Thursday, 22 November 2018

Getting our hands in the soil!

This week a group of 1ºESO EP implemented a planting workshop they had prepared for the Reception class. They organised the materials and planted seeds : parsley, cat grass, pansy and other flowers. All these plants were chosen because they grow quickly and are adapted to a cold environment (winter is coming!).

Thanks to Carlota Carulla, Hugo Thackwray, Anna Rosell from 1ºESO for doing this project, and to our photogaphers Tatiana Mussons and Valentina Latorre and Hugo Thackwray

At the same time we had our IB CAS environmental team leading a gardening session on the Batx/IB roof. This week they were checking on the seeds they planted two weeks ago, and harvesting useful plants from the garden to share with the school community!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Planting on the Batx / IB roof!

Two IB1 students are running some gardening sessions with students from 2ºESO, after deciding what to plant and planning it, they have planted seeds today...

We planted corn, lettuce, carrots, flowers. We planted corn, lettuce and carrots because they
were all autumn/winter food and so that we could eat it in school as they are healthy. We also
planted flowers because we discovered that if you plant flowers with food the insects will go to
the flowers and not to the food.
Our experience was great, we had a great time planting plants. We enjoyed working in teams
with IB girls, and we learnt how to plant.
Next week we want to see if our plants have grown and if something goes wrong, for example,
they are rotten, we will take the plants out.

Monday, 29 October 2018

What can help stop climate change?

According to BBC, chip fat and other vegetable oils can help in stopping ships causing so many greenhouse gasses.

Click here for more information:

Hugo Thackwray

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Check out this information about 4ocean!

Valentina and India have produced an amazing and informative presentation about an organisation which is trying to reduce and remove plastic from the oceans. As you may know the plastic pollution problem is killing animals, damaging habitats and poisoning our water.. find out more with this series of posts about 4ocean!!!

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Environmental news this week..

Floods in Mallorca 

At least 12 people have died and a child remains missing after torrential rains ravaged Sant Llorenç and other small towns on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Two more bodies were recovered on Thursday in Artá. Rescue services said they might be a German couple who had gone missing. A five-year-old child is still unaccounted for.

Read more

In this same week the IPCC has published a report and concluded we have 12 years to make a real difference and stop the worst effects of climate change. 

Read more

It's time to act and stop climate change!

Friday, 29 June 2018

The #NoPlastic campaign will continue next year

We weren't the only ones thinking about reducing plastic use this year - it has been a hot topic. See this short, excellent video

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Last photos from the Secondary Roof Garden before summer

We are lucky enough to have an automatic watering system during the summer, and the school gardeners visit once a week to check on things. 

The seed collection project : these 3 radishes produced about 12 000 seeds!! Read more here
Here are seeds from spinach and radish plants which we'll keep for next planting season

These are the tomatoes growing from seeds we collected from students
We planted beans, peppers amongst the spinach and tomoatoes already growing here

The leftover radish and spinach plants which could be composted

French climbing beans growing from seeds brought by students. A small plant, possibly an apple tree is growing here too!

We planted chilli seeds
and here nispero seeds.. which were already sprouting in the bag

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Eco-Committe 2017/18

In the first term we came up with a list of all the projects pupils and Miss Gurney suggested for the year, here is the evaluation of that list! 

We did even more than what was on the list.. and if you look through the blog you can see the extra projects on top of these, like sharing environmental news each week, and the seed / cake exchange.


- great poster

The posters are made and laminated ready to go up all over the school in September

- blue planet clip to share with everyone

Here is the clip we watched

- yoghurt pots in the kitchen? One wednesday this term they didn't use them

We have only seen them NOT using yoghurt pots once, and kitchen staff said that it didn't work very well economically. tbc...

- sign petitions from Greenpeace

We receive newsletters from Greenpeace and shared a petition on the Change Happens blog 

- Raise awareness among parents / AMPA / teachers

We shared information on our campaign in the newsletter, but there is more work to do!

- make art from rubbish

- upcylcing workshops

We haven't done upcycling yet, but we had a great workshop from Aimee Van Vliet, a sustainability entrepreneur.

