The Green Team at St Keyna school in Keynsham is celebrating receiving funding from a Keynsham Town Council grant for equipment to further their appreciation, study and care of their local natural environment.

A spokesperson for St Keyna explained, “At a time when children are increasingly spending less time outdoors, learning to appreciate the natural world around them can set children on course for a life-long love of nature and its benefits to health and wellbeing. For some children, an introduction to natural history, gardening and conservation of the environment can also help them with their future career choices.”

The Green Team at St Keyna was recognised by Ofsted Inspectors in 2016 as ‘Helping to maintain the profile of important environmental issues at school’.

Last term the whole school had the opportunity to become ‘reely’ knowledgeable about eels by taking part in ‘Spawn to be Wild’, an initiative to rear young eels (elvers) in schools.

Children in Years 3 and 4 carefully nurtured the elvers over a five week period.
Whilst their elvers grew, the children learnt about the eels’ fascinating lives, the challenges they have to overcome to make it up our rivers and what they can do to help protect the eels in the wild. The project culminated with a day trip for these classes to take the eels to Blagdon Lake to release them with the help of Matt and Sara from Avon Wildlife Trust.

When asked what they thought the best things were about the project, the replies from the children included, “Letting the eels be free,” “Watching the eels swim away” and “Learning about the eels.”

Spawn to be Wild is a collaborative project between Avon Wildlife Trust, the Sustainable Eel Group and funded by Bristol Water.

St Keyna Primary School’s Green Team work on gardening, environmental care and nature study projects. The group use the equipment purchased with grant funds to make detailed observations of nature, both in their school and the wider local community they live in, to increase their appreciation and care for wildlife.

In school the children have worked on the following projects:

Recycling using the school’s wormery and garden compost bins.
Growing vegetables in the school garden.
Growing flowers in containers outside each classroom to brighten the playground.
Caring for an enclosed garden designed to attract butterflies and bees and other pollinating insects.
Caring for the school’s child-friendly wildlife pond.
Caring for indoor plants (each classroom and office has a spider plant to help provide a healthy environment).