7K for 7 Flags Challenge

A blog post by Alex Howie

Alex Howie
Deputy Head Teacher at Dalbeattie Primary School

Posted 18/06/2021

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Eco-Schools is the largest sustainable schools programme in the world with 19.5 million children, young people and educators engaged worldwide in 67 different countries. Completing an Eco-Schools Application is recognised by the Green Flag Award - a visible indication of commitment to Learning for Sustainability and an internationally recognised accreditation for excellence in sustainable education. Here Alex Howie describes how Dalbeattie Primary School celebrated their seventh Green Flag Award.

Dalbeattie Primary  was recently awarded its seventh green Eco Schools flag in February 2021. Due to COVID 19 restrictions in school, we could not organise a gathering for a big celebratory event like we did for our 6th flag. We had to think of something different. So, to mark the achievement, a 7K for 7 Flags Eco Challenge was devised and its launch was covered by the Galloway News several weeks ago.

The challenge was created as a fitting event because it offered an activity for the Easter holidays, when travel was still restricted AND it made good use of the wonderful  resource we have on our doorstep which is our town wood. Moreover, the route partly used the 7 Stanes Bike Trails: 7 was the theme of the challenge! The route started at our old Primary School, on Southwick Road, opposite the entrance to Spycraig Wood. This was where we were awarded our first ever green flag. Along the route there were 7 questions to answer: one for every 1K of the walk. Every challenge question linked to the theme of 7. Because Eco Schools work draws upon all curricular areas, so too did our questions for the trail. The questions also spanned all Curricular for  Excellence levels, so parents had to help with younger children. This was very much a family event! And there was no excuse for not learning the 7 times table during the route! Many of our children took the opportunity of taking part in the challenge and shared their photos with us. Thank you to all.  

We were also pleased to have community partners for the event. Dalbeattie Rotary Club kindly donated prizes for the photography competition part of the event. They also did the judging. The optional photograph entry could be anything which linked somehow to the theme of 7 and be taken somewhere along the 7K route. Props were also allowed. We are now pleased to announce the winners of the photograph competition.  In first place was the photo of a ‘Tree Shaped as 7,’ which was taken by Jack and Sam Little. Second place went to the photo of ‘Six Arms and a Branch Making the Number 7’ from Elise and Jasmine Wixon and Olivia and Jessica Boynton. Third place went to Rio Parker-Smith for his photo ‘Seven Wonders of The World Taken at 7 Stanes.’    Recently in school, we were delighted to have Rotary Club president Frank Williamson together with fellow member Fraser Sanderson to present the certificates and prizes.

There was also one small token award available for one of the answers to the 7K questions which families were asked to submit by email; a prize was given for the longest word made from all the combined letters (35 in total) of Kippford, Colvend, Dalbeattie, Dalbeattie (repeated) as they appeared on woodland signpost number 14. The longest word which entrants came up with was Electropotential -16 letters which came from Rio Parker Smith. Close behind this were ‘Overapplication’ -15 letters from Sam and Jack Little and ‘Radioactivation’- 15 letters from Lexie Anderson. Not far behind was ‘antibacterial’ by Katie and Samuel Dickie which could not get the prize for longest word but did earn a bonus extra prize for being quite topical! Last week in school, all the participants were also presented with a certificate for taking part and received a chocolate treat. The treat is a Fairtrade chocolate bar which helps to promote awareness of another cause very important to Dalbeattie Primary.

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