Here at Buckden we always have sustainability in mind. Our School Curriculum is based the United Nations seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, we are always looking at ways in which we can make difference as individuals and as a school community. We are going to use this page to share a little of what we are doing.
Environmental Engineering project
Well done to Year 3 who entered an engineering project earlier this academic year. They were tasked with inventing an environmental product linked to travel. This linked to our sustainable development goal - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
We are so pleased to announce that all pupils received a certificate to celebrate their achievements. We also received a distinction in the category and a distinction plus shortlisting into the final for one of our pupils.
As always, we are very proud of you.
The Big Plastic Count
This week, Buckden School will take part in the Big Plastic Count. This is the UK's biggest investigation of household plastic waste. We would like everyone at Buckden School to get involved so that we can highlight how much plastic gets wasted in the UK.
Therefore, we would like you to tally all the plastics you throw away from Saturday 21st May until Friday morning 27th May. Then, send the totals in with your children Friday morning so that we can do a whole school tally. I will then upload the data so that we can measure how much plastic is wasted.
Mrs Anderson and the Eco-Committee
RSPB Wild Challenge
We have been working hard towards our RSPB Wild Challenge Bronze Award and are proud to announce that we have achieved it. We had to demonstrate how we help and learn about nature. Examples of work include: participating in the big school bird watch, completing a plant safari, ensuring we use composters and planting our school grounds in order to support and attract wildlife.
We have an Eco-Council that are looking at ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint and will keep you informed on this page.
We hope to gain the Eco-Schools award and our Eco-Council will be helping us do this.
Currently, the Eco-Council are working on composting all the fruit waste such as apple cores and banana skins so we can make our own compost to put onto our vegetable and flowers beds.
Plants in the Classroom
Air quality, well-being and aiding concentration are all things we value and research has shown that plants in classrooms help to do this. Therefore, we are also launching 'Plants in the Classroom' initiative after seeing the benefits at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The initiative is being supported by the PTA who have generously given us £30 per classroom to purchase plants.
All classes have a Peace Lily on the recommendation of Father David, as he explained they have been proven by NASA to be one of the most beneficial houseplants for taking toxins out of the air.
We would be very grateful if any members of our school community were able to donate any plants to the school, as we endeavour to green up our indoor environment.
Each class will have a pair of plant monitors each half-term, who will help to look after the plants and then pass on their knowledge to the next pair.
We would like to create a place here to share plant-based recipes from our school community as part of our Eco Schools mission:
Baked ratatouille with butter bean mash
Baked ratatouille with butter bean mash
- 2 courgettes, sliced into 1cm rounds
- 3 peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3 red onions, thickly sliced
- 250g salad tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp herbes de Provence
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 x 400g tins butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 10g fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Toss the courgettes, peppers, onions and vine tomatoes with 1 tbsp oil, the herbs and garlic in a large roasting dish; season. Bake for 15 mins, then stir in the tinned tomatoes. Bake for 20-25 mins until the veg is tender and jam-like.
- Scoop out the garlic and squeeze into a saucepan, discarding the papery skins. Add 50ml water, 1 tbsp oil and the beans; heat through over a low heat for 5 mins. Mash or blitz in a food processor until thick and creamy, adding a little more water if needed.
- Divide the mash between 4 plates and spoon over the ratatouille. Tear over the basil leaves to serve.
Bean burgers with carrot fries
If you’re looking for an easy and healthy vegetarian burger recipe then look no further. This bean burger with carrot fries is the perfect four step recipe, plus it’s vegan too.
- 10 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook
- 490 calories / serving
- 500g carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm-thick fries
- 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 5 white batch rolls
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 2 x 400g tins kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 10g fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Small leaves from 1/3 round lettuce
- 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
- ½ x 340g jar pickled cabbage, drained
- Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Put the carrots on a large baking tray, drizzle with ½ tbsp oil and season lightly. Roast for 25-30 mins until tender. Slice 4 rolls in half and put sliced-side up on the tray for the last 5 mins.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and chilli, then cook for 5-7 mins until softened. Blitz in a food processor with the beans, oregano, parsley, remaining bread roll and some seasoning until mostly smooth.
- Shape the mixture into 4 patties, about 2cm thick and 8cm wide. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the patties for 5 mins each side or until crisp.
