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Good Shepherd Nursery, Belfast Co. Antrim

Eco Yearly overview


Welcome to our Eco Page!

We have now achieved 4 Green Flag Eco Schools awards, the last being in February 2022.  Well done to all our Eco Warriors who worked so hard to achieve this! We are aiming for our 5th Eco flag in the 3rd term and are very much looking forward to teaching the children a wide range of ECO themes.

A big thank you to new parents who are currently involved in the Eco Committee, it take lots of hard work and commitment to ensure we are keeping up to date! This year will see a continuation of many ECO themes through the 6 areas of play and an application for our 5th Green Flag in the second term.

We continue to be involved in a wide range of ECO programmes throughout the year and depend on your support to enhance our ECO themes throughout our nursery school!!   

Our School ECO Code  (Tune-I hear Thunder)

Good :     Green fingers(x2)

Shepherd:  Save our planet(x2)

Nursery :   Nature at its best(x2)

School : (means)Success!!(x2)

ECO Schools

September Focus

  • We focus on the "Settling in" period for children and encourage children to have an awareness of space within their new environment.
  • We provide a wide variety of resources and offer a variety of materials and textures, to create masterpieces of junk art
  • We teach and model the importance of recycling.
  • We link our special snack-time experiences to highlight the benefits of healthy eating, we discuss where food waste goes and teach children how to recycle-by actively taking part and experiencing recycling within our Nursery.
  • We discuss fresh fruit, vegetables, planting, growing, farming, local shops and supermarkets-all during our snack routines and other cooking experiences. We encourage children to think about their likes and dislikes and encourage them to try new food.
  • We talk about where our weekly fruit comes from. 
  • This month sees the creation of our new parent eco Committee to support us on our journey towards Flag number 5!!!!
  • Our parent worker will organise and lead the committee sessions.
  • Our main action plan will be displayed on the parents board and in the parents room.
  • Each class will display key Eco themes.

October focus

  • We instill an awareness of the children's outdoor environment, teaching about the nature  surrounding our nursery.
  • We encourage children to examine different textures - wood, bark, grass, soil, water, all the while providing a narrative and modelling  associated language for the children. 
  • We encourage children to learn about bio-diversity and look at plants, birds, insects, animals and discuss we need them.  Who we share our planet with!
  • During our Autumn walk we collect and examine, plants and wildlife.  We encourage children to notice changes in their wider environment.
  • We will build on our partnership with parents.
  • We will build on our partnership with our feeder primary school.
  • We take part in our Big Bedtime read programme, recognising the importance of lots of sleep.
  • We link outdoor experiences to help build on  Eco knowledge-Eco art -leaf monsters and leaf rubbings.
  • We teach children about growing and link these message and experiences with their natural world.
  • We plant autumn bulbs and clear out old summer bedding in our pots!! Busy, busy, busy!

November focus.

  • We discuss different types of homes and learn who lives in their own homes-mum, dad, siblings, grandparents, carers.We focus on the importance of home life. 
  • We continually encourage the children to notice the changes in weather with the changing seasons and give them a running commentary on what we notice around them. We tune them in to their own surroundings and environments.
  • We examine the difference in night and day- light and dark
  • We introduce the concept of energy and how we can save energy in our nursey and at home-turning off lights, taps, computers, TVs, closing doors, recycling.
  • Staff introduce children to digging and planting winter flowers, discussing the differences in seasons. We use garden magazines to enhance learning experiences.
  • We continually encourage the children to notice the changes in weather with the changing seasons and give them a running commentary on what is happening around them.
  • We talk about different foods and textures and discuss healthy eating through our 6 curricular areas.
  • We work with parents to implement our Healthy Teeth scheme and enjoy our toothpaste and toothbrush pack for everyone.
  • We reinforce the importance of food waste and our food waste that is recycled in our brown bin (visual displays)
  • We use our classroom and parent display/information boards to reinforce learning potentials and Eco themes.
  • We use our See saw App to ensure our parents are aware of our monthly themes and suggest ideas in which they can enhance their children's Eco learning experiences.

December focus.

  • Our aim for December is to focus on the children's' environment/biodiversity talk about Christmas colours/shapes/Christmas trees/holly/mistletoe/birds/berries for birds and animals
  • We also focus on paper/card recycling and the use of our numerous paper recycling bins throughout the nursery school
  • We encourage children to access junk resources regularly and link with the Play resource centre to ensure we offer a wide variety of recyclable materials.
  • Recycling materials  used (toilet roll holders, card egg cartons, milk cartons yogurt pots, wool, different types of materials and textured items.
  • We discuss Christmas recycling.
  • Children have a visit from Belfast city councils' Christmas elf to teach the importance of keeping their environment clean and tidy-Captain Clean up.
  • We focus on our outside area and the importance of water and teach children the appropriate way to use our  hose and water butt in our garden area.
  • We facilitate our 2nd eco school committee meeting(When applying for flag) allowing the parents opportunities to become familiar with how the Eco curriculum links with ours.
  • Taking part in Forest School Programme -Bronze award, achieve additional points.

January focus.

