Yester Primary Green Group

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Welcome Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 1:46 pm on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Here’s hoping you all had a lovely summer despite the weather, although I have to say the rain has done wonders for our veg plot! Primary 3 have harvested some of our courgettes, potatoes and cabbages and Debbie and the kitchen staff set up a great tasting table for us. They made courgette soup, cooked the potatoes in a variety of ways and made a delicious coleslaw with the cabbages. They have also been making use of our herbs in particular our parsley. It’s great to be able to eat the vegetables that we have grown ourselves. Thank you Debbie and the kitchen staff and of course Primary 3 for doing the harvesting!

Last year we entered and won a competition run by Dobbies  Garden Centre. We won gardening tools and a lunch for two pupils. I will shortly choose from last years Green Team who will attend but a big well done to all of you.

The new Green Team will be up and running again very soon and we are busy planning how to celebrate gaining our first green flag. Watch this space!

Mrs Thomas

Fantastic News!

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 7:45 pm on Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Green Team are very proud to announce that on Wednesday 13th June we gained our first Green Flag from Eco-schools Scotland!

Well done to everyone on the Green Team and Groundforce you have all worked so hard over the years to achieve this award. Well done to the rest of the school too as you have contributed to the award by thinking about litter, recycling and turning off the lights. A big thank you to our janitors Alan and James for all their help and to our willing and able band of parent helpers.

We have also had a very successful Open Gardens Day today with lots of visitors from the village and further a field in East Lothian coming to have a look at what we have achieved in the school grounds. I am pleased to say they were very impressed with what they saw. Thanks again to all our willing gardening angels (especially given the weather this week!) and to my Green Team and Groundforce helpers for their tour guide skills.

What a super week we have had. I am really very proud of you all, give yourselves a big tap on the back!

Mrs Thomas

June Newsletter

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 2:58 pm on Sunday, June 3, 2012

What an exciting and busy time we are having at the moment. Have a read below to see what we have done or are about to do.

School Grounds:

May saw the completion of our  raised vegetable beds and the installation of the fence and gate to complete our vegetable and fruit garden. We have already got cabbages, potatoes, beans and peas planted which will hopefully be ready to harvest when we return after the summer break. We have also put in some strawberry plants too. The fruit trees are flowering nicely and beginning to get established. Unfortunately we won’t get fruit from them this year, but it won’t be too long until we do. We have also taken delivery of two new rotating compost bins, one of which we have put into our fruit and vegetable garden. The other we have given to the nursery for their new garden which is really taking shape. James has been out planting up the memorial garden with the green team and it looks lovely now, they also planted some sunflowers along the wall by the ruby rose garden. Thanks as ever go to our hard working mums, James and Alan who are always helping us out – we couldn’t do it without you!

We are really looking forward to the 17th June when our school grounds will take part in the Scottish Open Gardens Scheme. The gates open at 1.30pm so please come along and see what we have been doing, you might just be rather impressed!

Eco – Summit

The Green team will be represented by Conal, Robin and Murron at an Eco-Summit taking place at Sandersons Wynd Primary School on Friday 8th June. They will get a chance to listen to some “green” speakers and share what we have been doing with other eco teams across East Lothian. They will also get the chance to chat with other groups to discuss ideas and share good practice.


We hope you enjoyed the water assembly – I bet you didn’t know you used so much water in a day! Remember the Green Team would really like you to save water by only taking what you need and turning off the taps where you can.


Watch out all litter bugs! The inspection team will be doing spot checks again at any moment. Help us get our Green Flag by throwing rubbish in a bin and not dropping it on the ground. Remember the inside of the school is just as important. As ever our green team will be continuing to litter pick in the grounds but please ensure you save us a job by packing all your picnic and snack rubbish away or putting it into a bin.

A huge well done to P1/2 who are taking their eco duties very seriously. They now have a litter King and Queen who record the litter dropped on a chart with either a sad green face or a smiley pink face. What a super idea guys and I’m glad to see lots of pink faces on the chart, well done!

Green Flag Update:

The 13th  of June is D Day! The inspector from Eco-schools Scotland is coming to see us. She will be touring the school, looking at our paperwork, talking to pupils and to staff. If you see her ensure you have a welcoming smile upon your face 🙂

We are really hoping we will be able to report success in our mission to be granted our first green flag in our next newsletter, here’s hoping!

