Do you have green fingers? Are you passionate about allotments and willing to share your knowledge with some of our students?

If your answer to these questions is ‘yes’ then Futures Institute Banbury needs your help.

Students need guidance with a gardening project launched under the Eco-Schools programme.

Futures is proud to have achieved the ‘Green Flag’ status through the initiative – the award carries international recognition for excellence in environmental action and learning.

Eco-Schools Logo

In order to keep hold of the ‘Green Flag,’ the school must continue with environmentally friendly tasks and involve the local community.

Dr Catherine Pickup, director of project based learning at Futures explained the significance of the allotment project and said: ‘’The students are very keen to learn how to grow their own food and it would really nice if we could link with someone who has an allotment and is happy to share their knowledge.

‘’In order to keep the Eco-Schools Green Flag status we now have to continuously work at the level we have achieved with environmentally friendly projects. The allotment idea allows us to engage with the community which is one of our goals.’’

The journey to ‘Green Flag’ status has involved dedication and commitment from the students at the Futures Institute.

In the first instance an Eco-Committee was set up with members from all years. The group focused on three areas: water, biodiversity and litter free grounds.

Tasks completed included entering a British International Education Association (BIEA) competition to design machines to remove plastic from rivers.

A bee project which involved planting flowers at a local primary school (William Morris), a litter bin design project and a big school clean.

Bee project students

Students from Futures Institute’s ecology focussed team in 2019.

Futures Institute also got involved in the V&A National Schools Challenge for waste free lunches with a beeswax wraps entry.

Dr Pickup said: ‘’The Eco Schools initiative is all about raising environmental awareness in the school and students involved have gained all sorts of employability skills like teamwork and communication.

‘’It has been empowering, knowledgeable and fantastic for mental well-being. Fundamentally it’s about helping to make the world a better place in the future.’’

If anyone can help, please email Dr Pickup:

Student holding a lizard

Immy currently in Year 9, at Futures Institute open evening last year (2019) when the school had animals arrive on site

This article is also available on the Banbury Guardian website.

Students and staff will also be appearing on BBC Radio Oxford on Tuesday 14 July, asking for help with growing food in our garden.

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