Students connect with nature to get a greater sense of the school grounds.
College Watch is one of Thornton’s newest co-curricular clubs open to every student in the school. Its aim is to encourage children to form a greater connection with nature by exploring Thornton’s diverse landscape and finding out about the wild flowers, trees, insects and birds within our grounds.
Each week, Mr Matanda presents a new challenge to do with the great outdoors. The ongoing programme of activities includes site mapping, biodiversity studies, soil experiments, ‘tree-gonometry’ and a conservation project.
Already this term, students have measured the height and circumference of some of Thornton’s oldest trees using nothing more than their thumb and a piece of string and they’ve identified different leaves and fruits from trees in the school grounds.
Over the course of the year, students will log data as they progress and maintain a proper record of the grounds. The ultimate objectives are to establish an environmental monitoring database for future Thorntonians and to set up a conservation project – hopefully by the beginning of Trinity term 2017.
Participants also have the option of gaining recognition by The John Muir Award. This environmental award scheme focuses on wild places and encourages an understanding and responsibility for wild places and promotes personal development through outdoor experiences.