- Divide the lettuce between the bottom halves of the buns. Top with a patty, cucumber and cabbage, then the lid. Serve with the fries.
Indian chickpeas with poached eggs
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and diced
- ½ - 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
- ½ bunch spring onions (about 5), tops and whites sliced but kept separate
- 1 tsp cumin, plus a little extra to serve (optional)
- 1 tsp coriander
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
- ⅓ pack coriander, chopped
- 400g can chickpeas in water, drained but liquid reserved
- ½ tsp reduced-salt bouillon powder (we used Marigold)
- 4 large eggs
- STEP 1
Heat the oil in a non-stick sauté pan, add the garlic, pepper, chilli and the whites from the spring onions, and fry for 5 mins over a medium-high heat. Meanwhile, put a large pan of water on to boil.
- STEP 2
Add the spices, tomatoes, most of the coriander and the chickpeas to the sauté pan and cook for 1-2 mins more. Stir in the bouillon powder and enough liquid from the chickpeas to moisten everything, and leave to simmer gently.
- STEP 3
Once the water is at a rolling boil, crack in your eggs and poach for 2 mins, then remove with a slotted spoon. Stir the spring onion tops into the chickpeas, then very lightly crush a few of the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher. Spoon the chickpea mixture onto plates, scatter with the reserved coriander and top with the eggs. Serve with an extra sprinkle of cumin, if you like.
- 75g coconut oil, plus extra for the tin
- 200g vegan dark chocolate (at least 70%), roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 200g vegan ginger nuts
- 100g dried cranberries
- 50g pistachios, toasted and chopped
- STEP 1
Lightly oil a 20cm square brownie tin with coconut oil and line the base with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil and golden syrup in the microwave in 30-second bursts until smooth and glossy.
- STEP 2
Break the ginger nuts into small pieces in a bowl, then add the dried cranberries and pistachios. Scrape in the chocolate mixture and give everything a good mix to combine, then spoon the tiffin into the tin. Use the back of the spoon to smooth out the top and press it down, then chill in the fridge for 2 hrs or until set hard. Once set, cut into 25 mini squares. Will keep for a week in the fridge
Vegan Katsu Curry
This recipe is one of my daughter's favourites. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 large aubergine
- 1 sweet potato, peeled
- about ½ cup all-purpose flour / rice flour for GF version
- salt & pepper
- about 1 cup gelatinous aquafaba, homemade or from a tin of chickpeas
- about 100 g panko breadcrumbs or GF breadcrumbs if required
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- high smoke oil for shallow frying
- 2 tbsp neutral tasting oil
- 1 large onion (I used red), finely diced
- 5 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 3 tsp ginger, finely grated
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- ½ Granny Smith (sour) apple, peeled and diced
- 1 heaped tbsp white miso paste (GF miso for gluten-intolerance)
- 4 tsp curry powder (I used hot madras curry powder)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 4 tsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) or maple syrup, to taste
- 1½-2 cups of your favourite rice, cooked or steamed
- 1 head of lettuce, I used lollo rosso
- a salad dressing: sesame oil, vinegar, mirin, tamari / soy sauce (all to taste)
- Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan with a matching lid. Add diced onion and sauté until almost transparent, add garlic and a minute or two later add ginger. Fry for another minute or two stirring frequently.
- Add sliced carrot, diced apple, curry powder and garam masala. Stir around and fry off for a minute or two.
- Dissolve 1 tbsp of miso paste in 1 cup of warm water and add it to the pan.
- Simmer, on low heat (with a lid on) for about 10-15 minutes until carrots and apples become soft.
- Transfer to an upright blender or use a stick blender to make a smooth, thick sauce. Season with tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin. Add more water if the sauce is too thick.
- Prepare 4 plates. Pour about ½ cup of flour on the first one. Season the flour with generous amount of salt and pepper. Pour thick, egg white-like aquafaba onto the second plate. Pour breadcrumbs and a handful of white sesame seeds (if using) onto the third plate and line the fourth plate with double layer of paper towel.
- Cut aubergine and sweet potato into ½ cm or 0.2 inch thick slices. Don’t make them thicker or else the inside will remain raw.
- Fill a small frying pan or the bottom of a wok with frying oil and let it heat up.
