All of the Year 3 pupils at Windermere Preparatory School have been awarded Green Blue Peter Environment Badges for their excellent work on the Countryside Code.
In Year 3, the pupils begin the school’s very own Adventure! programme, which runs right through to Year 6. This programme consists of ten elements and the pupils have to achieve certain standards in each element in order to receive the Bronze, Silver and ultimately Gold Compass Badge.
As part of their Adventure! lessons, the Year 3 pupils have created their own Countryside Code. They felt that the Code produced by the Environment Agency was far too wordy and lacked pictures, making it unsuitable for children.
Sarah Brierley, Head of Adventure! at Windermere Preparatory School, explains; “The children were unimpressed by the existing Countryside Code so we challenged them to create their own. We went for a walk in the beautiful countryside around the school and asked them to look around them and think what’s important when you’re outdoors. We then asked them to draw up their own Countryside Codes, ensuring that they were illustrated in a fun way that would help children understand the importance of respecting our countryside”
The children came up with several rules such as not dropping litter; wear the correct clothing; stick to the footpaths; close gates behind you; keep dogs on leads around livestock; and most of all, respect the environment but also have lots of fun!
The teachers were so impressed with the work the children had done that they decided to send the new Countryside Codes in to Blue Peter. Each child had to write a letter explaining what they had done and how important it was to them and these were sent off with their new Codes.
Continues Sarah Brierley; “Soon after we received a call from the Blue Peter office explaining that they were so impressed by what they had seen that they would be awarding each Year 3 pupil a Green Blue Peter Environment Badge for their hard work and initiative. They also mentioned that they don’t usually award badges for school work, so the children can feel very proud of what they’ve achieved. Maybe we’ll send them to Tim Farron next to see if he can get the Countryside Code changed so that it’s easier for children to understand!”
The Green Blue Peter Environment Badge is awarded for letters, pictures or models which relate to nature. A Blue Peter Badge gets children of fifteen years and under free admission to around 200 venues across the UK, including local attractions such as The Beatrix Potter Gallery;
the Cumberland Pencil Museum; Levens Hall; the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway; and the Ullswater Steamers.
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.