  • We continue to allow children free access to junk art using different materials and resources from home and school creating wonderful pieces of art (recycling)
  • Staff reinforce the importance of saving energy (visual displays eco helper) (energy)
  • Our local artist works with the children using different materials and techniques creating a collage of the Colin and surrounding areas introducing the children to their environment beyond the school (hands on activity and on going) (biodiversity)
  •  We plant in  old welly boots, creating a wonderful display for our fencing area in our “roots shoot buckets and boots” garden area.
  • The children make bird feeders from old pots using lard mixture of bird seeds/cheerio chains. Each child participates in this activity, the bird feeders are now in our garden area (biodiversity a hands on activity with plenty of conversation)
  • We plant daffodils and bulbs, preparing our garden for spring time, talking about bulbs ,their shape and how to plant them right side up
  • Taking part in our Transport-Wheels to Nursery week and our Transport surveys.

February Focus

  • Children will investigate and become involved in a variety of seed planting learning experiences, either indoors or outdoors, both individually or in group activities. Children will be introduced to cress, herbs, marigolds, peppers, parsnips and radishes.
  • Children will investigate and notice how our hyacinth and daffodil bulbs are progressing.
  • Continue to allow children opportunities to cut a variety of fruit and vegetable in different areas of play,(sand, water, dough, mud kitchen, art) having time to explore and experiment and discuss, colour, size, shape, taste and texture.
  • Offer children learning experiences with magnifying glasses/bug catchers to investigate all types of living/non living things in our outdoor areas.
  • Children will have time to explore our minibeast /wildlife house, having access to a wide variety of Eco fact/fiction books, gardening and wildlife magazines that teach about the world around them, living things and nature.
  • Children are encouraged to look, observe, investigate and explore minibeasts that are found in our grounds. Finding them in our bug hotels and under tree stumps.
  • Children will learn about the importance of minibeast in their world-biodiversity theme.
  • Continuing to develop our theme of healthy living by reading fact/fiction books connected to this theme and taking part in activities that promote and enhance this.
  • Children will take part in our Jump, Jiggle and Jive classes.
  • Move toward the  achievement of our 5th Eco Flag.

March Focus

  • Children will continue to investigate our garden area , looking at the growth of seeds/bulbs we planted during 1st term
  • Regularly weeding large planters ,noticing the difference in weeds from plants or flowers.
  • Talking about how to look after vegetables, tomatoes, radishes, cress and spring onions and what is needed.
  • Planting Sunflower seeds in recycling pots, learning how to make them using old newspaper. (Daily Home challenge)
  • Children will continue to ensure bug hotel is well stocked with leaves, hedging and greenery. (make a bug hotel at home)
  • Planting summer bedding plants in hanging baskets/pots.
  • Eco display boards kept up to date
  • Continuing to offer a wide range of fact/fiction books and learning experiences connected to Eco these of healthy living, outdoor learning and biodiversity.
  • Children will be involved in a waste audit -getting ready for our Big Wheelie Bin Challenge
  • Children will create displays about “The rubbish monster”
  • Children will take part in our regular Jump, Jiggle & Jive /Sonal Sports sessions that promote healthy living,
  • Weekly themes are linked to our Eco topics.

April Focus

  • Children will learn the life cycles of caterpillars,and watch the changes in real life.
  • Cash for clobber programme recycling old clothes and junk.
  • Children will take part in the Big spring clean up Programme - “cleaning up “within local environment.
  • We will be treated to a visit from Mambo and Jazz The health Action Puppets talking about 4 Golden Rules
  • Children will use our water butt to water plants and be aware of the need to water plants/flowers
  • A farm Roadshow visit to the school
  • Eco display boards and seesaw Eco messages will be regularly shared
  • Continue with all Eco themes and messages.
  • Children will take part in regular Jump, Jiggle & Jive / Sonal Sports sessions, promoting healthy living.
  • Continuation of forest school themes.
  • Continuing to offer a wide range of fact/fiction books to support learning experiences connected to wider ECO themes, Healthy living, saving energy, outdoor learning and biodiversity.

May Focus

  • Revisiting our special visitor this month-Robbie the Robin, I wonder will he come back this year to revisit his nest.
  • Teaching children about different food from other cultures.
  • Big Spring clean programme, involving parents, staff and children .
  • Watering and maintaining our plant life-flowers and vegetables - tomatoes, cress, radish, carrot, nasturtium.
  • Eco-buddies, our primary and nursery children working together!
  • Making our own wormery.
  • Ensuring our bug hotels are kept full of greenery.
  • Investigating insects and wildlife in our log piles
  • Continue with Eco-committee meetings.
  • Ensuring our bird baths are kept filled with water and participating in tally charts to record wildlife and minibeasts.
  • Longer playtime outside due to better weather, noticing changes with the seasons
  • Begin work on our Wheelie Big Challenge.
  • Continuing to support our children and parents through our theme of healthy living-Cook it programme.
  • Visit to Colin Allotment.
  • Apply to Awards for All to enhance our Forest Area.
  • Continue to choose Eco helpers to consolidate eco themes-energy, turning out lights, turning off taps, closing doors.
  • Recycling an integral part of our nursery curriculum.
  • Reusing our rain water from our water butt.
  • Biodiversity-sowing seeds that attract a wider variety of wildlife.
  • Involvement in Forest Schools.

June Focus

  • Attending Best Kept nursery-runner up  (2016)
  • New-comer Award-(2015)
  • Big Wheelie Big Challenge Award
  • Harvesting our potatoes
  • Watering and maintaining our garden area.
  • Working alongside gardener.
  • Feeding the worms in our wormery-using the worm juice!!
  • Global citizenship day.
  • Learning about the importance of bees, pollination-our bee count
  • Green flag inspection
  • Invitation for parents to come and taste our delicious fruit and vegetables we grew through out the year.