three-toed sloth, are
forbidden. The Awá also travel by night, lighting the way with torches
made from tree resin.
We have heard today
by email that the campaign for the Awa put unprecedented pressure on the
Brazilian government to act and the new head of Brazil’s indigenous
affairs department has made the Awá her top priority. The government has
now mapped out some of the areas where the loggers are operating. The UN
has asked Survival International,who brought the issue to light, for
details of the Awá’s plight, which they have provided. The tribe’s
story has been covered in newspapers, magazines and on TV around the
world. It was backed up by Colin Firth. The campaign
continues, and it illustrates how your emails and letters CAN make things
The 460 members of the Awá tribe live by hunting
for peccary, tapir and monkey, travelling through the rainforest with
6-foot long bows and by gathering forest produce: babaçu nuts, açaí
berries and honey. Some foods are considered to have special properties
– others, such as vultures, bats and the three-toed sloth, are
forbidden. The Awá also travel by night, lighting the way with torches
made from tree resin.
After seeing his family
massacred by ranchers, Awá man Karapiru (‘Hawk’) ent
on the run. What happened next is surely one of the most extraordinary
stories you’ve ever read. Read
the first instalment of Karapiru’s story
ASH IS UNDER THREAT
We hope all students, staff, parents and members of
the public will lend support in helping raise awareness of
Chalara fraxinea (ash dieback). Your efforts will go a long way
to assist the Woodland Trust, the Forestry Commission and the government
in understanding the true scale of the disease across the UK.
Ash dieback (below left) and healthy ash (below right)
Over half term weekend we have seen the Secretary of State
introduce a ban on the import and movement of ash across the UK.
Unfortunately, the disease has been found in both the mature ancient
woodland and woodland creation areas on of the Woodland Trust's estate at
Pound Farm in Suffolk. The Woodland Trust is now calling on the
government to set up an emergency summit bringing together representatives
from all areas of forestry, plant health and conservation. The Woodland
Trust will play an active role in any task force that is created.
FROM THE FOREST
in many classes enjoyed
an unusual treat after half term. We
were able to mount a superb display of fungi, legally collected from
the Forest two days earlier in short forays organised by the
Hampshire Fungus Recording Group.
were immediately able to see the diversity within the Kingdom Fungi
and they learnt about edible and poisonous specimens. They
particularly enjoyed hearing about the more unusual
are very grateful to the Hampshire Fungus Recording Group who
provided interesting leaflets and most fo the fungi.
BERRIES AND BIRDS SURVEY
The British Trust for Ornithology is asking people
to record what berries birds are eating. We have lots of pyracantha at
school that birds like the blackbird (below) enjoy.
birds take advantage of the berries that form part of Nature's autumn
bounty. Some of these berries may last through into the New Year,
providing much-needed resources for wintering thrushes, but which berries
are used and when? With your help we can increase our understanding of how
birds use garden berries and answer key questions to deliver better advice
on which berry-producing plants to use in our gardens.
Birds and Garden Berries Study began on Sunday 30th September. If you would like
to take part in the study or find out more about the project then please
email the BTO at
study has three components, the first of which looks at
availability throughout the winter. The second examines
quickly berries are removed from plants and the third looks at
birds take berries. BTO hope that people will contribute to all three
components but any contribution would be welcome.
on selecting berry-producing plants for the garden can be found
and you can learn about how plants use birds to disperse their seeds by
Find out more about berries and access a list of those eaten by birds
FAIRTRADE WORKING PARTY
A team of
six students from year 8 to Year 13, met In Ringwood's Gateway building with representatives of
businesses, churches and interested people in town to discuss a programme
of work to move Ringwood town's move to re-registration for Fairtrade
working party reviewed the five goals issued by the Fairtrade Foundation,
each of which would need to be met to enable the town’s Fairtrade
status to be renewed. A steering
group was established and there was a free discussion about how to take
things forward. The six students each have a task, inluding the
compliation of a Ringwood directory of Fairtrade, the creation of a
Facebook page and a website.