- collect rubbish from around the school to recycle it

Some students from 2ºESO took charge of this project, they made a video to show what they were doing, but sadly in the video they put the rubbish in the wrong bin so we decided not to publish it.

- offer reusable bags outside school in case people need a bag

An idea from the students that needs to be tested for viability

- talk to primary/ secondary / batx about plastic reduction

A group of 1º and 2º ESO students visited classes to share information about the #noplastic campaign

- cake sale lids pay for the cakes!

This idea developed into the seeds for cakes exchange!

- no disposable cups in the school dining room

  1. We haven't seen disposable cups in the dining room for many months! And are pleased to see paper cups in the staff room as an alternative to the plastic ones.


- experiments and make a video p.98/99 // testing air quality

The group borrowed equipment from E+S and did the experiments suggested! They didn't have time to make the video though

- campaign to reduce car use / posters about air pollution 

The group in charge of this campaign made an infographic, which was shared with 1º and 2º ESO pupils and with parents via the newsletter. They made a poster showing the steps of the campaign as we were following a strategy from E+S

- questionnaire about how people travel

As an indicator about how the campaign worked two 2ºESO pupils prepared a questionnaire and gave everyone in 1º and 2º ESO the chance to fill it in. Sadly only 8 people (6 from Environmental EP and 1 teacher) filled it in. The results showed that no one changed their behaviour as a result of our campaign.


- Eco-committee meeting


- Ecosia search engine

Miss Gurney uses it, but we never took it to a bigger level

- weather station

Still not set up due to timetabling issues

- blog thursdays

Luis Palau got this started and we will carry on next year

- insect hotel

still to investigate!

For the last three see this blog post!!
- tree guilds on the roof

Yes!! (can be improved)
- trees from seeds

Yes!! The apple trees - but they got eaten...
- grow veg on the roof


Thursday, 31 May 2018

Environmental news this week...

A surprising find to reduce methane emissions...

Feeding cows seaweed cuts 99% of greenhouse gas emissions from their burps. Now, scientists in California are hoping to help farmers meet strict new emissions targets by performing the first ever tests of seaweed feed in live dairy cows.

(From: The Independent )


We were surprised and sad to see that illegally cutting down trees is happening to a huge scale in Europe..

Romania breaks up alleged €25m illegal logging ring

Security forces launch raids linked to deforestation in the Carpathian mountains, home to some of Europe’s last virgin forest. Romania’s security forces have mounted a series of raids to break up an alleged €25m illegal logging ring, in what is believed to be the largest operation of its kind yet seen in Europe.

EP at the roof garden..

In environmental enrichment we do a variety of things to help our environment plant a variety of different seeds like: kiwi, chia seeds, avocado, tomatoes and apples. Last week a group of us went up and watered and cared for the different plants. We harvested lettuce that was already fine to eat and plucked out plants that were harming other plants. We also cut of the tops of the spinach so they could grow healthier and stronger. Another of our tasks is to make sure all the plants have water in the hot climate of Barcelona. 

Another activity we do to disconnect from our stressed minds and the internet is listen to our environment, our surroundings, so we can notice things that we never pay attention to in our daily life.

Every week, we observe how our plants are growing and we make sure they keep on doing it. We have a very pleasant time up on the roof that relaxes us all and helps us connect with nature.

 - Ainara, Katja 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Campanya de mobilitat - Escoles Sostenibles

From the Escoles + Sostenibles initiative some 1º ESO pupils - supported by the rest of Environmental Club developed a campaign to try and persuade pupils to share car journeys with other families that live nearby, and thereby reduce air pollution and increase the air quality around our school.

Here is the presentation that they developed, which they shared with 1º and 2º ESO pupils on the 15th May

Here is a poster which shows the different elements of the campaign

And look out for us in 1 month because we will be sharing a questionnaire with you all to find out and try to measure the impact of their communication campaign!

Here is a link to the questionnaire i fyou want a preview!

Monday, 14 May 2018

Environmental news this week...