Mrs Thomas and the Green Team

April/May Newsletter

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 2:04 pm on Sunday, May 6, 2012

As you have come to expect the Green Team have been very busy as usual. We have had several litter picks, been chasing up on our current actions plans and deciding how we are going to achieve the outstanding things on our to do list!

Fruit and Vegetable Garden

You will have noticed that our to handy janitors, Alan and James, have been very busy constructing our raised beds for – A HUGE THANK YOU!!!!! We are now awaiting the arrival of our soil and compost so that we can start planting our vegetables. Thank you for all your ideas in the suggestions box we are in the process of sorting through them in order to organise the seeds we will need. The fruit trees are blosoming nicely and leaves beginning to come out, so please treat them with care. Shortly we hope to fence of the area that is our fruit and vegetable garden so that we can train raspberry and blackberry bushes on it. We can’t wait to try all this fruit and veg, yum!!

The Wildlife Garden

The wetland area has had a tidy and is looking much better! The reeds and other bog loving plants are beginning to come through again. The cowslips that we planted in the grassland area are all flowering well, so stick to the paths if you can so you don’t squash their growth. This term we also plan to add a little fairy magic to the wooded end of the wildlife garden so keep your eyes pealed! Only one negative to report with the wildlife garden – LITTER! When in the garden last week we found several snack wrappers, PLEASE, PLEASE take your litter to a bin. Remember the Eco code that Evie and Cara rapped about last year? Thank You!

Green Flag

Yes Mrs Thomas has finally got the paper work completed and sent off! We have our inspection on the 13th June 2012. The Green Team are really excited and are looking forward to showing off all their hard work. Please help us to get our green flag by thinking green and using the bins provided for your litter. They will fail us if there is litter on the ground or inside the buildings. The litter monitors will be on your case so lets make it an easy job for them by putting our snack wrappers, milk straw wrappers and milk cartons in the bin. I wonder who will win Wilt the Gnome this month? Although I have to say so far he’s looking very at home in P1/2, they’ve even made him a bed!


As usual the Groundforce team and it’s helpful parents have been hard at work tidying up the gardens and as you’ll see the grounds are looking much neater. Conal, Isaac and Conal’s mum have been busying weaving the willow structure back into shape – well done guys, it’s really taking shape! The team are also very excited about the imminent arrival of the soil for our raised beds…..Don’t forget you shovels and wellies on Thursday!


We also updated the school at the end of April on all our work so far this year at our assembly. We made a great PowerPoint for you all which I will try and get onto this page for you. Guy’s you did a great job especially with all the technical hitches! Thank you to the parents that came to support too.

Mrs Thomas and The Green Team

Eco Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 12:58 pm on Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eco week has just passed and we are pleased to say it has been a success. Each class helped plant some vegetables which have shot up in the current weather.Every class also had a litter spot check of their classroom and our winners are P1. It is also worth mentioning that P2/3 should up their game a bit.  Our dress down Friday has raised £77 which will go towards our raised beds, wetland etc… Have a look in the Gallery below for a selection of photographs from our week.

Conal, Green Team P7

February/March Newsletter

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 9:31 pm on Thursday, March 8, 2012

Welcome to the February/March newsletter. As ever the Green Team have been very busy. We have been keeping an eye on our newly planted fruit trees ensuring they are well watered and we can already see some buds developing on them which we are all very excited about. The Groundforce Team are working hard to keep the school grounds looking beautiful and have finally found the wetland under the weeds! We must as ever thank our parent helpers for all their hard work – we couldn’t do it without you!


Next week is Eco-Week and the Green Team have planned an exciting week of activities for you. As it is National Science and Engineering Week and National Climate Change Week too next week we have also included a science day and a climate change activity too. Have a look and see what you think:

Activities for Eco week 2012

Monday 12th March 2012


Litter Spot checks – watch out for your Green Team member coming to check on your classroom,

Infant circle times – to get ideas about the vegetable plot and wildlife garden,

Weigh the amount of lunch waste we create


Tuesday 13th March 2012


Planting – each class to plant a seed which will eventually be planted in the vegetable plot.

Climate Change Hour – an hour without power!


