Priority: Green infrastructure
Definition: “Solving urban and climatic challenges in our school by building with and promoting nature.”
What is the issue?
Air pollution has harmful effects on the health of humans, wildlife, and our environment. 90% of people on Earth live with poor or dangerous air quality. The WHO (world health organisation) estimates that poor air quality led to seven million deaths in 2012, while Yale University's Environmental Performance Index has calculated that over 1.78 billion people have inhaled polluted air over the past decade.
Air quality is a local problem, the climate crisis is a global problem, however the two are linked. Air pollution is prevalent the Mayor of London has introduced ULEZ (ultra-low emissions zone) as a strategy to tackle air pollution. When it comes to growing and nurturing Trees/plants, people feel afraid of failure, getting it wrong. Fortunately for us, nature is resilient and forgiving. At Villiers High School we are on a wellbeing journey, one where we think the reintroduction of nature can enhance the quality of learning environments (externally and internally), for both mental and physical wellbeing.
The BIG idea?
#Plantmore has already taken off, at the school we have planted over 200 saplings, these trees/shrubs will capture pollutants, beat the heat, draw moisture and be havens for wildlife. Our focus I on native planting and the best Carbon absorbing trees, hence the planting of three American Sweetgum. Our campaign ‘Grow’ Let’s sow, grow and breath are about reintroducing the idea of nature into classrooms and creating more planting opportunities around our site, the ‘Green infrastructure challenge’ We want to donate a resilient plant to each form group across the school, the plant chosen will have unique qualities to improve air quality and be resilient and minimal maintenance.
- Set up a student vegan society which focuses on grow your own
- Develop a gardening club of 15 students
- Develop a landscaping proposal that promotes #plantmore
- Visit Kew the Botanical haven to inspire ecological design
- Stimulate student and staff interest in growing plants outside school
- Develop student growth via ownership, students care and nurture for the donated plant by taking the plant home in turns during holiday periods.
- Improve the air quality in classrooms and around the site by choosing the best capturers of carbon
The Grow Eco Day was held on 5th July 2022. Students joined Plognation to do Plogging at Southall Park to make their local park cleaner. Lessons involved zero electricity and was related to our Eco theme growth in order to raise awareness. They also cooked using the vegetables that the gardening club grew at Villiers. Students made posters to promote the campaign and used their lessons to learn more about growing their own vegetables & fruits in order to avoid pollutants in their food.