Pringle House is one of thousands of schools across the world taking part in the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) initiative, Eco-Schools.
Eco-Schools is an international programme that encourages children to take an active role in how their school can be run for the benefit of the environment. After a great deal of work and dedication from teachers and learners, Pringle House received a bronze award for work done in 2008. Work will continue to reach green flag status.
The Pringle House eco code was formulated by the children as follows:
- to be an Eco School
- to learn to respect animals and insects
- to manage resources wisely
- to make our school grounds better
- to recycle, re-use and reduce
- to make work fun
- to save electricity.
The theme for 2008 was Resource Use, chosen after an eco audit was done by the school and the highest scoring areas were healthy living and nature biodiversity. The lowest scoring areas were community and heritage, environmental management and resource use. Many fun and educational activities took place in 2008 with this theme in mind. The children learnt where paper comes from and why trees are a precious natural resource. Their project was recycling – with emphasis on re-use of resources and a mini project on raising awareness as to how much water and electricity we use. There were also many fun outings and educational talks along this theme including a trip to The Harold Porter Botanical gardens where the learners learnt how to plant a tree. There was a speaker on waste management and one on the adverse effects of alien vegetation and a fun outing to Butterfly World and The Scratch Patch. There were many positive benefits from all the outings and talks, and by the end of the year the learners were enthusiastic recyclers!
An eco committee of parents and teachers plans the themes and activities. The theme for 2009 is NATURE AND BIODIVERSITY, continued on the foundations of resource use. The annual events from the eco school calendar are used as a basis for school outings.
WORLD WETLANDS DAY was celebrated by the children cleaning up the wetlands around the school, where they were shocked to discover all the building rubble dumped there.
In March the learners, along with parents and teachers enjoyed a camping trip in Onrus where great rock pool exploration was done, which was in keeping with the theme.
To celebrate WORLD EARTH DAY in April, the learners prepared for a beach cleanup at Draad Baai in Pringle Bay, by making beautiful posters to inform the community of the event. OCEAN MINDED provided hats, gloves, recycling bags and inspiration to the learners. An astonishing 60 full bags of litter, mainly plastic, were collected.
Future planned activities include BIRD WEEK with a talk by Bettys Bay protector of oyster catchers; INTERNATIONAL BIODIVERSITY DAY with a slide show and talk on baboons by Chris Bullock; WORLD ENVIRONMENT WEEK when the learners plan to write a petition to the local municipality to request a NO DUMPING sign for the wetlands outside the school. A pottery workshop is also planned by John the Potter where the learners will be taught the sustainability of clay as opposed to environmentally detrimental materials such as plastic. Each child will also have a turn to experience working with clay.