Merrifield Eco work

In 2019 Merrifield received the Platinum Year 4 Eco Schools certificate, recognising the five Eco Schools themes and a Diamond Decade in eco awareness, having participated in the Wessa Eco Schools programme for 10 years. We thank each and every Merrifielder past and present, every parent and every staff member who has helped grow our consciousness of our planet here at school. – Chay Bachar, teacher-in-charge

Junior Eco Club

Junior Eco Club have had a busy year.  We meet once a week and focus on the school environment.   The children enjoyed learning about some of the plants and trees on our campus.  They enjoyed a walk and muffin munch together while we explored the Merrifield campus.

They planted mini gardens and learnt how to care for their plants.  They enjoyed making grass heads together.

They played lots of games, went on treasure hunts and nature hunts while learning about taking care of their environment.  They also worked very hard to reduce the litter at school and learnt how to recycle and made things together out of recycled goods. – Kirsty Richards, teacher-in-charge

Grade 6 and 7 Eco Club

“Being in Eco Club makes me feel like I am really doing something to help the world, even if it is small. It’s like a family.” – Grace Rance

“I love that we all share a strong passion and love for the environment. Eco Club brings us all together. It is such an inspiring opportunity to be a part of.” – Sahana Phillips

“I love being a part of a group that shares the same interests. I also love that we can encourage each other to be more Eco friendly – ” Kelly Sparg

We have had so much fun this year! Our goals are always to make a difference not only in our school, but also in the wider community. We have continued to focus on learning through action on issues such as: reducing waste, Climate Change, animals in need and the connection between and the planet.

Some of the interesting things we did this year included visiting Pet Pals to share love with the animals; having guest speakers about Rhino poaching and Eco Bricking and making crafts out of recyclable material. We also brainstormed and implemented the introduction of a ‘no balloon challenge’ on campus which the Club introduced at a Prep assembly.

Two big projects we are really proud of are the building of our Eco Brick bench and our Climate Change Challenge for Arbor month. – Mrs Chay Bachar, teacher-in-charge

College Enviro Club Report

This year has seen many successes on the global environmental front. Yes, we are still in a dire position and we still worry about the future of the world but at least an unprecedented number of people are responding positively and trying to make a difference. People are changing their lifestyles and eschewing single-use plastics and contributing towards reducing waste in general.

At Merrifield this awareness has been proven by the highest number of pupils ever joining the Enviro Club. At times our biggest problem was securing transport for all the keen students. What a privileged position to be in!

We undertook an array of different projects again this year and the students tackled each with vigour and commitment. Some afternoons were spent at the Nahoon Estuary picking up litter or cutting back alien vegetation. The same efforts extended to the following beaches: Nahoon, Bonza Bay and Gonubie.

During the second term we spent many afternoons trying to manage the horrendous infestation of Water Hyacinth on the Nahoon River near Abbotford weir. The tireless efforts of our young eco warriors saw piles of Hyacinth being removed and Mrs Wetmore even forged a link with Rhodes University to institute biological control. We look forward to see this project develop as we grow the bugs at Merrifield and release them at the right time.

Not all was hard work, though, and we visited Supreme Mouldings to see how they turn polystyrene into useful household items, such as picture frames, to prevent it from landing up in our river systems and ultimately our oceans. The process was fascinating and it was rewarding to learn that even polystyrene can be reused. We also visited Lilyfontein School to share ideas and look at how they run their recycling. It was amazing to see how the whole Lilyfontein community has taken on their environmental responsibility with passion.

The debates around the closing of the East London Zoo has also provided an opportunity for the pupils to get involved and to spend time researching and sharing their findings with their peers.

2019 was a very successful year for the club and we thank all the pupils for their tireless commitment and happy efforts to making our environment a better, healthier place. – Gerald White and Pauline Wetmore, teachers-in-charge