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Whinless Down Academy

Whinless Down Academy

Our Blog

Here you will find a blog of our activities.  Check back here often to find out what we've been doing to help our planet!

Eco defenders blog graphic

Spring 2024 Update

We know that at home our families recycle plastic every fortnight using our blue lidded bins. However, not all plastics can be recycled by Kent Country Council and we would like to help!

Our Eco Defenders have researched on the KCC website to see what plastics can be recycled and which ones can’t be recycled at kerbside:


We found out that our local Co-op recycle soft plastics and we have decided to collect our waste to deliver to them. Please bring in your soft plastics that can't be recycled at home so that we can take them to be recycled! Please see our flier to find out more details about the soft plastics we will recycle for you at school.


Growing Our Own Food

As Spring arrives, we are getting ready to start to grow our own vegetables. We are starting with potatoes, broad beans and carrots- which just happen to be Vale View's guinea-pigs favourites! We have registered with Better Planet Schools and will be learning all about Eco systems and biodiversity.


Autumn 2023 Update

eco defenders

Our new Eco Defenders, the head advocates from each school, met on 19th October for their first meeting of the year. They met to talk about how we continue with our Trust focus on making the schools greener and more environmentally friendly. They took away a number of research actions and will be thrilled to give more information on what they find in future newsletters and via this blog. 


Summer 2023 - Plastics Update

Recycling logo eco bottle

During the past few months, our Academy Trust have been working on different projects in order to help the planet, and the schools, become an Eco-friendly place. One of our first tasks in order to achieve this, is to decrease the use of single-use plastic bottles. So far, our attempt has been successful and new year R children will receive the bottle when they join and the bottles are available to buy from each school office. 

Quotes from children in our Academy schools:

I like the new bottles. We have them so that we can stop using single-use plastic.

I like the water bottles. At home, I have made some signs for the bins to help my family sort the rubbish!

If we don't stop using single-use plastics, then there will be more pollution and radiation, so the ice caps will melt.

 Others tasks for the future:

  • Reduce food waste - how do we collect information about food waste?
  • Glue sticks-how can we stop so many being used?
  • Battery recycling

Spring 2023 Update

We have had another busy season saving the planet one day at a time!

In our journey to reduce single-use plastic bottles in school, we have managed to successfully reduce bottles used by children at lunchtime, especially in KS2. We are now turning our efforts to the staff.

One school noted that only 0.7% of pupils used single-use plastic bottles compared to 12% of staff.

Look out for more reminders in school newsletters about single-use plastic bottles. We will continue the count at lunchtimes, hoping to reach zero single-use plastic bottles in school.

Our Responsible Racoons and Rabbits have done a great job of promoting ways to be energy conscious. A governor for Vale View and St Martin’s was impressed by our efforts to save electricity and was pleased to note that the lights were being regularly turned off in the classroom during her monitoring visit. We will soon be announcing the winner of the Energy Conscious Poster Promotion!

This term has also seen the Great British Spring Clean project to Keep Britain Tidy. Each school has worked in conjunction with McDonalds to go on a litter picking expedition in our local area. Over 10 bin bags of rubbish were collected in 2 hours!

Winter 22/23 Update - From Priory Fields


Almost immediately, our Eco-Responsible Raccoons have sprung into action!  This young man has been busy making friendly reminders for classes to turn off electrical items when not in use!

Our Eco-Responsible Raccoons have now been appointed for each class and have received their official badges!  They are looking forward to making our school more eco-friendly!


We are appointing Eco-Responsible Raccoons to ensure busy teachers and classes have turned off electrical items when they aren't in class and will be supporting them when they haven't.

Photo of PFS HB HG with badges

We will be returning unclaimed printing to their classes and are currently thinking of ways to reduce our paper usage. Updates to follow!

Photos of printing distribution    Photo of girl with printing

Autumn Update

We started this academic year by welcoming our newly appointed Head Boys and Girls across the Academy as our new Eco-Defenders Team.

After reviewing our pledge, we promised to revisit our key messages in school about single use plastic bottles and agreed to hold an assembly in our individual schools. As well as this, we have spread our message on school newsletters and with flyers for parents and staff members.

Our next project will focus on being ‘Energy Conscious’ to protect our planet.

Each school will hold a competition for the best advertising poster that encourages everyone to take steps to conserve energy. The best ones from each school will be judged at the next Eco-Defenders meeting and the final winning poster will be used across the Trust.

We are also looking forward to receiving our new badges next term.

Spring Update

Our Eco-defenders have met several times now and we have seen some good steps towards our mission goal.

Now that we have reduced the use of single-use plastic bottles in the classroom – thanks to our new school plastic bottles- we have tried to stop them being used at lunchtime. We now offer orange and blackcurrant squash, water and sometimes milk, so children don’t need to bring fruit shoots in their packed lunch.

We will be holding a competition to see which of our Academy Schools can become the first to state they have zero single-use plastic bottles.

Each school will update their newsletter with graphs showing progress towards this goal.

We have also investigated the amount of food waste we are creating at school and are hoping to see a big reduction with our change in menu. Watch this space for more news.

Here is our flyer about the water bottles:

Plastics flyer


Thursday 3rd February - First Meeting

Our new Eco-Defender Team have had their first meeting.  We decided our mission is to:

Eliminate single use plastic; more on this soon!
Reduce our energy consumption
Reduce waste and recycle more

Action: a plastic bottle recycling bin has been installed in the dining hall!

Look out for our next bulletin!