Peter Brown of Waitrose and Vicky Jordan of Sainsbury's were
voted in a s Chairman and Secretary respectively. The
school was pleased both to be actively involved and to gain the support of business for its
Fairtrade ventures, such as the Children in Need cake bake thatw as
supported by Sainsbury's.
of this meeting may be downloaded here.
Navitus Bay during Climate Week?
spring, many students enjoyed a talk about Navitus Bay, the proposed wind
farm. If you missed it or if you're a parent or an interested member of
the community, there’s another chance! There is a conference
about Navitus Bay on Tuesday 30th October, 7.00- 9.00pm at the
Allesbrook Theatre, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow Talbot Campus,
will be a short talk by Andy Atkins, Executive Director of Friends of the
Earth and a showing of ‘Wind Power in UK’, followed by a question and
answer session, chaired by Dr Nigel Garland
FOR EVERYONE - INSULATE!
Winter approaches! Insulate Hampshire is working with
Lymington Town Council to offer free rolls of DIY ‘top up’ loft
insulation for collection on Thursday 1st November between
10.00am and 12.30pm
register for your free rolls mail firstname.lastname@example.org
In an uninsulated home a quarter of your heat is
lost through the roof. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is a
simple and effective way to save that waste and reduce your heating bills
– you can even do it yourself. Loft insulation is effective for at
least 40 years, and it will pay for itself over and over again in that
HOW MUCH COULD YOU SAVE?
Loft insulation (0 to 270mm)
Loft insulation(100 to 270mm)
|Approximate saving per year
||Up to £175
||£100 to £350
||£100 to £350
|Time taken to pay for
||Up to two years
||From four years
||£50 to £350
||£50 to £350
|Time taken to pay for
||Up to two years
||From two years
|Carbon dioxide saving per
|| Around 110kg
These are estimates based on insulating a
gas-heated, semi-detached home with three bedrooms, showing savings when
you insulate an uninsulated loft, and when you top up 100mm of insulation
to 270mm. (The recommended depth for mineral wool insulation is 270mm but
other materials need different depths.)
If your loft is already insulated, it's worth
checking that you've got enough insulation to get the maximum saving. If
everyone in the UK installed 270mm loft insulation, we could save nearly
£500 million – and 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every
year, the equivalent of taking nearly 100,000 cars off the road! This offer is a
bargain and good for the planet!
Urge the UK Government to
tackle the global hunger crisis in the right way.
food prices and the effects of climate change have produced a ‘perfect
storm’ hunger crisis, threatening millions of lives across many continents.
of the world’s superpowers meet
in the UK for the 39th G8 Summit in July 2013 to discuss solutions to
the global hunger crisis. Some policy makers argue that factory farming is the
answer; that we need to cram animals together in the pursuit of
‘efficiency’. But this is no solution – it will deepen the hunger crisis
and create havoc for people, the planet and animals.
host of the 2013 G8 Summit, the UK Government has a
opportunity to tackle the global hunger crisis. Research
shows that we can feed the world effectively with humane sustainable farming
rather than than factory farming. Continuing the path of livestock
intensification will have dramatic consequences on global land use and food
host of the G8 Summit, the UK Government has the power to set the agenda.
David Cameron can use his leadership position to promote humane and
sustainable farming rather than factory farming in vulnerable countries.
you agree, take action; send the UK Government a copy of Compassion in World
Farming’s food security report and help tackle the global hunger crisis.
THOSE FOOD CHAINS!
are fears that there is an inadequate food supply for bees as their numbers
double with the popularity of urban beekeeping. With the growing trend of
producing home-grown honey, the number of bees in London has doubled in the
past four years.
associations are warning that there may not be enough food to sustain the
growing numbers as a hive requires as much as 66lb
of pollen and 260lb of nectar to sustain it. Experts worry that London does
not have sufficient plants that are nectar-rich and bee-friendly.
Woods, the secretary of the London Beekeepers Association says, “Saving bees
does not necessarily mean keeping them. Plant
your garden with bee friendly flowers.”
