It is well known that spending time outdoors is beneficial for everyone's health, both physically and mentally. As a school, we are bidding to become a leading school in environmental awareness by creating an Environmental Hub dedicated to local families and the wider community. We aim to promote greater cohesion and hope to substantially improve the school site and allow children and adults to utilise the area in an environment they are proud of.
Central to our vision is the landscaping of the meadow space, in memory of Corinne, known to many at Thomas Jolyffe, who passed away in 2013.
A key part of our project is our partnership with Rubbish Friends, a group of likeminded people, passionate about keeping Stratford-upon-Avon clear of rubbish for both the residents and wildlife. By offering a base for their storage and operation, school will directly benefit from their contribution towards enriching our curriculum and educating all children from Reception to Year Six.
94% of parents who responded to our environmental survey have said that their children would benefit from such a project and despite 89% of parents saying they cared about their environment ‘a lot’, only 15% described it as ‘very clean’. 40% thought it was less than satisfactory. One in three parents knew of someone close-by who needed assistance with weeding, sweeping or other garden-based tasks.
However, perhaps the greatest evidence of need is in the benefits to the children. 93% felt this would create a sense of community spirit and more than 8 out of 10 respondents thought it would help with physical exercise and teach children to help others less fortunate than themselves. Two thirds of parents acknowledged the benefits to well-being that this project would provide. Research shows that 69% of people experience a significant increase in well-being by being associated with such schemes. This can clearly only enhance our nurture provision at Thomas Jolyffe.