The hills are alive with the signs of plastic: even Swiss mountains are polluted
The Guardian,Damian Carrington, Friday 27 April 2018

Major study finds microplastics in soil across Switzerland and scientists warn urgent research is needed into impacts on food safety as other countries may be worse affected

We also had a discussion this week about how Climate Change will affect our world and the fact that it will make water and food more scarce than it is now. Someone asked how many people currently die per day from a lack of food and water so Aiyana investigated:

"In environmental we have been learning about climate change. According to Hunger and World Poverty, about 21,000 people die globally every day from hunger or malnutrition."
Source : Hunger and World Poverty

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Environmental news this week....

Smothered by Smog,Polish Cities Rank Among Europe’s Dirtiest

Burning coal is a part of daily life in Poland. As a result the country has some of the most polluted air in the European Union, and 33 of its 50 dirtiest cities. Not even the top of the mountain are free of pollution.

America Before Earth Day: Smog and Disasters Spurred the Laws Trump Wants to Undo
By Livia Albeck-Ripka and Kendra Pierre-Louis, April 21, 2018

Just before the day that we honour our earth you can see how much air pollution is created.

Do you think this is only a problem in Poland and USA, or is it a problem for us here in Barcelona too?

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Why is it so cold?

Many people have been asking this question as the cold weather continues and it seems like winter will never end.

The articles we found both suggest that, rather worryingly, climate systems on our planet are shifting

The cold air from the Arctic is expanding through out the world. While the Arctic gets warmer, the rest of the world gets colder and winter lasts much more time than normal past winters. Furthermore there have been several cold waves after winter and that has been keeping the world in a colder temperature during the last months.

Read more here

The Atlantic Ocean heating system is very weak and the shift in ocean currents could lead to cooling. This climatic change is part of the Earth's response to changes, mostly in the last 150 years, such as sea ice melting.

Read more here

More Enviro news..

World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden | Environment | The Guardian

Read about it here

They will electrify the road in sections, so the road only gives power while the car is driving over that section.. but we wonder where the electricity will come from?


And we saw this rather disturbing news about plastic pollution in Brazilian villages

A woman in Brazil once saw his neighbor’s dead body floating in the river because of the plastic pollution. She began to collect used water bottles and gave them to the litter collector.

Read more about the Brazilian villagers turning plastic pollution into profit

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Environmental News this week

Scientists suggest a giant sunshade in the sky could solve global warming

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: the creation, using balloons or jets, of a manmade atmospheric sunshade to shield the most vulnerable countries in the global south against the worst effects of global warming.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ideas for Environmental Action in 2018


- great poster
- blue planet clip to share with everyone
- yoghurt pots in the kitchen? One wednesday this term they didn't use them
- sign petitions from Greenpeace
- Raise awareness among parents / AMPA / teachers
- make art from rubbish
- upcylcing workshops
- collect rubbish from around the school to recycle it
- offer reusable bags outside school in case people need a bag
- talk to primary/ secondary / batx about plastic reduction
- cake sale lids pay for the cakes!
- no disposable cups in the school dining room


- experiments and make a video p.98/99
- questionnare about how people travel
- testing air quality
- campaign to reduce car use
- posters about air pollution


- Eco-committee meeting
- Ecosia search engine
- weather station
- blog thursdays
- insect hotel
- tree guilds on the roof
- trees from seeds
- grow veg on the roof

We collected lots of seeds!!

The students from 1º and 2º ESO Enviornmental Club hosted the "Exchange Seeds for Cakes" event on Thursday afternoon and it was a very busy half hour of exchange. Thank you so much to everyone who made a cake - which was the real key to making the event a success!
We received a wide range of seeds which you can see in the photo and many people collected them from home. We wonder if the large number of apple seeds was related to the fact that apple was served at lunch... and there was a surprising number of papaya seeds. (Thanks to Hector!),
At gardening club, Wednesdays 11:00 - 11:30, we will start organising and planting the seeds collected and will see what grows during Spring!
f you have collected seeds but forgot to bring them in on Thursday you can leave them for Miss Gurney in the ESO staff room!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Environmental news this week..

