Our flagship ecological education project, Trout in the Classroom, has many environmental benefits but we are always looking for new ways of reducing its carbon footprint. Last year we ran a carbon balancing competition for the schools taking part.
Karen Gardiner, from the winning school Linden Lodge reports:
“The brown trout eggs arrived in January and were looked after, as they developed into swim-up fry, for two half terms by Key Stage 3 students. The pupils mostly enjoyed this but their least favourite job was removing the trout faeces or poo as they called it.
The project group estimated that they must have used 81 litres of water during the project. They decided they wanted to get some of this back – and held a special water saving week to try to achieve this. Some of the ideas the pupils came up with for saving water were:
Don’t sing in the shower! You take longer. But a shower is much better than having a bath for saving water. Our slogan was ‘Sing in the rain – not the shower!’
Use the left over drinking water to water the garden and indoor plants.
Recycle the old fish water – also very good for plants.
All our water saving endeavours won us the Wandle Trust Carbon Footprint Prize. We decided to put the money towards a specially commissioned tactile wall display of the life cycle of the brown trout to help our visually impaired students understand the process”.
The display was created by Linda Marshal, an artist who has worked at Linden Lodge for many years supporting young people with a visual impairment. She has used this experience to produce a range of tactile pictures which bring life and meaning to children who have complex needs. Karen continues:
“Linda is really inspirational in the way she gives children tactile awareness and helps them navigate their world. When people visit the school they see children exploring their environment with her tactile references. Much of Linda’s work is unique to Linden Lodge. She uses everyday materials in an imaginative and creative way and her use of colour, shape and texture makes objects come alive which stimulates children to feel, touch and smell.
We really want to thank everyone who took part in our water-saving week and helped us to win the Wandle Trust’s Carbon Footprint Prize!”
About Linden Lodge School
Linden Lodge School provides a high quality educational experience and support for pupils with a visual impairment or multi-disabled visual impairment which affects their access to learning. The school also supports pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Linden Lodge has been recognised as a specialist regional resource and caters for children aged 3 to 19. The school is situated in Wimbledon.