Students make the most of resources

Pupils and staff at work in a re-landscaped garden at St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy in Bedlington as part of Expansive Education week. Picture by Jane Coltman

Students at a school in Bedlington enjoyed a range of activities that brought issues such as recycling and making the most out of resources to life.

The theme of the Expansive Education week was Caring for our Common Home and those who came along on the final day to see what had taken place included Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery.

New totem poles were on show in one of the garden areas at St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy, which has been rejuvenated as part of Expansive Education week. Picture by Jane Coltman

This day of celebration at St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy included a Trashion Show, Stomp performance, teenage market selling products made out of recycled materials and a ukulele band.

During the week, the pupils designed and built houses for local wildlife, created a sculpture out of beach litter and debris to raise awareness of coastal pollution, developed a sensory garden working with local community allotment groups and made seats, benches and plant pots out of tyres and urban waste.

Constructing a bike and components to produce energy to operate a water feature and/or pump, creating proggy mat wall hangings, landscaping two areas in the school grounds, building and installing wildlife cameras to investigate and document local bio-diversity and making a film about renewable energy were among the other activities. In addition, there was a recycling project to encourage a reduction of litter around the school site and create furniture for the garden areas using waste and natural objects and a task to write and illustrate a children’s book around the day in the life of a plastic bottle.

Deputy headteacher Louise Wrigley said: “At St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy, there are specific skills and dispositions important to us that we feel will help to prepare our young people for a complex and changing world.

Students Thomas Baxter-Jones, Gwyneth De Ramos and Roberta Strasenburgh show the dress they made of recycled products at the Trashion Show. Picture by Jane Coltman

“It is our responsibility to expand goals for learning, beyond success in examinations, and embrace the fact that learning opportunities also happen outside the classroom.”

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery with pupils and staff in the re-designed garden he saw during Expansive Education week at St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy. Picture by Jane Coltman

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