The photo shows some of our cornflowers last July.
have spent the first half term carrying out travel surveys, paper use surveys,
litter surveys and pond surveys. Students are currently analysing results and
when processed, they will be available on the VLE
. In the meantime, there
were many of you who wanted to cycle but felt our roads were unsafe, and there
were others who complained about roads you didn't like crossing, roads that
were too narrow for you to walk safely or drivers who park on pavements.
Please look at SUSTRANS BIG STREET SURVEY. Discuss it at home! Get together with
others and write a manifesto! You could be part of something big. http://www.sustrans.org.uk/freerangekids/get-involved/the-big-street-survey
are keen for Year 7 students to understand what Fairtrade is about before they
join the mainstream group, so Nuala provided a quick introduction. Discussion
followed. Then Ellie
and Anna together with our most active Year 9 Fairtrade students sat with groups of
Year 7 and made sure that Year 7 understood Fairtrade. The photo shows students making decisions about
the next chocolate bar that could 'go Fairtrade' Year 7 are taking the
information back to tutor groups and encouraging students to vote! The photo
at the bottom left shows empty Malteser packets. This isn't any old litter! Maltesers went
Fairtrade this summer!
Year 7 will have their own event next half term. Watch
asked students new to the Wildlife Group whether blue tits (below) might
save the UK’s horse chestnut or conker trees, which are currently under
attack from a leaf-mining moth. The moth arrived in London ten years ago,
and has since spread across most of England and Wales. The moth
caterpillars or ‘miners’ eat the leaves of the conker tree while
hiding inside them, so damaging the leaves and causing them to turn brown.
The tree appears permaturely brown, as if autumn has come early.
Conker Tree Science Project tries to establish the extent of the damage
from the moth and also examine possible solutions to the problem.
In a ‘Citizen Science’ project, members of the public have been
asked to contribute data on the spread of the moth across the UK. More
research, launched this autumn, asked members of the public to count the
number of bird attacks on horse-chestnut leaves.
Each bird attack creates distinctive holes in the top surface of the leaf,
where the caterpillar of the leaf-mining moth was living. Each attack
means one less moth, and so could result in less damage to the
obtained lots of ‘mined’ horse chestnut leaves (above); some were
obtained from MInstead in the New Forest, other samples came from
students’ gardens where there might be expected to be more bluetits as
people feed them. We called these ‘forest’ and ‘suburban’ samples.
were interesting: students held leaves up to the light and could see the
larvae of the leaf mining moth very clearly. However, there were far more
holes, cuased by bluetits predating the larvae, in the suburban leaves.
(see photo below). Our
results were submitted to the Conker Tree Project
pandas be left to face extinction?
was the subject of great debate with Tom and Robbie providing cogent
argument for letting the panda die out, a view taken by Chris Packham who
don't want the panda to die out. I want species to stay alive – that's
why I get up in the morning. I don't even kill mosquitoes or flies. So if
pandas can survive, that would be great. But let's face it: conservation,
both nationally and globally, has a limited amount of resources, and I
think we're going to have to make some hard, pragmatic choices.
truth is, pandas are extraordinarily expensive to keep going. We spend
millions and millions of pounds on pretty much this one species, and a few
others, when we know that the best thing we could do would be to look
after the world's biodiversity hotspots with greater care. Without
habitat, you've got nothing. So maybe if we took all the cash we spend on
pandas and just bought rainforest with it, we might be doing a better
take the opposing view. WWF says, for instance, “The giant panda is a species threatened to be wiped
off planet. Ironically, it is also one better known and loved species in
the world and one of the strongest symbols of nature conservation. That is
one of the main reasons why they are so important: by mobilizing people
to save the panda, we are actually helping preserve the rich
- plants, landscapes, other animals - that need to be there in order for
the pandas to survive.
Pandas live in the Yangtze Basin, and its magnificent forests are home to
a stunning array of wildlife such as dwarf blue sheep and beautiful
multi-coloured pheasants; as well as a number of other endangered species,
including the golden
monkey, takin and crested ibis. They
also play a crucial role in the bamboo forests where they roam by
spreading seeds and facilitating greater growth of the vegetation. The
panda’s habitat is also home for millions of people. This is the
geographic and economic heart of China. By making this area more
sustainable, we are also helping to increase the quality of life of local
They bring huge economic benefits to local communities through ecotourism
and other activities. Besides all these natural values, pandas are an
important cultural icon for Chinese people.”
