Dagenham primary becomes eco school

Green-fingered pupils will witness one of the biggest community projects at their primary in years when it is transformed into an eco school next month.

Eighty Dagenham workers will descend on Beam County School in Oval Road North, Dagenham, to unveil a wildlife pond, greenhouses, raised beds, and a camp fire on September 3.

They will be joined by park rangers and parents as they install bird and bat boxes, a Second World War replica shelter and an obstacle cycle track for the children in an area that was previously overgrown.

The project will help to raise awareness of the environment and healthy eating among the 500 or so pupils and their parents.

Year six teacher Adam Dutoit said: “The school recognises that it has collective responsibility to care and provide for the children and the community.

“We therefore have decided to use becoming an eco school as a vehicle to achieve our target.”

Staff at Ford Dunton technical centre in Essex spent weeks giving the school advice and preparing the ground for the works, set to be completed in two days.

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They assisted with excavation works overseen by Barking and Dagenham Council and will provide their manpower free of charge next month.

Park rangers were also brought in to check that the works would not have a negative impact on the wildlife such as newts.

Parents will be encouraged to become part of the project by growing vegetables at the school and then selling them as part of a not-for-profit initiative.

Parent support adviser Diana Huskie, 57, said: “Computers are great but it’s good for children to be outdoors and give them hands-on experience.

“It’s making children aware of the wildlife and how important it is to preserve it.

“It’s very important for the parents to get involved in school.”