Wednesday, 08 July 2020

Fruit tree for science competition winners

Fruit tree for science competition winners

A QUINCE tree was planted at Valley Road Primary School in Henley to celebreate winning an environmental science competition.

The contest was organised by the environmental campaign group Greener Henley and member Patrick Fleming visited the school with Henley tree warden Andrew Hawkins to give pupils the tree.

Mr Hawkins spoke to the children, who are now in year 4, about photosynthesis and the different parts of a tree while Mr Fleming dug a hole for the tree near the playground, then planted it.

The pupils won the competition last year for their project encouraging people to use less plastic. They investigated the dangers posed by plastic pollution and produced a display outlining potential solutions featuring a toy turtle “trapped” in fragments of plastic.

It also explained how long some plastic items take to decay, from plastic bags, which typically take 20 years, to mineral water bottles, which can take up to 450.

Valley Road was one of six schools to enter the eighth annual competition. Teacher Lauren Nottage said the pupils enjoyed taking part and were delighted to receive the gift of the tree.

She said: “They were really excited and it reminded them of their achievement.”

Mr Fleming said: “One hopes they will use the quince. It’s a good opportunity for them to learn about growing your own fruit and sustainability. The tree will flower and be attractive for the playground.

“All the time we are trying to connect children with their environment so they treat it in a proper and appreciative way. That’s the reason for the competition as well as to encourage children to think about their environment and the effect we have on it. That’s more and more important and what we are finding is that children are starting to lead. They are starting to come to us with questions.”

Greener Henley has given fruit trees to the five other schools that took part in the competition — Sacred Heart primary, Rupert House School and St Mary’s School in Henley, Shiplake Primary School and Sonning Common Primary School.

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