Wednesday 14th March 2012


Science activity day – each class to do an activity from the Science and Engineering Week ideas packs: Move it! & Einstein’s Birthday Party Pack

How much waste? – Green Team to design a display to demonstrate how much waste we create at lunch


Thursday 15th March 2012


Litter Action Day, talks and litter pick for each class


Friday 16th March 2012


Dress Down day / Eco dress competition £1 (to raise funds for our vegetable plot)


We hope you enjoy the week and have fun dressing up (or down) with an Eco theme to raise money for our vegetable plot. Leave a comment and let us know what you enjoyed most during Eco-week and any ideas you have for our next Eco-week.

Mrs Thomas and the Green Team


January Newsletter

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 11:09 am on Saturday, February 4, 2012

Happy New Year Everyone!

Welcome to January’s Newsletter. Despite the cold and wind we have, as ever, been very busy.

December saw the restart of the Groundforce Team after school club and as you will see if you wander around the grounds they are already making an impression. They have been busy maintaining the memorial garden which now, despite the freezing cold and dark evenings of December, is looking vastly tidier and if you look carefully you will see the begins of Spring with the bulbs peeking through the soil. Please take care though we don’t want to squash Spring before it starts!

January saw the arrival of our first fruit trees for the garden and as the pictures show we had great fun preparing the ground (in the snow I might add- hardy souls my Groundforce Team!) and planting the trees. We have a mixture of varieties some we have heard of some we hadn’t, but we are now the proud owners of 2 plum trees, 2 pear trees and 4 apple trees. Unfortunately, we cannot let them fruit this year as they need to put their energies into growing and getting established, but next year there will, hopefully, be some home grown fruit on the lunch menu.

At this point I must say a huge thank you to James and Alan our fabulous janitors as with out their help to dig the holes we may have still been digging! I would also like to thank Mrs McGregor, Mrs Singh and Mrs Wrinn for their help and continued support, especially given the time of year. You are very much appreciated! I must also thank the children too, without them it would happen.

Next jobs are to find the wetland under the weeds and organise both the vegetable raised beds and the living fruit hedge for the garden.


This term the Green Team are targeting litter and water use. If we are to gain our Green Flag Award we must ensure our playground is litter free and that the inside of the school is litter free too. Not one straw wrapper must we drop! Watch out because the Green Team are on the case, a litter monitor will be visiting you shortly for a spot check.

With the lovely new toilets and the access to fresh water in classrooms we are also looking at our water use. One area that the team wants to target is the use of left over water in our classrooms. If you have a good idea about what we could do with it speak to one of the team or post a comment in our box.

Up and Coming Events to Look Forward To:

8th February 2012 – All Rag Bags must be in – please help us to raise much needed  funds by filling up a bag or two!

12th to 16th March 2012 – Eco week, science week and climate week. Lots’s will be happening this week to get everyone involved.

26th March 2012 – Green Team Assembly

16th June – The school will hopefully take part in the open gardens scheme.

A busy few months for us as you can see. Any help or support you can offer is always greatly appreciated.

Mrs Thomas and The Green Team


Great News For The Green Team!

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 8:12 pm on Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Green Team was thrilled to find out today that we have been awarded a grant of £500 from the Grounds For Awareness Awards. This is fantastic news for us as we can now begin to put some of our ideas into action.

We are also excited about the imminent arrival of our fruit trees next week. If anyone is interested in lending a hand to get them planted please call the school office we would love to hear from you!

Mrs Thomas and the Green Team

Green Team November Newsletter

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 2:56 pm on Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meet the Green Team

  • Chair: Kara,
  • Secretary: Murron
  • Publisher: Catriona
  • Eco-link Officer: Orianne
  • Communications Officer: Paddy
  • Litter & Recycling Officers: Isaac & Daisy
  • Energy Co-ordinator: Isaac
  • Water Co-ordinator: Catriona
  • School Grounds & Biodiversity Officers: Conal & Robin
  • Finance Officer: Mrs Thomas

We have already been busy planning what we would like to achieve this year and have chosen our three topics for the year. They are:

  • Litter and Recycling,
  • Water,
  • Food and the Environment

Litter and Recycling

Within this topic we are going to organise regular litter pick to keep our school grounds tidy and hope to organise a whole school litter pick too to send the message of zero tolerance of litter to the whole school community. We are also going to target inside our school as we often find litter in classrooms, especially milk straws and also paper towels in the toilets. The group have also come up with the great idea of having waste free lunch days.


Within this topic we are looking at our water usage, how we can save some water, what use we make of our rain butt and if it’s located in the best position. As well as water usage in class; do we all have access to water in class and what happens to the left over water at the end of the day.