Babcock Ranch aims to be America's greenest city.

On a 17,000-acre land about 15 miles northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, a community that wants to be the nation’s greenest city. With more than 340,000 solar panels in place, Babcock Ranch aims to be the first town in the U.S. powered solely by solar energy. Residents will live in energy-efficient homes and use self-driving electric shuttles to get around.
There are other smaller-scale sustainable development in the U.S. But experts agree that Babcock Ranch is the first large-scale community to be powered by renewable energy in the U.S.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

More ideas for collecting seeds and plants to grow...

You can plant garlic straight into the ground!

Garlic is difficult to grow specially because its small time between years. You can only grow it in mid-autumn and beginnings of spring. When it is time to grow you need to place only the big pieces. Because the small ones only take a lot of space and at the end the bulbs is small. So if you bring us some garlic teeth to plant we will give you some cake!

and potatoes!!

Place 3 or for 4 of the potatoes on the soil. Cover them with compost (about 2 inches of compost). Water them. As they grow place some more compost over, covering them. We can plant a potato straight into the ground.. that's an easy way to get some cake!

But the potatoes and garlic must be ORGANIC or they may have been sprayed with chemicals that stop them growing!

And here is a list of loads and loads of different vegetables and fruit you might want to investigate...

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Environmental news this week....

Netherlands opens world's first plastic-free supermarket aisle as UK urged to follow example.

The world's first plastic-free supermarket has been unveiled in Amsterdam. Campaigners call on more places to do this. More than 700 products will be available without plastic packaging, in the supermarket Ekoplaza in Amsterdam. It will have products such as meat, rice, sauces, dairy products, chocolate, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet came up with the idea.


Collecting seeds to exchange for cakes! 3 ideas...

ALL SEEDS MUST BE FROM ORGANIC PLANTS!! Plants which are not grown organically are sometimes sprayed with chemicals to stop them growing before we buy them from the supermarket, so we only want ORGANIC to make our project work!!


Onions... We can grow more onions from the bottom of the onions you use in cooking! Just keep them in a dry place and bring us a few in exchange for a cake!!


Apple/Orange/Lemon/Mandarin/Pumpkin/Pepper/Tomato and many more..

1. Collect the seeds from the fruit or veg

2. Spread the seeds out on a paper-lined tray or plate
3. Leave them in a dry place for a few days, (1 week better!!).
4. Store the dry seeds in a labeled envelope or dry glass jar in a cool, dry location
away from light.

Most fruit seeds remain viable for at least one year.


Harvest Strawberry Seeds

To harvest strawberry seeds from their fruits, place four or five berries and 1 quart of water in the pitcher of a blender. After covering the blender, run it on its lowest setting for 10 seconds. Discard any seeds that float to the surface, as they won't be viable, and pour the mixture of water and strawberry pulp through a strainer that has mesh that's fine enough to retain the seeds. Hold the strainer over a sink or place a container beneath it to catch the watery pulp. When the seeds are completely drained, spread them on paper towels and allow them to dry thoroughly.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Oak House's Forest School project for Reception (P4) pupils..

Over the next few weeks, Reception will be returning to the local woodlands as part of our Forest School programme. The forest is an extension of our school environment and we consider it to be a wonderful outdoor classroom. We use this context to learn about nature and our local environment, identifying different species of trees, learning about mini beasts and observing seasonal change. Each visit we make helps the children to find their place in the world and learn more about the features of their classroom in the forest. We use storytelling and imaginative play to help our students become excited about learning in the outdoors and improve their own storytelling skills, both oral and written. Throughout the term, the children will be meeting the ´little people´; imagined friendly folk living in the forest. They will discover that the troll has accidentally knocked down their homes and being the kind, well-mannered and responsible citizens that they are at Oak House, the children will offer their assistance and expertise in building new homes for their Forest friends. All this creative thinking enables the children to learn about animal habitats, scavenge for natural materials, problem solve and learn collaboratively to build a free standing structure.
What's more, the Japanese practice of forest bathing is scientifically proven to be good for you. With this week being our focus week on Mental Health it seems more important than ever to underline how our Forest School trips also increase our pupils' well-being. In fact, being in nature can relieve stress levels and has even been recommended as part of the treatment of attention disorders in children.
So, Reception are off to the forest to pick up a rock, put a problem in it and leave it behind them. Peace at last.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Environmental news this week....

