Burnwood Community Primary School

Burnwood, Stoke on Trent

The tree nursery at Burnwood Community School enables nature to flourish in a city setting. The school is located on a large council housing estate but has a vast outdoor area including the only school-based purpose-built mountain bike track in the country. Planting trees, shrubs and vegetables involves the community in looking after the environment and discourages vandalism and anti-social behaviour. To launch the tree nursery, each of Burnwood’s 500 pupils planted a tree provided by the Earth Restoration Service. Teacher Mandy Cheek said: “We had a whole day planting the trees, each child making their own label then planting the saplings. Our local MP Joan Whalley came and joined in and we had bikes on the mountain bike track. Teachers played guitars and children sang. Having planted the trees themselves, with the help of some parents, our pupils felt a sense of ownership and pride. The educational and spiritual value of the project is invaluable. We have a ‘nurture group’, due to the large number of emotionally challenged children in our school, and the growing and nurturing of new life is simply the best therapy available for them. There are curriculum benefits in maths, science and art, but most of all we have the continued promotion of nature and all that it has to offer, a terrific resource on the doorstep that can be effortlessly accessed as often as required..”

Burnwood Community School gained ECO status in 1999 and won first prize in the Staffordshire Environmental Awards, since then they have achieved silver ECO status, they are currently working towards the Green Flag Award.