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  • Willows Primary School, Victoria Road, Timperley
  • Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 6PP

  • T | 0161 980 7685
  • E |

  • Headteacher: Mrs Kirsten S Warren BEd Hons MA

Eco Council

The Eco Council at work

Summer 2 2022

Local Wildlife and Biodiversity: Save the hedgehog! What we can do to help

At The Willows we already:

• Create log piles & leave a corner of the field to grow wild so that small mammals can create dens.

• Look after our school grounds by picking up litter.

• Grow plants and learn how to look after them in Miss Pickering’s Community Growing Project.

• Learn about animals in our Science curriculum.

• Some children monitor hedgehogs and small mammals on night cams and we share these videos with their classes on seesaw.

• Have planting areas that encourage biodiversity, make bug hotels and feed the birds.

• Have a meadow where the grass is not cut to provide cover and food sources for small mammals.

• Have lots of trees on our school grounds for shelter and to help wildlife and to improve air quality.


Through this focus we will:

• Learn about how amazing hedgehogs are and how we can help them to flourish (key stage assemblies).

• Learn why hedgehog numbers are dwindling and why. What things are dangerous and how can we ensure hedgehog’s safety in our local community.

• Run a hedgehog art competition.

• Monitor and maintain the ‘wild’ corner of the field.

• Cordon off, plant and create a rewilding area at the edge of the field, including a shallow water feature, hedges and wildflowers.

• Award Eco Warrior certificates to anyone who demonstrates and shares knowledge, awareness and care for hedgehogs in our local community.

Eco Assembly 'Hedgehogs' May 2022


Spring 2 2022 Focus 

Amazing Trees: Why are they important and what do we know about them?

At The Willows we already:

• Name our school and our classes after trees.

• Look after our school grounds by picking up litter.

• Have lots of trees on our school grounds for shelter and to help wildlife and to improve air quality.

• Grow plants and learn how to look after them in Miss Pickering’s Community Growing Project.

• Learn about plants and trees in our Science curriculum.

• Learn about trees from around the world, such as the rainforests, in our Geography curriculum.

• Learn about climate change in Eco assemblies and how trees help to slow this.

• Planted new trees at the front of school and in Henry’s garden.


Through this focus we will:

• In assembly we will learn about how amazing trees are and how they can help to save our planet.

• We will have a quiz to help us learn to identify the trees our classes are named after.

• The Eco Council and Miss Peek will create a new ‘Outdoor Learning Area’ in the Foxes’ Den.

• In the autumn we will plant a special jubilee tree as part of the ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ to celebrate her platinum jubilee.

• The Eco Council will give each class their own plant to care for and to watch grow.

• Eco Warrior certificates will be awarded to anyone who demonstrates knowledge, awareness and care for trees and the environment.

Eco Assembly 'Amazing Trees' 7.3.22

Spring 1 2022 Focus

Responsibility: Who is Responsible for Looking after Planet Earth?

At The Willows we already:

• Have an Eco Council to spread awareness of the importance of being environmentally friendly

• Follow the Eco Schools programme and are working towards our Green Flag Award

• Have a new Eco focus each month to educate and inform people in our school community about different aspects of looking after the environment.

• Have a School Council that teaches us about our 4 school values; Care, Responsibility, Self-belief and Challenge

• Spread the word through our school website and newsletter to help our families and the wider community to become more environmentally aware.

Through this focus we will:

• In key stage assemblies we will learn about the work of David Attenborough and about the 4 imperatives he says will help to save our planet

• The Eco Council will give easy tips we can all try in order to be more environmentally friendly

• Eco Councillors will continue to sort our recycling and remind people to bring their crisp packets, pens, bread bags, milk bottle tops batteries and printer ink cartridges to the school for recycling.


Eco Assembly 'Responsibility' 28.1.22

Autumn 2 2021 Focus

Saving Energy: Switch Off Fortnight 8th-21st November 2021.

At The Willows we already

• Have energy efficient lights all through school 

• Have some motion-sensor taps and lights that switch off automatically after use

• Our new doors are fitted with draught strips to keep warmth in.

• Children can wear a special Willows hoodie so that we don’t need to turn the heating up

• In the newer part of school the heating is underfloor and is energy efficient

• Learn about different kinds of energy in our Science lessons                                                  


Through this focus we will:

• Introduce ‘Switch on Fortnight’ in assembly to learn about how we can all save energy

• Give the opportunity to children and families to complete an energy saving challenge at home. The class with the most challenge sheets returned will win an eco-prize.

• Eco Councillors will do an energy audit before and after Switch Off Fortnight to monitor our energy use and will act as energy monitors to check lights and other electrical devices are switched off when not in use. They will also make posters to remind us to save energy ⇒

• Share energy saving tips with children and families– see poster below


Eco Assembly 'Saving Energy' Autumn 2 2021

Our Eco Council Board in the corridor and Eco Council Books in the Library

Autumn 1 2021 Focus

Eco Schools Award: A summary of our progress and plans for the future.