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals.

The Ocean around the Galápagos Islands has been warming since the 1970s. A new analysis of the natural temperature shows that the temperature has been rising.  "People didn't know that the Galápagos or eastern Pacific was warming. People theorized or suggested it was cooling,"said lead author Gloria Jimenez. 

Scientists thought  that a strong water stream of cold waters spared the region from the warming seen in the other parts of the Pacific.

Eating our own produce from the Batx roof!

Harvesting radishes from the Batx roof!

In Environmental Enrichment Project yesterday we harvested the radishes which were planted by some IB2 students as part of their CAS project, and took them to the kitchen where they will be made into a salad for the teachers! 

Thanks to Valeria, Marina, Gabriela and Lola from 2º ESO for taking them to kitchen. 

We are giving everyone in Secondary the chance to join our Eco Projects at a meeting on Wednesday 28th February - Everyone is welcome to come along!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Exhibition related to Climate Change at the CCCB in Barcelona....

During Challenge week the students visited this exhibition at the CCCB related to Climate Change. The exhibition continues until the 29th April so you have time if you want to go!
 Thanks to Abril and Gabriela for sharing their reflections on the exhibition:

Que nos ha gustado mas?

A mi me ha gustado muchas cosas, pero lo que más me ha interesado ha sido una actividad que ha consistido en ver un documental que trataba sobre cómo el cambio climático afectaría a los humanos o animales y que animales sobrevivirán y que no, en el cambio climático.

A mi me ha gustado toda la exposición, pero si tuviese que eligir algo que me ha impactado más seria la habitación del futuroEsta habitación consiste en cómo tendría que vivir un humano en el futuro y el escenario es, bueno... un poco inquietante. Tendríamos que vivir rodeados de plantas ya que será la única alimentación que tendremos (además de que tendríamos que cultivarlas nosotros mismos)

1) Intentaré aprovechar toda la luz posible durante el día para no gastar electricidad. Esto ayudará al calentamiento global.
2) Intentaré acordarme de apagar todos los electrodomésticos cuando no los este utilizando.
1) Intentaré ir por las mañanas al cole en transporte público y esto la haré despertándome más  pronto. Esto ayudará a la contaminación del aire .
2) Comeré todo lo que me pongan en el plato ya que esto ayudará al malgasto de alimentos 

Measuring the Air Quality around our school

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Environmental News this week....

So killer whales can talk. Welcome to a brave new world of cross-species chat!!

Researchers have managed to teach killer wales to say simple things!!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Happy 2018 - Here's a great film we saw!

Dr Seuss : The Lorax - 

from the creators of Despicable Me

In the walled city of Thneed-Ville, where everything is artificial and even the air is a commodity, a boy named Ted hopes to win the heart of his dream girl, Audrey. When he learns of her wish to see a real tree, Ted seeks out the Once-ler, a ruined old businessman outside of town in a stark wasteland. Upon hearing of how the hermit gave into his greed for profits and devastated the land over the protests of the Lorax, Ted is inspired to undo the disaster. However, the greedy Mayor of Thneed-Ville, Aloysius O'Hare, has made his fortune exploiting the environmental collapse and is determined to stop the boy from undermining his business.

WATCH THE FILM!! Would you like us to arrange a screening here at school?

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. - Dr. Seuss

Our thoughts :

When you see a film like this you think, well that's obviously ridiculous compared to real life. We would never cut down the last tree, or murder people who are trying to protect the trees. But then we saw in the International news this week that in South America (the continent with the highest percentage of forest cover) someone from a local community who was opposing clearing of a natural reserve was tortured and killed. Should things like that still happen in our world?