The key to a good start is carrying out a thorough Review that can be replicated at key stages throughout the two year cycle.
Essential activities to be carried out as part of the Review in your school:
1) Revisit Previous Themes: Start on a positive note and see what you are already doing to help biodiversity. Revisit the previous themes to see if what you have done so far has helped biodiversity in any way and record previous achievements on a new list. See the table below for some ideas.
2) Carry out a Biodiversity Awareness Survey: Surveys are used to examine the level of awareness surrounding biodiversity. Discuss the proposed questions in class and take into account the age and ability of the user. Survey as many students and staff as possible to get a clear picture. There are number of essential questions which you will need to answer in the application form. Feel free to come up with a more extensive set of questions as part of your review process. You can return to the same list of questions at a later stage, as part of the Monitoring & Evaluating, to see if levels of awareness have improved. Be sure and publicise the results on your Green-Schools notice board.
3) Map the School Grounds - both inside and outside the school. Remember biodiversity is strongly influenced by the seasons so be sure and keep a record of the time of year (and the weather conditions!).
Here are Some Things to Think About:
Inside the School:
What species of tree were they made from?
Were they sourced from sustainable forests?
What is in your lunch box?
What country has it come from?
Outside the School:
What species of trees are growing?
Discover how your garden grows – have you any wild/unmanaged areas?
What bird species frequent your school grounds?
Are there any mammals that visit the school?
Are there lichens growing on the walls/trees around the school?
4) Investigate your Local Area
See what SAC/SPA/NHAs are nearby
Find out what species are special to your area
Are you near a Blue Flag or Clean Coast Beach?
N.B. Ask the students to Record and Display their results (e.g. pie/bar charts that show the percentage/numbers of the various tree/bird/lichen species present around the school, map of school grounds identifying habitats/species, etc.)
Top Tip! Answer the questions in the Biodiversity Application Form as you progress and through the 7 Steps and keep your answers safe, this will help you keep focused and on track!