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Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Sustainability

Ambition for Net Zero at Oasis Academy Bank Leaze

Eco Team 

The Eco Team is run by Miss Gatling and each year two children from Year 1 to 6 are selected to help make the school greener. The Eco Team strive to positively contribute to maker the planet more environmentally friendly. We have achieved the Eco Schools Green Flag 2 years in a row and continue to work hard to retain this title. Each year we select 3 areas to focus on and put together a plan to make these areas more sustainable.

Eco Team also has had opportunities to work with local organisations such as M Shed to take part in projects to help the environment. We had an amazing time at a wildlife photography workshop run by UWE students and we learnt lots of new facts about plants and animals that habitat by the harbourside. We also took part in the Big Green Poetry Machine, which involved students writing poems about global warming. Our students did amazing and many had their poems published in the poetry book.

 

 

Reducing plate size helps reduce food waste

 

Following a visit from Jessica Marshall, National Environmental and Sustainability Manager, Oasis Academy Bank Leaze implemented a number of initiatives to reduce food waste at the school.  Although it is early days, the changes they have made are already making a difference.  We spoke with Amelia Nelson, Principal, to find out more.

What have you done at Oasis Academy Bank Leaze to reduce food waste?

We have changed the plate size for different aged children, for example, nursery and reception children have a smaller plate size to those in Key Stage 2. We also looked at Sodexo's suggested portion sizes for 4-11 year olds and have asked Sodexo to ensure younger children are at the lower limit and older children at the top limit. We have applied this for the majority of children.  We know some children have larger appetites so we ensure this is adapted where necessary. 

We have also reduced the options on the salad bar to have limitations rather than a large selection of salad items which were largely untouched.  We tailored what we offered to the children’s likes and dislikes and we did this via ‘agents of change’ which is a Sodexo scheme.

We have also made sure food and other waste is separated.  We worked with Sodexo to ensure the right bin liner for food waste is used and that Sodexo then dispose of food waste in the correct main bin. We bought a separate bin from Sodexo for yoghurt pots and other waste so they can be recycled separately. Really low cost for high impact.

We have asked all packed lunch waste to return home rather than to be disposed of in school.  We feel this has the benefit of parents knowing what has been eaten as well as hopefully persuading more to take up the free school meals!  

 

How much has your food waste reduced since making these changes?

From what we (and our eco team food waste monitors) have seen at lunchtimes there is a lot less food left on children's plates, which means the food waste is less each day. We hope it will reduce our overall volumes of waste which is just as important as increasing our recycling rate.  It is a bit too early to see the full impact of this change as pupils are still getting used to the changes, however, once it has been in place for a few months we can look at the data to see the real difference it has made. 

 

Have you seen any other benefits as a result of this change?

We are starting to see children finish their food. Our youngest children never had the satisfaction of finishing their plate as it was too full for them. They are now rewarded for a clean plate which seems a manageable and sensible suggestion now that we are controlling our portion sizes. The older children are also enjoying a larger proportion of the food being put on their plates!

 

How could other academies implement something similar?

Take time to observe portion sizes for different ages at school. This has allowed us to tailor our portion sizes to the pupils age appropriately. I had previously spent time marvelling at all that was on offer without looking at what was being dumped in the bin! Some time doing this with Jessica and the eco team was really eye opening and I would highly recommend other academies do this.

Amelia added, “I can’t take credit for this!  It was a visit from Jessica along with the hard work from our Eco Champion, Laura Gatling, our Facilities Manager, Sarah Shirimpton, our amazing eco team and the willing Sodexo Team in our wonderful kitchen!  They are all passionate about making the right changes for our environment and sustainability.”

If you would like to implement similar changes at your academy or discuss other environmental and 

 

Green Flag 

 

We are delighted to announce that we are one of eight Oasis schools that has successfully achieved green flag Eco Schools status, in acknowledgement of our commitment to sustainability. If you'd like to learn more, please click here.

 

Layer Up Power Down Day

We had a fantastic day at Oasis Bankleaze celebrating Layer Up Power Down Day. The children wore extra layers and we turned the heating down to help save electricity.