Biodiversity: McLaren High School

Pupils at McLaren High School took part in several projects to improve Biodiversity in their school grounds, including Polli:nation with Grounds For Learning which aims to increase numbers of pollinators. Working together, pupils have transformed their grounds into a fantastic space for outdoor learning.

McLaren High School is located in a rural location and pupils thought it was very important to look after their surroundings as they are such a prominent part of daily life at the school. 

Some pupils with a keen interest in Science decided to form the Eco-Committee with the help of a group of staff. The Biodiversity topic linked into S1 biodiversity and S3 biology courses and the Eco-Committee felt they could expand on these with opportunities for outdoor learning to take place. 

The pupils felt the school garden needed to become a bigger focus and made this one of their priorities, turning it into a fantastic outdoor learning space for the whole school to benefit from. Pupils worked together to make bug hotels for our school garden, learned how to grow tomato plants, and enjoyed a visit from ZooLab, learning about different types of animals. 

Pupils tracked progress in a variety different ways, taking lots of before and after pictures as they transformed the school garden area, and taking part in Polli:nation with Grounds for Learning. Polli:nation is a Heritage Lottery funded biodiversity and education project to encourage pollinators.

The initial survey of the school ground was completed in June 2016 to count the number of pollinators and the survey will be carried out again in 2017 to see if results have changed. A Development Officer from Grounds for Learning has provided support to pupils and will visit again to redo the survey. The number of pupils involved in the Eco-Committee also increased, from a small group of 3 pupils to more than 10 involved on a regular basis. To start with there was only one member of staff involved but this has also now increased to 5.

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