Millbank Primary School

Growing Together To Be Our Best

* Eco Conference

On the 12 November all the Eco-schools in Cardiff were invited to meet up for the first eco-schools conference to debate about better ways of working together and sharing good ideas.


It was held in the debating chamber at Tŷ Hywel at the National Assembly for Wales. This was the chamber used by the Assembly before the posh new Senedd was built and ready for them. So we had lovely seats and headphones to listen to the debates being spoken in Welsh being translated too.


There were lots of different suggestions and the organisers feedback a little list of some of the debate that we had with the problems we had and suggestions how to solve them given by everyone else.


Cardiff Eco-Committee Feedback


Morning Workshop: Working together to overcome problems and share solutions.
After sharing some of the problems that we had come across with delivering elements of the programme or our targets, we did a carousel activity to come up with some solutions. Below are the initial problems and then the solutions suggested by other people.




Difficulty getting ‘outside’ help

Contact a local allotment committee to help
Send a letter home asking family if they have any time.
Ask parents and friends / advertise
Letter home, school website
Pay friends and family to help with things in the garden.
The probation services, they did the garden with us.
Wildlife trust

Not everyone is eating healthy snacks

Provide a range of healthy snacks
Only allow fresh fruit to be eaten at play times
Before children go out to play, check if they have fruit.
Send a letter to say to bring something healthy in lunch boxes, no chocolate!
Award for healthy lunch box.

Compost is not being used

Have a monitor for each class to put peelings in the compost bins each day.
Make people aware of the compost bins.
Put up a sign and put mini compost bins in each class.
Use the compost bin every lunchtime in the canteen and create large posters for it.
Start learning about recycling and composting in the nursery so that the small children use the compost bin all through school

Drinking water being wasted

Bring your own water bottles to school.
Cup dispenser
Have proper cups in the class.
Get water fountain or water tower.
Put a poster below or above the water fountain to say ‘don’t waste water’.
Poster to remind people.
Only fill bottles half full at the taps.

Not everyone turns off the lights

People to go around the school at dinner time with something to say who has forgotten.
Have an electricity monitor.
Rewards/points for the best classroom.
Get monitors and punishments/rewards. Name and Shame assembly.

People don’t use the correct bin

Ensure bins are distinctive; Colour, shape, symbol
Put up a sign saying what should be put in each bin with pictures.
Make a clear sign and label bins.
Compost bin on the yard every play time and have a recycling bin in every class.
Yard buddies to monitor the bins
Have a competition to design bins for paper, plastic, cans and compost etc.

Other pupils are not recording data correctly (for monitoring times the toilet is flushed)

Have a class tally sheet instead of in toilets.
Toilet monitors
Only Eco-Committee to monitor for competitions.

Maintaining momentum with the programme.

Give people different roles and change them regularly.
More rewards and interesting rewarding.
Have more competitions and going on more trips.
Lots of different activities.
Getting other people to help

Time – clashing with clubs/lessons/ assemblies/lunch

More Eco days per term
Have some Eco-Clubs
Let club members go to lunch first earlier.
Have a time table with the teachers and the children and display it.

Pupils are bringing fruit/veg to get points but not always eating it.

Get people to eat by making a smoothie
Fruit of the week
Reward points
Teachers bring fruit and veg in for children to taste

Energy/water not as exciting

People to come in and do some workshops and show them how fun it can be
Monitor of the week/fortnight! (wins a prize)
Go round daily Y4-5 for energy and water
By recording it and doing spot checks – making it fun
Prizes for kids
The best year group wins a prize e.g. Shield, extra play time or extra IT time.


We then thought about how we could share some of these ideas with other schools who weren’t at the meeting but may also be facing similar problems. Suggestions included:


  • Eco-Newsletter
  • Write letters
  • Talk!
  • Fun days and fairs
  • School visits to other eco-committees / twin with a local school
  • Regular meetings
  • Use Eco-Schools website for a forum, to get emails and for games.
  • Make videos
  • Link school websites to Eco-Schools website to share good practice
  • Create a Cardiff Eco Committee Website with good ideas and top tips
  • Use the Capital Times / Echo to share ideas.


In the afternoon we shared some of the work that we had been doing with other schools.