- Dredge veggie slices in seasoned flour first, then in aquafaba and finally in breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs into the slices and shake each piece gently before putting onto hot oil to allow excess breadcrumbs to come off.
- Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side – until the coating becomes golden brown. Place freshly fried pieces on a plate with a kitchen towel to get rid of excess oil.
- Serve with rice, a simple green salad and a generous amount of curry sauce.
This week’s recipe comes from one of our lovely kitchen ladies.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas
1 large sweet potato
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 onion, diced
8oz vegetarian no added oil refried beans
1 cup of salsa
1 cup of fresh spinach
8oz black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon of chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional)
6-8 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup Salsa for topping
Preheat Oven at 190 C.
Peel and quarter the sweet potato and bake in the oven for 45 mins to 1hr until soft.
Remove sweet potato from oven and put in to a mixing bowl and mash.
Add the cooked rice, salsa and spinach and diced onion.
Place the potato mash, with ingredients, in to a saucepan and mix in the black beans and refried beans.
Heat the ingredients over a medium heat.
Add the chilli powder and cumin and optional jalapeño to taste.
Place a tortilla in a frying pan on a medium heat. Spoon mixture into the middle and spread.
Place tortilla on top and press down to help spread evenly.
Cook for approximately 3 mins before turning and cooking a further 3 mins.
Remove from pan and cut into sections.
Serve, topped with the extra salsa.
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 80g chargrilled peppers, drained
- 2 fat garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon
- 350g tomato passata (rustica or regular)
- 1.2kg waxy potatoes, such as charlotte
- Light olive oil or sunflower oil for frying
- Sea salt flakes
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
- Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
- Aioli to serve (optional)
- Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a deep frying pan or large sauté pan and gently cook the onion, peppers and garlic with a couple of pinches of salt for 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in the paprika, cayenne and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, then pour in the passata and simmer gently for 20 minutes until thick. Set aside to cool a little, then use a stick blender to whizz the sauce to a purée (or, if you prefer, leave it chunky).
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters, then cut into 2cm chunks. Put in a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 6-8 minutes until tender. Drain well, tip onto a tray lined with kitchen paper and dry well. Toss in a shallow roasting tin with the light olive/sunflower oil and sea salt. Add the rosemary, if using, then roast for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp, turning once or twice.
- Spoon half the brava sauce onto a serving platter, then top with the potatoes. Spoon over a little more sauce and sprinkle over the parsley to serve. If you like, serve with a dollop of aioli (for a cheat’s version, mix finely chopped garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice into shop-bought mayonnaise).
This spicy and warming dish with a hint of chilli is perfect to get the taste buds tingling. Tuck into this tasty tagine that's packed full of hearty vegetables and flavour. It makes for a filling lunch or a satisfying dinner with crusty bread.
30 mins preparation time
45 minutes cooking time
- 30mlvegetable oil
- 300gonions, roughly chopped
- 2 clovesgarlic, thinly sliced
- ½ tspchilli powder
- 2tspground coriander
- 2tspground tumeric
- 1lemon, zest and juice
- 400gchopped tomatoes
- 250gbutternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 250gcarrots, peeled and cubed
- 250gswede, peeled and cubed
- 1vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 200ml boiling water
- 15gbrown sugar
- 200gchickpeas, drained
- 40gdried apricots, roughly chopped
- 15gfresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 4bread rolls, to serve
- Place a saucepan on a medium heat and when hot add the oil, onion and garlic and sauté for 5 -10 minutes until it begins to soften.
- Add the spices and the lemon zest; stir well, sautéing for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and the vegetables and stir well.
- Add the stock, lemon juice, brown sugar, chickpeas, apricots and sultanas and enough additional water to cover. Then bring to the boil.
- Once boiling remove from the heat and decant into a tagine (or casserole dish if you don’t have a tagine). Stir in half the chopped parsley, cover with the lid and place in the oven at 160C. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
- Remove from the oven and add the remaining parsley. Stir well then adjust the seasoning using salt and pepper. Serve with a bread roll
This recipe has been shared by Mrs Heather which is courtesy of the National Trust and she said 'It was very easy to make as its a one-pot recipe and I kept the leftovers to have for lunch. I will definitely make this again.'