Food and the Environment:

We have lots of great ideas for this topic and this is going to be our main focus. We have already ordered some orchard fruit trees, we have applied for a grant to help towards making a kitchen garden so that we can grow vegetables, herbs and fruit for our kitchen to use. We are also hoping to make a plastic bottle greenhouse so that we can extend our growing season and grow some more exotic vegetables. We are also going to  investigate the food waste from the dinning hall and kitchen, looking at how our new band system is working and if we can reduce food waste further.

School Grounds Monitoring:

We also need to undertake some grounds maintenance to ensure that the wildlife area, wetland and newly replanted memorial garden thrive. We have been asked to take part in the Open Garden Scheme in June so it will be even more important to ensure our wonderful grounds are looking their best.

So as you can see it will be a very busy year for the Green Team. We will as usual squeeze in an Eco week to spread our message and will also need to do some serious fundraising to allow us to put all our wonderful plans into action.

Can we have your empty plastic bottles please?

So that we can build our greenhouse we need to collect 2000 empty 2 litre plastic bottles. Bottles must be empty and well washed out. We are hoping to get a container to put them in from the council so we will update you as soon as we have news but please start collecting now!

Plea for Volunteers!

If you have any spare time and would like to help us out with any of the following things please get in touch with Mrs Thomas through the school office:

  • Ideas,
  • Gardening,
  • Fund raising,
  • Helping to organise one of the action areas,
  • Organising and collecting 2 litre plastic bottles for our greenhouse,
  • Become a Green Team member; we are also looking for parent and community volunteers to become members of the team

Any help you can give us will be greatly appreciated and hopefully you’ll have fun putting something back into the school community.

Many thanks

Mrs Thomas and the Green Team






Green Group Newsletter May/ June 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sthomas at 12:30 pm on Sunday, June 12, 2011

It’s time for another update from the Green group who as always have been very busy.

Important Eco Fortnight News!

Monday 20th June marks the start of Eco fortnight and the Green team has planned lots of exciting activities for you to take part in. We won’t tell you all our activities but there are a few that you need to prepare for.


Forget X-factor think Eco factor! We want everyone in our school to be aware of our Eco-code so here is your chance to show Yester your talents. All you need to do is use our Eco code and turn it into a rap, song or just a performance poem to entertain us. If you’re feeling really creative why not make up a new code for us. The winner will get some Eco-goodies and the pleasure of our school using your rap, song or poem. Auditions will be held on Wednesday the 22nd June 2011 and the Eco- Factor will be held on Friday 1st July 2011.  If you are interested in taking part please sign up as soon as possible on the form, which is on the Eco Table. Good Luck!

Whole School Gardening

On Tuesday 21st June 2011 we also plan to do a session of whole school gardening in the afternoon (times may vary depending on class commitments). It would be advisable to bring a change of clothes and wellies, as you may get muddy. If you have gardening gloves or tools you can use they would be a good idea to. If you want to join your children in making our grounds look fantastic you would be most welcome. Contact your child’s teacher for times.

Recycling Art

I don’t want to say too much about this exciting event but if you have any recycling junk spare we would very much like it! The usual things: boxes, egg cartons, plastic bottles and lids, yogurt pots etc. Please leave your junk with Alan. Thank you!

Fancy Dress Day

Friday 1stJuly is also fancy dress day. The theme is Eco Friendly. So come on put your thinking caps on and go green, there are even Eco-prizes and certificates for the most imaginative  three!


Here is the old Eco-code if you want to use this one rather than coming up with a new version:

We all work together; we’re super cool

Yester Primary is an Eco School

We walk or cycle when it’s not too far

And try not to use the family car

We put Litter in the bins

And care for wildlife and growing things

Reduce! Reuse! Don’t throw away

Recycle for another day

We all work together; we’re a super cool

Yester Primary is an Eco school


Wetland Update

We have been very busy as you will see from the photograph below. At the end of April we went to Smeaton Nursey in East Linton and with the help of the staff we picked lots of plants to put in the wetland area. Well done Sam with your super addition we even came in slightly under budget. Early in May with the help of Alan, Mrs Bland and Mrs Sing we planted up our wetland and it is now flourishing with new Iris flowers appearing daily. A huge thank you to Smeaton Nursery for all there help and advice. Another huge thank you to all the parents who have helped and especially to Alan for all his digging, we couldn’t have done it without you! Well done everyone!

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