At The Willows we already

  • Have a half termly eco focus. Past themes include climate change, biodiversity, clean air, global citizenship
  • Collect unwanted clothing with ‘Bag to School’ and upcycle uniform and Christmas jumpers
  • Compost food waste
  • Walk to school as much as possible
  • Recycle paper, milk carton lids, batteries, crisp packets, bread bags and pens
  • Buy and sell second hand toys and books at Summer and Winter Fairs
  • Pick up litter in school and around the community
  • Focus on our own physical and mental health on Wellness Wednesdays each half term


Through this focus we have:

  • Reflected on what we have achieved in the past two years
  • Learnt about the new Eco Schools Programme and what we can do to earn our Green Flag
  • Introduced our new Eco Council members and find out what they do
  • Refreshed our recycling and waste procedures (with extra bins, adding home printer ink cartridges to what we recycle, running a litter picking after school club and recruiting new paper bin monitors)
  • Introduced new eco projects that are happening at The Willows this year including….

…a LEAF programme run by Miss Peek and the Eco council that will work towards earning the school a LEAF award in June. Its aim is to promote outdoor learning and hands-on experiences, which result in people getting more involved in, and a better understanding of, the natural world and ….

… a wellbeing project run by Miss Pickering. This will involve learning about growing plants and producing and sharing the experience with members of the local community.


Eco Assembly Autumn 1 2021

Summer 2 2021 Focus

Our Eco Focus for the second half of the summer term 2021 is Global Citizenship: Developing an awareness and understanding of the wider world and our place in it. A global citizen is someone who believes it is not about which country you live in or what religion or politics you believe in. It is about your responsibility and rights as a member of humanity and the world as a whole.


Equality is one of the most important aspects of Global Citizenship – that everyone on our planet should be treated equally and with the same respect. Equality and respect are rights for everyone regardless of age, skin colour, gender, wealth or geography.


At The Willows we already:

  • Promote Respect through Our School Values.
  • Learn about the world in our broad curriculum, especially in Geography. We also look at events in History that we can learn from to make ourselves better citizens today.
  • Celebrate the similarities and differences between each other as part of our PSHE learning through Jigsaw.
  • Constantly review and update our policies to ensure inclusion and equality.

Through this focus we have:

  • Learnt about Global Citizenship through a whole school assembly and explored the concepts of equality and respect. The assembly presentation is available below.
  • Met (virtually) Isabelle Goto, a fundraiser for UgandAid.
  • Held an ‘Own Clothes Day’ on which we wore, yellow and black to raise money to help UgandAid build a rainwater harvesting plant in Uganda.
  • Promoted the principle that all people should be treated with equal respect and have equal opportunity, using the example of access to clean water that UgandAid is campaigning for.
  • Raised £359.70 for UgandAid. Well done Willows Eco Warriors!


Summer 1 2021 Focus

Our Eco Focus for the first half of the summer term 2021 is ‘There is no Away’: Our planet’s waste crisis and what we can do to help. We thought about what the verb ‘to waste’ really means (To use carelessly or extravagantly, or for no reason) and how we can help the environment by following our

Top Eco Tip -  Only use what you need!


At The Willows we already:

• Recycle plastic bread bags, plastic bottles, plastic screw top drinks/milk lids, pens, crisp packets, batteries, paper and postage stamps.

• Support and promote recycling programmes run by Terracycle.

• Do our best to follow our ‘Single Use Plastic Policy’ as written by The Willows Eco Council 2019-20.

• Our caretaker, Isy, refills plastic soap dispensers, rather than buying new ones.


To educate ourselves further we have also:

• Liased with the office about more possible ways school can reduce waste, for example, reducing whole school use of glue and paper by not sticking worksheets in books, doing an online register instead of paper, and trialling hand dryers to cut down on paper towels, etc.

• Learnt about waste, including plastic, through a whole school assembly and what we can do to help. The assembly presentation is available below.

• The Eco Council have been on a litter pick up all around the school grounds.

• Tried to spread the word about the danger of disposable masks to our environment. Before you throw a mask away…CUT THE STRINGS so that they don’t get caught on our already vulnerable wildlife.

Willows Eco Warriors - You have the Power!

Winners and runners up of the World Wildlife poster competition. Well done everyone!

The Willows World Wildlife Eco Poster Competition


Can you create an eye-catching poster to raise awareness of a special animal? Decide which animal you would like to feature. Then do some research: Where does it live? What does it eat? Does it need help to survive? How does it help the planet? What makes it special? Is it endangered? Why should people save it? What can we do?


