International Schools CyberFair 99
Project Narrative

Information About Our Site
Think Global, Act Local

  1. Link to our CyberFair 99 Entry


    Link to our School Home Page


    Date of Project: 24th March, 1999
    School: Burley Middle School
    District: West Yorkshire
    City: Bradford, England

  2. Teachers or Classes: Mrs Barnett, Classes 8B, 8M, 8S
  3. How many students worked on this project? approximately 70
  4. Their ages were: 12-13
  5. Project Contact Email: school@burleyms.demon.co.uk


Project Overview

  1. We entered our Web site in CyberFair Category:
    Environmental awareness

  2. Description of "Our Community"
  3. Our village is situated in a rural area not far from the Yorkshire Dales and our cyberfair web site started as a project about our school and village. However once we started receiving replies to a form about recycling we put up on our web site from established links in other countries, and many new friends - and once we also got involved with a triangular scheme with a Japanese and Singaporean school our "community" expanded. It has involved pupils from many countries as well as most of the pupils from our school and other people from our community, especially those involved in our recycling campaign. We really appreciate all the help we have had - and value the new friendships we have made.

  4. Summary of Our Project
    Our Cyberfair project is about making people understand and be aware of how we ALL can help our environment - in our everyday life at home and at school. It has helped us be more aware of how we can avoid wasting resources and polluting our future. We now need to start to looking to see who are major polluters in the U.K. and do more research on which companies use recycled products in their packaging etc. This project should only be a beginning. It was designed to make us more aware.

  5. Our Internet Access
    We had an ISDN access with a Local Area Network of five computers up until the beginning of March this year. We have just earnt enough money to have another 5 computers connected up to the network. This was too late to help us with this project, but it will mean that more children will be able to be involved in the Peer Review process, which will be great!

  6. Problems We Had To Overcome
    This project was put up onto web pages in dedicated I.C.T lessons. The fact that we only have one a week coupled with our I.C.T. setup, did prove quite a hairy juggling act at times and could have caused us problems, but we overcame them
    We now have a dedicated I.C.T. area in school, though it is a bit crowded at times - and is a walkthrough area, but our machines are on two networks: 10 faster machines (one of which also has to act as the server) on one network and 5 older, slower machines on the other. Web authoring can only be done on the faster machines. Accessing the web could only be done on 5 of the machines. The children had to keep a careful note of written work and pictures done on the network of slower machines ready to transfer onto the other network and copy and paste into applications.
    We also found that when children were using web authoring software, or worse still going on to the Internet, on the machine acting as server it slowed up the other machines, and very often crashed, which meant that all the children got very frustrated. None of them could save work or access other files or pictures - and with just one lesson a week time is precious. The solution was NOT to use the server, which lost us a valuable work station, but was better in the end. Groups 8B and 8M are between 26 and 28 strong - you see the problem.
    The students, in their groups, had to be well organised and make sure that they brought all the research, ideas etc. to the lesson ready to get on. They had to be tolerant when it was another groups turn to be using the faster machines, and have planned what could be done on the slower machines. They did of course have other I.T.. work to get on with too.
    Timing has proved tight, and we haven't taken the project as far as we would have liked, but ALL the children have been involved, have worked well together and shown respect for the work of others in different classes.
  7. Our Project Sound Bite
    Working to a deadline to complete their own section of our project has focused the children, made the them work collaboratively and take responsibility for not letting down all the other groups by being late in completing their web pages. Getting feedback from schools in other parts of the world has really made them feel part of the global community, has brought it home to them that their work is actually being viewed by others and made them eager to continue participating in the debate.


Project Elements

This section explains how your project addressed the project elements found in the CyberFair Assignment to Schools.

1) How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?
Our web project really brought together under one umbrella what we do in various areas of the curriculum with what we do in conjunction with parents and friends of our school on our regular Recycling Saturdays.


2) What information tools and technologies did you use to complete your CyberFair project?


3) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

By giving up their time on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings once every month to gather together all the recyclable items in the village the children of Burley Middle School have long been good ambassadors of their school to their community. With some of the money raised being used within the village there is a lasting bond and tangible reminders of that bond. Want to go straight to that part of the web site for a more detailed view of what we do? Click here.

