Farr School Wins Total Green Award AGAIN!
Following their success last year with their Tree project Farr school pupils were delighted to receive word that their River Nairn project has made them Regional Winners of the Total Green Award for a second year running. Peter Littlewood Director of The Young People's Trust for the Environment commented, “Your entry was considered to be of such a high standard, the judges have agreed to award it a bonus prize. You will be receiving £750 for the school funds, instead of the £500 usually available for a Regional Winner. This is the first time ever such an award has been made and reflects the very high standard you achieved.”
Together with Mrs Scott, who has long played a vital role in environmental project work as a parent, member of staff and, latterly, as a community volunteer, and Mrs Lamont, the previous head teacher, pupils explored the River Nairn between September and December from source to estuary finding out about its importance to wildlife and people. Thanks to Mr Braithwaite Eckersly of Aberarder Estates and drivers Mr Boyle, Mr Kyle and Mr Nairn they were able to reach the slopes of Carn Gregor where the Allt Mor joins with other tributaries to begin the Nairn's journey to the Moray Firth. Later they travelled downstream visiting many of the bridges on the way to Nairn Harbour to measure the width and depth of the river and observe changes in landscape and land use while using maps most proficiently.
Investigating aspects of water’s importance in the past and present they enjoyed learning about irrigation, food production, shipping, canals and steam engines. A visit from Mr Henderson, science teacher from Inverness Royal Academy also led to learning about harnessing water through steam and hydro power to generate renewable electricity.
Finding out about the importance of clean drinking water and the safe disposal of waste water led to the setting up of an enterprise to raise money for the charity Water Aid. Soap and other water related products were made and sold to raise £200 to provide clean water and sanitation in poorer regions of the world.
Finally, the pupils translated the story of the River Nairn into a dance using Scottish Country Dance formations, steps and music with advice from YMI Traditional Music tutors.
Today at the school the success was the talk of the playground.
Calum McDermott declared, “I really enjoyed going up the hill road to find the source of the Nairn. Now we know about tributaries, watershed, confluence and many other things which will help us in Geography classes at the Academy. ”
“I liked going to all the bridges on the way to the estuary and doing the measuring with Mrs Scott,” Ross McNicol reported.
Joss Cudmore commented, “It was great fun watching the men going in the water to find out about the other creatures who shared the river with the salmon. The children kept well away from the water and the creatures were safely returned to the river afterwards.”
“I learned how to organise the enterprise, to understand things like profit, income, float , expenditure and to make and sell the products,” explained Calum MacDonald.
Mrs Fraser, Farr headteacher added, “This was a fantastic experience for the children who were eager to tell me all about it.”