Competition Rules:

1. Your poster should educate others and raise awareness of a particular animal.

2. It should be titled, ‘Save the ……..

3. Your poster should be A4 and can be created on a computer or written by hand. You can use photographs or drawings.

4. Either email it to or hand it to your teacher who will put it in Mrs Mitchell’s tray.

5. The closing date is Wednesday 21st April 2021. The results will be announced in the next Eco assembly in the first half of the summer term. There will be prizes for an overall winner and runners up.

7. All posters will be displayed in a book on the Eco table, which can be found in the main corridor.

Spring 2021 Focus

Our Eco Focus for Spring 2021: World Wildlife Awareness: Learning about animals around the world and sharing our knowledge to raise awareness and respect for a range of different species. This term we have:


  • Learnt about wildlife charity and campaigner, Margot Raggett, in a whole school assembly. (See link below) 
  • Discovered how we can help to raise awareness of the plight of different animals.
  • Been given the opportunity to participate in a poster competition to show off our wildlife knowledge of some of the amazing creatures who share our planet. (See below for details)
  •  Learnt about charities that support nature conservation, including WWF, Born Free and Remembering Wildlife.
  •  Understood how we can help to protect animals by spreading the word about banning poaching and the trade of ivory/rhino horn and about ways we can teach people to live alongside animals in harmony.
  • Found out about careers in conservation, animal health/science/research, wildlife photography, charities, social media, etc.


Website of the month –

December 2020 Focus

Our Eco focus for December 2020: How to have a Happy Eco Christmas. Click on the link below to see our December Eco assembly and get some great tips from our amazing Eco Council!


Mrs Mitchell and the Eco Council would like to say thank you to all the teachers, children and parents who have supported us this year. It is because of you all that we have achieved the Silver Eco Schools Award! Well done everybody!

November 2020 Focus

Our Eco focus for November is Transport: making sustainable travel choices. 

In our Eco assembly this month we learnt about air pollution, where it comes from and how it harms us.

At The Willows we encourage everyone to walk, scoot or ride to school if they can. We raised awareness of the benefits of walking to school by holding a ‘Happy Shoesday’ on Tuesday 17th November where everyone came to school in ‘silly socks and happy shoes.’


We also ask people not to park close to the school. We have applied to become a ‘school streets’ school to encourage people to not park on Victoria Road on a more permanent basis. The council are trialling it in Urmston and may roll the scheme out to us and other schools in Trafford if this pilot scheme is successful. See  for more information.

Winners of the October Litter Poster Competition

October 2020 Focus

Our Eco focus for October is Litter: Reducing the amount of litter in our local area.’ At The Willows we already

•             Use two large bins on the playground

•             Have a paper recycling bin and general waste bin in each classroom.

•             Put most organic food waste in compost bins.

•             Learnt about the danger of plastic waste to marine life in our ‘Plastic in the Ocean’ eco focus and LKS2 Assembly.

Some of our Willows Eco Warriors have already taken part in a litter pick-up. Amazing!smiley

In the future we plan to

•             Hold an Eco Assembly at the start of October to inform the whole school about the dangers of dropping litter.

•             Do regular litter pick-ups around school, particularly around the edges of the field where rubbish blows in.

•             Hold a poster competition to raise awareness of the dangers of litter to wildlife and to persuade people not to drop litter.

•             Provide EYFS and KS1 with new compost caddies and put another compost bin near to the main playground.

•             Encourage Willows families to take a rubbish bag to their favourite outside place in our local environment and safely collect litter.

If any members of our Willows Community take part in any Litter pick ups, please send us a photo

If you are interested in learning more, visit our website of the month 

September 2020

Here are some of the amazing entries to our Biodiversity Photo Competition


On behalf of the Eco Council I am proud to announce the launch of The Willows Biodiversity Photo Competition.  I would like to invite all Willows eco warriors and members of the Willows community to think about biodiversity, the ‘variety of life’  around us. It is an opportunity to share how you connect with nature. For more information see the attached document.

We are guests of this world, not masters.

Still image for this video
This is a video for all budding environmentalists and a reminder that we should respect, nurture and most of all, appreciate our amazing world.

May/June Focus

Our focus for May and June is 'Biodiversity: Caring for plants, animals and insects. Biodiversity is a term used to describe the enormous variety of life on Earth. It refers to every living thing, including plants, bacteria, animals, and humans. To find out more about Global Biodiversity, watch  or this from WWF, narrated by David Attenborough,


Our Eco council believe that every living thing in this world has a purpose and should be respected, that we as humans have a responsibility to look after all living things on Earth. But in order to respect, we need to understand. Learning about different species of trees, birds or insects and how they survive, reproduce and benefit other living things can be awe-inspiring. This knowledge leads to respect.


