It seems that all the hard work that Southborough’s Eco team of students has put into the school these past couple of years has paid off in dividends. Earlier this month Headteacher Mr Smith received notification from ‘Eco Schools’ that the school had been successful in meeting the requirements for the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award. And at Distinction level no less!
Eco Schools is part of the UK organisation ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ and the Schools programme provides a simple, seven-step framework that answers the question of ‘where do I begin?’ with regards to the big issue of protecting the planet, whilst empowering young people to make a difference in their school, local community and beyond.
Since 1994, millions of young people around the world have worked through the Eco-Schools Seven Steps before being recognised for their efforts with a prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag.
Schools connect their activities to three or more of the Ten Eco-Schools Topics. These topics break large, global issues like climate change into more manageable and directed themes that prompt young people to consider environmental changes that they can make in their school and everyday lives.
Our Eco team’s main focus in recent years has been raising awareness of and actively putting in place a robust recycling programme within the school. In addition, they have focused on working on the mind-set of Southborough students to encourage everyone to take responsibility for their litter so that the school grounds remain clean and tidy.
However, last year, the team also worked incredibly hard on our school courtyard garden, building an impressive ‘bug hotel’ out of re-claimed logs from a felled tree and by planting up an attractive herb garden to attract biodiverse fauna.
On a wider school level, the recent installation of a smart lighting control system across the entire school has already reduced electricity usage and kept utility costs down.
Feedback from Eco-Schools included:
“It’s clear that you have embedded environmental issues into your curriculum with great enthusiasm and these issues are being used to enrich learning in your school, whilst engaging young people in important issues. Your Eco-Committee have made considerable efforts to keep their schoolmates and community up-to-date on their progress, using a variety of methods including eco-assemblies, creative display board as well as informing through emails and newspapers. This comprehensive approach will help to engage others and expand the reach of your Eco-Schools work."
We feel incredibly proud of the continued efforts of our wonderful Eco team students and that of staff members Mr Howe and Mrs Bennett for their continued encouragement and support in moving initiatives forward.