On Monday 24th June, a team from Tesco, NW Ground Works and Shane White arrived at The Isle of Ely Primary School with a JCB Digger and Mini Dumper Truck. They were here to dig out a pond and kick start the school’s journey to becoming more Eco-friendly.
At 7am, the team were snuck in to the school’s ‘Garden Area’ to avoid interception by children and as the morning progressed, rumors and excitement spread; “Do Tesco’s now sell ponds?”, “Do we have a digger making us a swimming pool?” The pupil’s interest had been captured: so with trips up to see the digger in action they realised, although there will be no swimming pool, they will soon get to discover all the exciting wildlife found in the murky depths of a pond.
The school is nearly 5 years old and the decision to be Eco-friendly will mean pupils gain a deeper understanding of the importance of the world they live in and how to interact with it. Children that develop a relationship with their environment now, will be more understanding and proactive custodians of the planet in the future. However, building a pond also greatly enriches many areas of their learning, for example when lessons on life cycles and habitats can be witnessed first-hand they become so much more memorable.
The Garden Area started off being an overgrown patch at the corner of the school grounds. But now, the produce beds are full of food, the children have new tools in their shed and there is a great big hole (the future pond), courtesy of the Digging Team. The team were visited by the School Gardening Club whilst working and one pupil, Evie in Year 3, was particularly excited to see its progress as her hopes for a pond began over a year ago when she cut off her long hair to raise money to create it.
The school’s enthusiasm for the environment is steadily growing. The next steps for the school Garden Area are adding bird hides, bee hives, sensory gardens and weather stations. For now though, thanks to the time donated and tools brought by Julia Hamit, Vicky Woodruffe, Neil Woodruffe, Jed Drake and Shane White, Isle of Ely Primary School have a pond that has aided in bringing a little more of the world’s eco-friendly push to the Ely Community.
Julia Hamit, Community Champion for Tesco’s, Ely said, “This was a great pleasure but would not have been possible without the help from Vicky Woodruffe from Tesco her husband Neil Woodruffe, NW Groundworks and Shane White for his generosity.”
By Mrs Annie Hunter, Outdoor Lead at Isle of Ely Primary School