Eco Elections 2014
During an assembly we had a number of children, keen to be chosen as members of the Eco Action Team. They delivered their manifesto to the school gathered in our hall. As ever, we were very impressed by the children’s eager, sincere and confident delivery and we are very proud that our pupils already possess a passion for being responsible caretakers of the environment. The assembly started with the environmental prefects presenting their newest campaigns; notably the Yarrells’ Conker Competition, The Most Eco Classroom Competition, The Scarecrow Competition and the hugely popular Big Birdwatch Week in January. Pupils were also excited to hear about the car share sticker competition and the environmental project budget generously approved by Friends of Yarrells recently. The team also thanked the children for the high standard of entries to the photography competition, which will be judged over half term.
This morning, no less than sixteen candidates stood for election – our most ever! The standard was high and every child presented beautifully, which made the decision of voting a very difficult one. Staff and children went to ballot boxes immediately after assembly and we’ll announce the new members after the half-term break. I am very grateful to Mr Lewis, who oversees the Eco Action Team: he is an inspiring role model to our pupils. The whole election process is a very worthwhile activity for all our children; it is an excellent opportunity for them to engage in the democratic process, to value the chance to have their say and to feel they have a voice at school. At Yarrells, there are so many opportunities for children to lead, and pupil leadership at our school is not merely the wearing of a badge or an empty title; our children participate actively in the life of the school and our young leaders have a say, whether they are on the Eco Action Team, the Student Council or are Tribe Leaders, Sports Captains, Music or Drama Captains, or Buddy mentors.
Eco Elections 2014
Eco Elections 2014


A number of pupils helped to construct the third wall of our bottle greenhouse.  We now only need to complete one small wall to protect our plants over the winter. The children will be asking any builders for offcuts of plastic roofing which can be used to cover our greenhouse to finish the job off. Every child worked beautifully as a team and before long we had a production line going.  It was another great green team effort for Yarrells.
Yarrells Bottle Greenhouse


Another success!

Yarrells can continue to shine and lead the way as a successful Eco School. A recent visit from an Eco Schools assessor resulted in the renewal of our green flag status. We can fly the flag with pride for another 2 years.

She was shown around the school by The Eco Action Team and was impressed with their knowledge and enthusiasm. She inspected the outside eco projects as well as photographs, models, displays and work from all year groups. Special thanks must go to members of the Eco team for all their hard work over the last two years, as well as the staff and parents who have played an important role in achieving this award for the second time.

Our Eco School Journey

Eco Schools Flag
At the end of June 2010, Yarrells School was awarded the highly coveted Eco-Schools Green Flag Award. Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey and encourages them to embed green principles into the heart of school life. After two years of focussed activities and the help of the whole school community, Yarrells became the first local school and one of only seven in Dorset to achieve this status. Numerous projects have been undertaken including the development of the school allotment, composting, recycling and the installation of environmentally friendly devices around the school to reduce energy consumption.
Every pupil has been involved in the eco activities undertaken at Yarrells, but special mention must go to Years 7 and 8 who undertook a full environmental review at the beginning of 2010. This required them to collect data from around the school on water usage, biodiversity, energy, global perspectives, healthy living, litter, the school grounds, transport and waste. Their findings informed us how to move forward and were included in the schools action, an important part of the application process. Everyone has played their part: pupils, teachers, parents, kitchen staff, cleaners and grounds men. Thank you all, and well done!