Tom and Robbie fought valiantly
in this early morning debate, but in the end, the motion was defeated and
the giant panda, according to Ringwood at least, lives!
What do you think?
debate the badger cull next!
energy students have been busy analysing the school’s energy usage. They
have also become involved in a new project, the
New Forest School and Community Energy Saving Project. This has been
awarded funding from the National Park Authority Sustainable
to this fund and to New Forest transition, ten junior schools have been
given a substantial
order to promote
energy saving in their schools and communities over the next 2 years.
Key elements include a
residential visit to Minstead Study Centre to learn about energy, an
energy audit courtesy of Hampshire County Council, practical school and
community based activities and the use of a thermal imaging camera which
will be owned by the project.
a community meeting at Minstead, we
are helping Burley and Morgan’s Vale Schools in very different ways.
Year 11 students Ellie and Anna attended a meeting with Morgan’s Vale
and made great plans - for working with the children and for a
community-based project that will benefit both the Morgan's Vale and
team, Nuala, Catherine, Robbie, Ben, James, Leon and Liam, learnt about
the project from Cathy Cook. IDeas then raced around the table. This is a great project that we are very
pleased indeed to be part of.
LOAD OF ROT
Ringwood's litter is not a great problem, one
survey told us that students on
the school (and recreation centre) site were
wasting food; packed lunches in particular. We found that 43% of all waste
found in the school grounds was food, and its packaging.
So we took action. We heard from one a student's Dad that he was
setting up food cosmposting and we were interested.
School is now recycling its food waste. With Government targets being set to recycle
waste rather than go to landfill sites, the importance of 100%
food recycling is of real interest to us.
It is a means of effectively ridding the school of food waste, of reducing our
carbon footprint and of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
collected waste goes through a prolonged process of heating, sterilizing,
spreading and treating aerobically before it is sieved and turned into
compost. It is this ‘Eco’ compost which we have used as a peat-free
alternative in the school grounds. The successful ‘Eco’ recycling company
will soon take food waste to amulti-million
pound biogas plant
recycle the food waste and supply
electricity and gas.
The plant has created new
jobs and includes a reception barn, generator container, digester and two
storage tanks.It will take in up to
15,000 tonnes of organic waste, such as food waste, annually as well as up
to 6,000 tonnes of pig slurry to create methane gas.
that rotting food waste dumped in landfill sites creates methane, a climate
change gas that is 22 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, this makes
sense for Ringwood School where we take responsibility for our future
environment and look towards a more sustainable future. Although the canteen
is pleased with this facility, and it's great to get renewable
energy from what were previously food scraps
as far as parents are concerned, it is, of
course, far better to persuade your son or daughter to eat a packed lunch in
the first place, rather than composting it.
has had a make-over. Our recycling area has been enlarged and new bins go into
all classrooms after half term. These are our first replacement bins sicnce we
started recycling in 2004. We
continue to recycle a huge range of products and materials, mostly for
charity. Goods include bras, keys, bottle tops, CDs and DVDs, aluminium of all
types – foil, cans and cooking trays, UK and foreign stamps (separated).
A full list of what we recycle and why we do so is available from
reception or from the school office.
bee garden was still flowering when we returned to school in September.
The odd cornflower and corn marigold survived but it was Cosmos (below)
predominated. These must have been part of our Friends of the Earth
seeds that we sowed in early May, rather than from our
original 'Corn meadow Annuals'
planned to collect as much seed as possible from
our bee garden
but a poor, wet growing season with everything late to mature does
not make for easy seed collecting. Saving seed is never more important
than in these conditions because home -saved seeds represent a great bank
of genetic diversity. If our seeds do better while others' seeds
fail, we have seeds for next year. In mid September we left pods and other
seed heads on the plants and cut the plants, bringing them indoors to dry
can now collect the seeds from these fruits for next year.
Below: Echinacea, Poppy