Here at The Willows, as well as learning about the natural world in our curriculum, we have planted bee friendly plants, made bug hotels, made bird feeders and fed the birds and we have 'wild' areas around our field to attract wildlife. And school closure has not stopped our Willows children and families helping the wildlife around them. They have gone for walks and appreciated the wonders of nature, picked up litter, fed the birds and created bird spotting books, built bug hotels, planted seeds, looked after their garden, watched hedgehogs on a night cam and built a nature pond. We are also running a biodiversity competition to encourage our community to do even more for local nature.


If you would like to do more, the following link to the RSPB website gives lots of great ideas to help you connect with nature.

Encouraging Biodiversity at The Willows

During March we made our own bird feeders out of plastic bottles. Then we looked for a suitable place to hang them around school. We decided on a quiet corner of the field where children playing wouldn't disturb the birds. We also decided to pile up all the fallen branches to create a den for small wild animals.




Preparing our new Planters!

March was a busy month for Eco warriors! After receiving our new planters, we worked hard to fill them. We used gravel, cardboard, dry leaves, soil harvested from the school grounds and compost harvested from our compost bins. They are almost ready for planting and sowing seeds!

March/April Focus

Our focus for March and April is ‘Healthy Living: Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies.’ People are part of the environment. It is important for both us and our world to be healthy. How can we promote choices that are good for us and good for the environment? At The Willows we are very proud of all the physical activity we already do and we also take part in 'Wellness Wednesday' every first Wednesday of each half term where we learn about the importance of mental, emotional, social and physical health.

We will also extend this by encouraging children to make healthy food choices by referring to new posters and key information in the lunch hall, setting up and maintaining new planters to grow fruit and vegetables in school and learning about Mindfulness, how to practise it & how it can it can help our minds stay happy and healthy.



Mindfulness is a special way of thinking that can help us with our problems. Using mindfulness can help us enjoy our lives more, in a calm and relaxed way. Mindfulness is thinking about what we are doing right now, at this very moment and not worrying about the past and the future, just being in the present.


Website of the month


February Focus


Our focus for February is Plastic Pollution in our Oceans: What can we can do?  We have brainstormed ideas for ways we can reduce single use plastic at The Willows and in our homes by learning the ‘5 Rs’

Refuse: Say no to plastic bags, straws, takeaway cups, balloons. Do you really need these?

Reduce: Cut down on the amount of ‘stuff’ you use. Don’t impulse buy. Simplify your life! Reduce the general waste you create.

Reuse: Bags, bottles, plastic food tubs can be used over and over again. If things break, try to repair them instead of throwing them away and buying new.

Recycle: What you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse; recycle. Some plastic is easy to recycle, but other plastic is harder. Check out for local drop off points for items you can’t put in your recycling bin.

Rot: Compost all organic waste.


website of the month

January Focus


Our focus for January was Learning about Climate Change and what we can do. We have learnt about Climate Change through a whole school assembly and some of the Year 5 and 6 children made posters to highlight the issues.

We are continuing our campaign to reduce waste by promoting what we recycle in school; bottle tops (milk and screw top drink lids only), pens, batteries, stamps and snack packets (no sweet or cereal bar packets). We have extended this to bread bags (only sliced loaf bags, NOT those from pitta, brioche, baguette, rolls or bagels)

Information about current themes are displayed in the Eco Book and on the Eco Board, both in the main corridor at school.


Website of the month

December Focus


Our focus for December was A More Sustainable Christmas where we learnt about ways we can be more sustainable, for example, choosing seasonal, local food, supporting local independent shops, recycling trees, using LED lights, rethinking presents; homemade or up-cycled gifts and using cards, wrap and crackers without glitter and plastic.


Website of the month

November Focus


Our focus for November was Waste: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, where we learnt about which materials objects and packaging are made from and how we can recycle them. We improved our composting system and we set up a recycling centre for all members of our community to use and we now recycle our milk cartons, bottle tops, pens, batteries, stamps and snack packets.

Please feel free to bring in your screw top drink lids and milk carton lids, which go to the Pathfinder Guide dog charity, any writing implements (except pencils) which are taken to Rymans for recycling, used postage stamps (these go to Wythenshawe hospital) and any crisp or snack packets (recycled by


Website of the month

November 2019: The Willows Eco-Council has a new lease of life!

Mrs Mitchell took over as Eco Co-ordinator in November and along with a very dedicated Eco-Council, has helped The Willows to achieve the  Eco Schools Bronze Award. First we completed an Environmental Review and then formulated an Action Plan (you can see a copy of both documents in our Eco-Council book and on our Eco-Board in the main corridor). There are four levels to achieve; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Green Flag. To get all the way to the Green Flag Award we must work through all ‘7 Steps’ based on ’10 topics.’


Children not allowed on the school website have been omitted from this picture.