Being environmentally friendly is something that is especially important to many of the students and staff at Portfield School. One class with a particular passion for the environment is our ‘Sandbanks’ class.

Anita, who teaches the class, says “In Sandbanks we are very conscious about the environment. We are trying to teach the students ways of protecting our natural environment, the fundamentals of ecology, and the benefits of recycling and upcycling materials. My hope is that in the future the students will become conscious citizens within the community and will be more inclined to look after our Earth.”

Each term the class have decided to make something new and purposeful out of materials which are being thrown away. So far, they have made wind chimes from old tins and made garden planters from car tyres and large plastic bottles.

Anita continued “After noticing that many of the food products used by the school kitchen were sent to us in tins, I asked the team if they could keep hold of them after use, so that our class could create something from them. The collection started in September, and by December we had collected enough materials to start our newest and biggest project.”

The team in Sandbanks class decided it would be exciting to construct a ‘tin man’ from the collected tins, which could be positioned on site at Portfield School for everyone to see. Together with the students the team began building the tin man. They used different sized food tins for his body, arms, and legs, and then for his head they used an old bathroom cabinet which had been found in a skip. Hundreds of holes were drilled into the tins, before threading wire through them to connect everything together. Once the tin man was almost ready to be installed in its chosen place, Sandbanks launched a naming competition for each class to take part in. The winning name – Snodgrass – came from the staff and students in ‘Branksome’ class and they named him after the American tennis player, who shares a similar hairstyle with the tin man!

Snodgrass has been installed and now sits proudly atop of the hill at the entrance of Portfield School, livening up the empty space and becoming the topic of conversation!

A huge thank you to all the students and staff involved, and a special thanks to Maria for leading on the project.

Autism Wessex is registered in England & Wales under charity number 1000792 at Charity Hub, Portfield School, Parley Lane, Christchurch, BH23 6BP. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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