Living and Learning
Living and Learning at West Rise is one very magical experience.
At West Rise, it is our aim to help develop confident, positive and compassionate children who are well equipped to live and explore the global community in which we live. To do this, children need to achieve excellence in all areas of their personal and social, spiritual and emotional lives. They need to learn about the environment they live in and why we need to protect it, become creative thinkers who are resilient enough to overcome challenges, see reward in effort and feel value in making mistakes in order to develop and grow as lifelong learners.
It is for these reasons that we encourage children to work within what we like to call, ‘The Wise Old Owl Philosophy’.
Our key purpose is to develop human potential in its fullest sense by ensuring children’s all round wellbeing. We believe that the best education secures the full holistic development of every child and this belief sits at the heart of our curriculum. We do this by:
- Teaching children that they can have a growth mindset approach to learning which means knowing how and when you can learn from your mistakes, that you can always learn something new no matter how old you are!
- Teaching children mindful ways to help them increase focus in learning, manage their emotions appropriately and learn about their brains in order for optimum learning.
- Teaching children that gratitude is the best attitude and with a kind, caring and optimistic approach to life we can all achieve and be the best we can be.
All classes enjoy yoga sessions both indoors and outdoors.
One child commented “Yoga helps me to feel calm when I feel worried about something”.
Another child commented “Yoga helps me to feel really strong because I use all my muscles”.
Yoga and mindfulness are closely connected and the children are encouraged to explore the different ways to use their breath to self-regulate; to calm, focus or energise themselves.
ECO INITIATIVES AND THE WELLBEING OF OUR PLANET
The environment we live in is under threat as we all know and to help the children understand more about their environment and what we can all do to protect it we have our own Eco-School Initiatives. Mrs Hurst, one of our Year 2 teachers, leads the initiatives and changes we make within school and encourages pupils to work together to develop their knowledge and environmental awareness.
Our children at West Rise are lucky enough to enjoy a real outdoor environment and all that nature provides. At an early age, they make mud pies, lay on the grass and look at the shapes of the clouds and generally learn the wonder and value of being outside. At this crucial stage in their development, they learn that their environment has so much to offer.
Children from school and Nursery are actively involved with Eco-School activities, building upon their existing knowledge and learning new skills. Some of the projects we are working on are inspired from children’s own ideas and imagination, success is seen in a non-academic form, things get done and they can see, live and breathe the benefits.
As well as pupil benefits, which have a hugely positive effect on the whole school community, our school benefits from reducing our environmental impact.
These are some of the initiatives we have implemented:
- Collection of fruit and vegetable peel/cores/pips from fruit and drink time is emptied into a tub and the children from Nursery and each class then empty the contents into one of the compost bins outside, near the reception classes. Any fruit and vegetables that are left over from fruit and drink are put into a fruit bowl in the staff room for anyone to enjoy.
- We continually work with our kitchen staff to reduce the amount of food waste from the school kitchen.
- We continue to recycle all used pens and batteries through the Terra-Cycle recycling programme.
- We continue to recycle all of our used paper and cardboard.
- We continue to recycle all plastic and glass and compost used teabags.
BIO - DIVERSITY
We have implemented the following:
- A bug hotel to encourage mini-beasts.
- Left some long grassy areas and planted some wild flowers in the Honeybee garden and in the Nursery garden to encourage butterflies/bees.
- Made some bird-feeders to encourage the birds.
Our main priority is to reduce the volume of plastic we use to limit the amount of plastic that flows into our rivers and oceans.
- We are aiming for some of our Year 2 children to join in a beach clean organised by Plastic-Free Eastbourne.
- We have eliminated the use of the 'Cool Milk cartons and straws' as these could not be recycled and instead we now use bottles of milk which we recycle. Cool Milk also supply us with measured beakers, these beakers are washed and re-used.
- We collect the plastic bags that the fruit and vegetables are delivered in and put them in a year group bag. Mrs Hurst then takes them to a local supermarket with a specific plastic recycling area.
- We are reducing the amount of laminating we do in school by using card as an alternative wherever appropriate.
We have changed our default internet browser to ECOSIA. This is a non-profit organisation, which plants trees around the world, one tree for every 45 searches! Many staff have also changed over to Ecosia on phones and laptops, so we are really making a difference! It is super easy to do – maybe you might like to try it too?
And this is just the beginning! Mrs Hurst is very excited to have been given the eco co-ordinator role for the Wellbeing of our Planet, here at West Rise Infants, and we have many, many more things we are wanting to do! So watch this space for updates on our progress.
If you would like to get involved in any aspect of our Eco-School efforts please do get in touch either via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to Mrs Hurst in Sapphire class - Year 2.