Queen Elizabeth II High School cover five topics with their tREe CYCLE project
03 July 2012
Download the Case Study
We started the project with the aims to take steps to offset the carbon emissions from transport students use to get to school:
To reduce the total emissions by encouraging people to walk, cycle or take the bus.
To plant trees to soak up carbon dioxide produced by the school journeys.
To construct a bike shed using 2 litre plastic bottles.
We chose this project to get the whole community involved, raise awareness, construct a shed using re-cycled materials, cut down on plastic waste, cut down on traffic congestion and be a talking point.
Through this project, we are helping to solve the congestion problems in the local area. We are also trying to balance the carbon dioxide produced by vehicles with the carbon dioxide taken in by trees. We hope to have more trees growing on our school grounds and local area in order to encourage biodiversity and sustainability. At the moment 4000 trees have been planted by our team in our local area, by planting these trees, we are screening out recent housing developments as well as offering protection from the elements to the school field.
In order to encourage students to cycle to school, we built a bike shed out of recycled materials (hence the title of the project!) 2 litre plastic bottles were used for the walls. This may be the first bike shed made from such materials. This along with tree planting and other cycling projects has created interest both on local radio and in the local newspaper.
From the survey in 2006 we observed how great our carbon footprint was from our school transport and how many trees we needed to plant (4490), so we were motivated to spark change.
Delivering the project and linking it to the curriculum
2006- School audit how people transported to and from school, mileage, make of vehicle. Worked out CO2 emission for year. Held 'hands up surveys' at various times 2007-2008 to monitor and encourage students to walk, cycle or bus. Made posters encouraging them to do this.
Oct 2006 - Dec 2008- Planted approx. 2800 trees, made tree nursery, lining out beds, planted approx 200 whips, seed box, approx. 600 seedlings, bird, bug boxes, bird table and feeders.
New Intake - every yr 7 pupil to plant a tree in school grounds - 60 pupils planted their trees in November 08
July 08 - Held cycling week - over 300 students and staff were involved in cycling events - cycle training, road and off road cycling, and various journeys around Island plus cycle maintenance.
June - July 08- Constructed a bike shed from 2 litre plastic bottles and wood off-cuts. Re - cycling Project. Plastic bottles collected April to July. Walls made from bottles threaded onto canes and stapled onto wood.
Sep 09 – Mar 2010– Further 1000 trees planted
Students involved from Lifeskills, PSHE, Eco days
Getting the pupils involved
Lifeskills students conducted initial audit as part of Asdan Course. Eco-Committee led project. Yr 7 pupils planted trees as part of PSHE lessons. Bike shed constructed by yr 8 part of eco day. Saturday morning planting sessions staff, parents, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants and pupils
Whips donated by Dalby Woodland Trust and UK Woodland Trust. Tree tubes and stakes and Cycle to school day sponsored by HSBC.
Staff and parents helped source bottles for bike shed. Dalby Woodland Trust. St. John Sawmill gave off cuts of wood for bike shed for free. HSBC funding. Planting by volunteers staff, pupils, parents, Dalby Woodland Trust. Forestry board identified areas in plantations for us to plant trees.
Risk assessments and permission to run cycle to school day.
Benefits of being an Eco-School
With this project, we have nearly managed to offset a years worth of carbon dioxide emissions from school transport. We have planted nearly 4000 trees. The 'hands up' surveys show that the number of car users has declined and more people are walking and using their bike.
Having a cycling week, training and club activities, more students are confident cycling to school and our target is to increase these numbers. We also have had many students’ parents and teachers involved, for example, over 150 year 7 students alone have been involved in planting trees. There were also over 45 year 8 students who helped in the construction of the bike shed, with the whole school community involved in recycling plastic bottles for this project.
The trees planted 4 years ago are now thriving well and are visible in the community. Bird boxes are up and there is evidence of nest use.
Measuring the impact
Our unusual bike shed was featured in Manx Independent and Manx Examiner and Manx Tails. Manx Radio interviewed students whilst building cycle shed and was broadcast live. Also featured in Dept. of Education weekly bulletin, accessed by all school and colleges on Island.
The project came 2nd in the Volvo Adventure Environmental Award. It was judged best project in Roots@Shoots Awards.
We have completed the Pod’s
Better off by Bike,
Flushed with Success,
Lose your bottle,
Recharge your batteries,
Switch on to Switching Off,
and Will Wind Work.
Educational resources used
Climate Week Challenge, Volvo Adventure, Roots@Shoots Mission
This was a project that started small with an audit and then grew and grew as students had more ideas and one thing led to another. Don’t be afraid to try new things and draft in as much help and support as you can.
Led to Paper Cycle Project.