While putting together this web project the children drew the attention of local councilors to their concern over what will happen to recycling collections once the school is closed due to reorganisation, and also their thoughts about the inadequate facilities for dog owners and of the people who would like to lessen the amount of litter in the village. Some were most helpful and supportive of the work, and are looking forward to viewing the site on the web!

By taking part in village initiatives e.g. Burley's Clean Up Day and the planting of daffodils in many of the open areas the children have also been extremely good ambassadors of their school.

Sam and Claire's questionnaire about recycling on the school web site brought us many email responses, some people adding further details to help us get a picture of the conditions in their neighbourhood. For example, a student at the University of Southern Queensland called Andrea Kelley, answered our questionnaire and said that she used to live in Otley (a town very near us) and would be happy to give further, so Andrew P. replied to her and she sent us LOADS! Enough for a whole web page! Thanks Andrea!

The group of children who worked (early in the morning!) live with Singapore and Japan were certainly very good ambassadors for the school as were all those who contributed to the Earth Club pages.


4) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

As a part of our recycling campaign within the village, every four weeks we run a collection, which relies on members of the village community putting their paper, foil and cans, old clothes and stamps out at collection points along their street so we in turn can collect it to be recycled. The money from this goes to lots of worthy causes.

Although our web site has not been up long enough yet to make an impact on our village our recycling campaign HAS, and many of the villagers are concerned that it may have to stop soon. The chronicling of that campaign will let them see how we value all the help and support many of them have given to our "Recycling Saturdays", will also inform them of some of the good causes the money raised has gone to and will bring back some happy memories of some of the special collections and some of the awards we have been presented with. We hope that when Ilkley Council views our web site (we are reminding them about it through a letter once everything is up on March 31st) it will spur them in to action to carry on this sort of community action once our school has closed.

At Christmas, through posters we produced, we also drew the village and school's attention to the various schemes for recycling their Christmas trees and cards. Through our selling of the "recycled" crackers that we had made we made people at the fair aware of the Secret Santa campaign in Bradford.

Our recycling campaign within school has made the pupils more responsible - and even made some teachers "feel guilty" if, at home or school, they inadvertently throw something in the rubbish which COULD have been recycled! Within the lunch hour, people who bring a packed lunch have begun to recycle the foil, cans, and plastic containers from their boxes. We've all become more aware of the need for us to save energy, replace what we've used and we've all learnt that there are lots of different ways in which we can do this as well as recycling.

Through just one page on our school web site, and from correspondence generated by them answering our on-line recycling questionnaire people around the world have learnt about what we do in our community to help save the environment. We have had lots of encouragement through e-mails and letters from various different countries and many people realize that destroying the earth is a growing problem.

Our exchanges of information with other schools, particularly Emerald Primary School in Australia, Kosei Elementary in Nagoya, Japan and C.H.I.J. Kellock in Singapore have made us all think long and hard - and provoked much interaction.


5) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

As we have said above, the Recycling Saturdays have involved many hundreds of pupils, parents and friends of the school over the years and to all of them we would like to say a great big thank you!

Mrs. Wood should be thanked in particular. She is always in school on the Friday before, bundling up the leaflets (which she has produced) which remind the village to leave out their paper etc. so that we can deliver them in the evening. She has been one of the driving forces since the beginning, and through her connection with Christian Aid has directed much of the money raised to worthy causes. Through her efforts we have also got much of our publicity (e.g. Country File programme on the BBC some years ago, when we won the Big Green Award).

Mrs Wood
Mr Hollway, the Jolly Green Santa!

Mr Hollway (Deputy Head), Mrs Moffat (teacher) and our past and present head teachers Mrs Rowe and Mr McIntosh are also ALWAYS there ready to duty in the skip or on transport, as are some other teachers, though not on such a regular basis.

 

Pictured left is Mr Hollway, on one of our Christmas Recycling Saturdays.
Our teacher Mr Womersley also gave us some technical help, particularly with the CGI script on our forms.

All the schools and individuals who answered our questionnaires deserve a BIG thank you. Also Japan's NHK Broadcasting Company for inviting us to work on the Earth Club, for linking us up with Singapore and Japan that morning, and the pupils of C.H.I.J. Kellock and Kosei Elementary for sharing their thoughts and pictures about recycling via the Earth Club pages.

 

THANK YOU EVERYONE!