Eco School

LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”.  In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs” (ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS;  2015)


As a Green Flag school, we are very keen to ensure that our children care for our environment and become responsible citizens.

You will find everything you need to know about how eco issues are covered throughout St John Vianney

St John Vianney was awarded the first Green Flag in the summer term 2017. Eco Schools praised all our time and effort that has been invested in environmental education at school. 

“Your award is well deserved and reflects the hard work the school has put into the programme so far.”

“The strengths appear to be the love of their environment, the caring for each other and the high thinking and analysing skills of the Eco-Committee. They have good links with other Eco-Schools and sharing good practice. Well done and keep up the great work.”

Our second Green Flag was achieved in the summer term 2019. The assessor said,

“This is a good school and very active in many environmental aspects. Their work is being transferred into the community and in their homes. There is a strong caring feel in the school and I particularly liked how the older children have been nurturing younger children in their environmental interests. I loved the work done on clean air, this is to be commended. I particularly liked the statement said to me by Isabella. “It is about improving all the time” and this is so right.”

Our third Green Flag was achieved in the summer term 2021.  For our third green flag, due to covid restrictions, unfortunately an Eco assessor was unable to visit school. We sent all our evidence to be evaluated and were awarded our third green flag in June 2021! We are absolutely delighted!

Our Eco Code

We are working on all ten Eco topics:


We have taken part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. We saw lots of pigeons and seagulls! 


In Eco Club, we made bird feeders-As part of our topic about British Birds linked to the RSPB Bird Watching campaign, we thought about what birds need at this time of year. We know that they need enough food to keep themselves warm and well during the colder winter months. We had great fun getting our hands all sticky as we mixed the peanut butter with the cereal before spreading it onto the cardboard roll. We hung the bird feeders on the trees in the school grounds. 


During Lockdown, Year 6 looked at the positive changes in patterns of behaviour of wildlife and clearer skies amongst other things. They considered how we as a community, can continue to build on such gains. 


They wrote a letter to the Blackpool MP, Mr Scott Benton about it. 


Planting Trees from The Woodland Trust 

The National Trust gave us fruit trees to plant. Year 3 planted the trees with members of our parish.  


Year 4 took a visit to Leighton Hall. They watched a prey display and had a woodland/nature walk. 

Year 5 have seen all 5 butterflies transform and named them! 

They have been scientists, dissecting flowering plants and examining them under the microscope! 

Year 5 and 6 know how humans affect grasslands and have offered solutions to this problem. They looked at diversity in biomes 

During ECO Week, Reception children made nature bracelets. 

Year 6 studied Sir David Attenborough and his work. 


Blackpool Park Rangers, Blackpool Better Start, sent our children a Nature Explorers Box to encourage us to go outside to discover nature. 

As part of our Parents In Partnership Year 3 went to The Grange with their parents to look at nature and wildlife.

Reception have two guinea pigs called Reggie and Chomper. The children take care of them in school.

A Year 1 child made a guinea pig house, for their guinea pig Preston, out of junk materials.


Year 6 Energy Monitors daily check classrooms to ensure lights are turned off and doors and windows are closed in the winter to conserve energy.

Our whole school takes part in Switch Off fortnight each year.

During Eco Week, Year 3 pledged to not use electricity for up to an hour every day for one week!

Mr Cowgill, our caretaker and an Eco enthusiast, monitors the energy consumption regularly and informs the Eco Committee.

Things we have done in school to save energy– the Gas Heating has been reset.

We have reduced the number of ‘stand-alone’ electric heaters, which accounted for approx. 30% of the annual electricity usage.

On sunny days classroom radiators are turned down or switched off.

We have downsized the boilers to combi ones.

Rain water is collected on the roof and pumped directly into the toilet flush system. Saving 70/80% (approx. 1 million litres of water per year).

Florissant lights within school have been replaced by LED units using 5/10 watts. LED lights in the SEN/Headteachers office are sensor lights-they switch off after 5 minutes

Reception and Key Stage 1 external doors are now self-closing.

Global Citizenship 

In March we took part in CAFOD’s Walk for Water, a global event. Every day for a week, we did a daily walk for 10 minutes, then compared this to amount of hour Abdella spends walking. We asked each child for a £2 donation.


Reception classes celebrate Diwali and Chinese New Year

Please bring your unwanted old glasses to school to be recycled. They will be sent to Vision Aid Overseas, who recycle the components and use the money raised to help people improve their vision.

For our Harvest offerings, we collect food and toiletries for Blackpool Street Life each year.

We also collect food to make food parcels for our own families.

Healthy Living 

On 27th May, children wore sportswear/ football shirts in memory of Jordan Banks, as Jordan was a keen footballer. We raised £800 for ‘Counselling in the Community’, a charity that he and his family are passionate about.

Mindfulness is taught through PSHE. Each class received a Mindfulness Box during Lockdown.

In March 2020, we celebrated Global Learning Week.

In September 2020 and March 2021, we studied the Sustainable Development Goals, through the books by Oliver Jeffers, ‘Here We Are’ and ‘What We’ll Build’.

The fruit basket is on the playground/classrooms for snack each day.

We have a salad bar at lunch time to encourage healthy choices.

Each class is taught about healthy life styles through PSHCE lessons and the Science curriculum.

Year 4 partake in ‘Fit2Go’ with Blackpool Football Club CT.

Year 4 and 5 went to the high ropes at Stanley Park and partook in the mini Olympics on the school field.

