Top 5 high school continues conservation work by planting thousands of flowers in community

A SECONDARY school promoting conservation in its community planted thousands of flowers and plants as part of a sustainability project.

Following their incredible efforts in collecting more than 12,000 pieces of litter from beaches and parks during the summer, pupils from Ysgol Eirias in Colwyn Bay seeded more than 6,000 bulbs and 20 trees on Craig Road, Old Colwyn.

In partnership with Conwy’s Community Development Officer, volunteers from Man Coed VM Ltd, Creating Enterprise, Cartefi Conwy and Ysgol Swn-y-Don, groups from Year 7 upwards completed the task in just a matter of hours and even collected several bags of rubbish on the walk back to school!

Wellbeing Officer Abbie Johnson has been leading on a series of programmes to support learners in and out of the classroom, focused on health, inclusivity, and the environment.

“My role is to work with the children so they can reach their potential and become the best they can be, both academically and socially,” said Abbie.

“We are outdoors helping to clean up and conserve the local area, but also holding interventions in numeracy and literacy to give extra support in those areas, and promoting exercise, healthy living, and mindfulness.

“The students have really taken ownership of these schemes, they are from different backgrounds, and different ages and genders, so everyone gets a voice.”

A new Uniform Recycling System will be introduced in the coming year, ensuring pupils can collect jumpers, skirts, trousers, and other items for free, and Abbie has started a new Thursday cookery class, fully funded so learners go home with a hot meal.

These developments follow the success of the school’s Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award provision, praise for its Diversity team – which meets regularly to champion equal rights, present assemblies, and conduct student surveys – and in becoming one of the few institutions in North Wales to receive the Investors in Families Bronze Award.

Ysgol Eirias was also named Secondary School of the Year at the recent North Wales Education Awards and in the top 5 secondary schools in Wales according to the Sunday Times Parent Power rankings.

“The learners have been absolutely fantastic, they are incredibly proactive and want to help those less fortunate than themselves, whether that be in the local area or here at the school,” said Abbie.

“The cookery classes are supported by a fantastic team of teaching assistants, helping the pupils to learn all about recipes, ingredients and skills that will help them to become more independent in future.

“We are constantly exploring new opportunities and adapting to the challenges of society and the cost-of-living crisis and want to be there for our students and their families.

“Ultimately, Ysgol Eirias is centred on equality and inclusivity – every child is important to us – and dedicated to its role in developing and supporting its community, now and for generations to come.”

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