Yarrells School was one of twelve selected from 1600 schools nation-wide to attend the annual Roots and Shoots award ceremony at the Jane Goodall Institute in London Zoo. Our Year 8 pupils, including Head boy, Head Girl and Eco Captain enjoyed the privilege of representing us at this prestigious affair. Each school set up their stand displaying some inspirational work and pupils of all ages and abilities spoke happily and enthusiastically about their projects to all who stopped by. These young people were equally unfazed when Dr Jane Goodall, accompanied by film crew and big furry microphone, paused to carefully examine each stand and they spoke interestedly and knowledgably about their presentation. The award ceremony was then introduced by Jane Goodall, who welcomed her audience with the well-known Chimp greeting (oo oo aah aah). Her research into two chimpanzee families started in Tanzania in 1960 and is still ongoing today. She likened their emotions to our own: grief, joy, anger are all displayed in similar manner across the species. She talked about the origins of ‘Roots & Shoots’ and likened the power of the smallest of roots and shoots growing bigger and stronger to push aside any barriers in their way to our own children, the young and growing generation and their power to make change, to in some measure put right some of the wrongs we, the human race have done wrong, remembering that we always live side by side with other species on this planet. Each school was an award winner and their pupil representatives went up to collect trophies and certificates from Jane Goodall to much applause and cameras flashing. We were further treated to avery exciting ‘trashion show’! Contestants entered and modelled a variety of innovative and exciting collections made out of all things recycled: from plastic bags to newspaper to crisps packets, you name it, all sorts of rubbish refashioned! The final reward for the pupils was a whistle stop tour around London Zoo. They were enchanted and enthralled by the animals they saw; and they impressed me with their scientific knowledge about refraction, while watching the penguins swimming around their pool, through the glass!
Dr Jade Goodall at Yarrells School's Roots and Shoots event
Setting up the Roots and Shoots event
Yarrells School Trashion Show
Trip to London Zoo


Yarrells takes a step for Fairtrade

At Yarrells we have been taking steps along the Fairtrade road as part of our Eco-Schools initiative, during Fairtrade Fortnight, we are committing to buying Fairtrade tea, coffee and hot chocolate as well!

Yarrells School Fairtrade Sale


RSPB Big Schools Bird Watch at Yarrells
Once again this year, the children in Year 4 took part in the Big Schools Bird Watch organised by the RSPB. This event allows the RSPB to compile statistics to show how our bird populations are changing from year to year. The bird feeders around the school were topped up and the children settled down for an hour to watch for any visiting garden birds. We hoped that we would see lots of birds as the weather had been cold and we thought the birds might be hungry. However, the results were a little disappointing as we only saw a total of 9 birds during the hour. This data will still be valuable information for the RSPB and useful in our maths work on data handling to make bar charts and pie charts. The children also became experts on the green woodpecker, our school emblem, and went on to write their own book about common garden birds.


The Eco Action Team met to discuss energy usage in school. We began by meeting Mrs Scrivens, the bursar and looking at the electricity meter in the boy’s changing room, where she explained how it worked. Next, we went to the stairs under Puffin and looked at the meter there. Finally we went outside the front gates to look at the gas meter. The numbers were going round really fast as the kitchen staff were cooking. Then we went back to the dining room where there is a bar chart showing our gas and electricity usage since September. We will be working with Mrs Scrivens each month to read the meters and then mark how much energy we have used on the chart. Please look at the chart in the dining room regularly so you can see how much energy we are using at Yarrells.

Monitoring Energy Use at Yarrells


Year 4 organised and ran an Eco-Stall at the recent Christmas Fair. Items on sale were made by pupils from across the school community out of recycled, natural, homemade and home grown materials. On sale were jars of Yarrells Apple chutney, homemade paper and pressed leaf calendars, flower and vegetable seeds collected from the school garden and repackaged, hyacinth and daffodil bulbs in pots, Christmas tree decorations and present tags. The money raised will go to buy an Oxfam Christmas gift.

Yarrells School Eco-Stall
Little green fingers


Yr 1, their teachers, Mrs Quinton and Mrs Erylene Andrews, from Upton in Bloom have been working together to create a flower garden outside Upton Library. Regular visits have been made, to clear, expand and compost the dedicated bed. It has already been planted with spring and summer bulbs. Other flowering plants will be added to the bed after Christmas. The idea is to create a colourful display, lasting throughout the year and for Yarrells to be represented as part of the Upton community. Year 1 will make regular visits throughout the year to maintain the bed.


Yarrells pupils have been switching on to switching off at Yarrells!! This is an initiative promoted by Eco Schools to raise an awareness of the ways in which energy can be saved in school. This is done by encouraging simple actions. The fortnight kicked off with an assembly and encouraged practical ways to reduce energy use. The Eco Action Team completed an audit, recording where energy was being wasted by leaving lights on, doors open and electrical items on standby and their findings were shared with the school. Posters and stickers were displayed around school to encourage good practice. There will be regular spot checks by the Eco Action Team throughout the coming months. Hopefully, habits will improve and energy usage reduced.

Switch off fortnight at Yarrells