What do Eco-Schools do?
Once registered, schools follow a simple seven-step process which helps them to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity. Pupils are the driving force behind Eco-Schools – they form and lead an Eco-Committee and help to carry out an audit to assess the environmental performance of the school. In conjunction with the rest of the school and the wider community, it’s the pupils that decide the environmental themes they want to address and how they’re going to do it.
Measuring and monitoring is an integral part of the Eco-Schools programme, providing schools with all the evidence they need to showcase their environmental success. In fact, Eco-Schools can fit into virtually all aspects of the curriculum and help to make learning, both inside and outside the classroom, fun and engaging.
Schools work towards gaining one of three internationally recognised awards – Bronze, Silver and the Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity. Bronze and Silver are both self accredited through this website and Green Flag is externally assessed by Keep Britain Tidy volunteers.
Undertaking the Eco-Schools programme is a long term journey and it can take time for schools to implement the different elements of the framework and engage their staff, students and community with it. We think it's a journey well worth taking though and the Eco-Schools team, along with a whole host of materials, information and resources, will be there to support schools along the way.
Where are we at?
As a school registered with the Eco-Schools programme we are currently on our way to achieving the Bronze award. This means that we have to have completed the first 3 steps of setting up an Eco-Committee, completing and Environmental review and have an Action Plan in place.
Following the results of our Environmental survey the Eco-committee chose the following three foci for the school’s action plan
- Waste – to improve the amount of recycling points available and reduce the amount of single use plastics we, as a school, use.
- School Grounds – to improve our use of the school site by improving the design and use of some outdoor areas, increase use of the school garden (exploring use for a herb/vegetable garden to be used by our canteen) and encourage more use of outside spaces by subjects.
- Energy – to monitor Energy wastage of using lighting, heating and electrical equipment and encouraging staff and pupils to switch off when not in use.
In the Autumn term of 2019 our Geography Ambassadors ran a Year 7 crisp packet collection competition! We wanted to find ways to reduce our impact at school and crisp packets can’t currently be recycled - they all just end up in landfill. Walkers set up nationwide recycling centers, partnering up with companies that then make plant pots, benches, watering cans and cool bags out of the packets to combat this issue. In total we collected 1591 crisp packets which were then delivered to the local recycling collection point in Solihull.
We also implemented an aluminum can recycling programme at school, organizing for recycling bins to be delivered to school and then collected once full. We held assemblies for each year group, talking about the damage plastic is doing to our planet and the importance to move to cans and recycle them. Unfortunately, this programme has currently had to be stopped due to the current Covid-19 restrictions.