Reception children have been looking at healthy and unhealthy foods. They could sort these into two groups and say why they made those choices.

Many classes do the ‘daily mile’.


Year 2 have been out and about finding litter in the school grounds. We hope you think we did a good job. Thank you to everyone for using the bins provided. They have worked very hard to collect all the litter and make it beautiful for our community to enjoy. Remember to dispose of your litter in the correct ways.

During ECO Week, Nursery and Reception children looked at litter in the Oceans. We put plastic litter in the water trays so we could fish it out to remind us to take care of our environment.






We encourage children to bring their lunch into school in a reusable container.  We use water bottles that we can refill each day, so cutting down on single use throw away plastic bottles.

Year 5 and 6 identified different biomes and how humans are having a negative impact on marine biomes.

For ‘Schools Alive’, a dance festival, hosted by Blackpool Council, at The Grand Theatre, our entry, ‘Something Worth Protecting’, by Key Stage 2 children, raised awareness of Ocean Pollution with a speech by Sir David Attenborough at the beginning of our act. He spoke about our blue planet and how we had the power to change it!


You can watch the performance on the following link

Schools Alive 2020 St John Vianney Catholic Primary School – YouTube


We are in the process of looking at changing our use of plastic straws in Key Stage 1 for milk, to paper straws, so cutting down on single use plastic!

School Grounds

Kids Club Plants-Kids Club used old wellies and recycled pot plants that nobody wanted any more to make their outside area look more attractive. They worked hard to create a lovely environment. By looking after them and taking good care of them, they lasted all summer long. It reminded us of a ‘Festival’ feel.


Empty classroom day-We decided to have as many lessons as we could outside. This was to use our environment more and save on electricity.

Reception used the parachute outside during PE instead of going in the hall.

Year 5 took their maths lesson outside, working on shape, putting it into context and making it fun!

Our bug hotel in Reception area attracts mini beasts as well as arrange of birds who use our bird boxes.  Take a peep inside and see which creatures move in. We are aiming to increase the biodiversity in our school grounds.

We have been keeping an eye on the bug hotel to see if any creatures have come to stay. So far, we have found spiders webs.

We compost our daily fruit waste and vegetable peelings from the kitchen as well as tea bags from the staff room.

Year 1 planted seeds and observed them grow over four weeks. They named the parts of a plant. They observed and contrasted leaves across the seasons. They investigated twigs and identified thorn trees.



Green Fingers! On a Tuesday afternoon, Reception children work with the garden volunteers from the parish to help them grow vegetables. They have taught us lots about gardening and planting, we have learnt lots of new skills. We have worked with them all year, socially distancing of course! We have grown spring onions, red onions, leeks, radishes, peas…



Reception children take care of their own outdoor area by planting plants using plastic bottles as planters.

Year 1 looked around the school grounds at deciduous and evergreen trees. They looked at colour in nature.

Year 1 looked at animals that lived in The Artic

ECO homework-Eco Warrior Designers

Year 3 love our Forest School activities.




On 19-30 April, we took part in Sustrans Big Pedal, the UK’s largest inter-school cycling challenge. We cycled, walked and scooted to school. During the challenge, each class recorded online how they and their families came to school. Over two weeks we 79.33% of our children took part and did 4,789 journeys. Well done everyone!


Year 3 found out what air pollution was. They wrote a letter to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, about the causes, effects and offered solutions about the effects of air pollution.



Teachers use Smartboards for independent work rather than printing out lots of sheets, so reducing our carbon footprint.

Reception used recycled art to make flowers out of egg boxes for Our Lady’s Altar during the month of May.

Remember to put your used batteries in your collection tube and bring them into school, where they will be disposed of safely.


On the carpark, we have a clothes bank for all the clothes that we no longer need.


In school we made pictures out of bottle tops.


We have had various recyclable homework challenges. What can you make out of junk materials? What could you use a single use plastic bottle for?


To celebrate the end of ECO Week, our school wore green on the last day. We found out that some of our clothes were actually made out of recyclable materials!

During Eco Week, Year 1 made things out of junk materials.

Eco Club played a game about recycling


We use our water butt to help water the plants on the school field.


Year 3 have been learning about water on our planet and water contamination/pollution in Geography. They found out 25 ways to be a water hero!


Wyre Estuary Bioblitz

Sharing good practice-Eco Visit to Hawes Side School

Our Eco committee visited Hawes Side School to look at the work that they have done to achieve their Green Flag. We spent a lovely afternoon looking around their school grounds at all the wonderful things they do. We got lots of ideas that we can put in place. At the end we had a presentation from their Eco committee. It was fun working together.

In November SJV will be holding a challenge to all pupils about cutting our carbon footprint.  Attached you will see a flyer and tick sheet for you to complete throughout November in the aim to help recognise what we can do to reduce our carbon output, the greenhouse gas that is the main contributor to global warming.   Please follow the link to see an introduction to this.  To help the school reduce it’s carbon output, instead of giving your child a paper flyer, we have attached the flyer and tick sheet to the website and will ask you to complete the survey at the end of November, where we can then collect all the data.  Likewise, if you could go on X (formerly Twitter) and post pictures of your child with the # SJVECO and #CutYourCarbon in the challenges that would be excellent.  We want SJV to be as carbon friendly and as environmental as we can, and by doing this survey and challenge, hopefully we will helping a little bit towards this.