Pupils make environmental change to achieve Eco Award
Pupils have achieved the Eco-Schools Silver Award, which is a great achievement for ‘Team Eco’ who have continued throughout lockdown to make environmental changes to meet the necessary criteria. Having taken it upon themselves to create an eco-friendly environment for their fellow students and the surrounding community, the team are well on the way to achieving the Gold Award hopefully, by the end of the academic year, making us an international Green Flag Award Eco-School.
The programme is designed to raise environmental awareness among young people and is run by the charity Keep Britain Tidy. Being an active member of the programme means that the pupils will be vital leaders in ensuring we are kinder to our planet. Pupils have already audited the school and set an action plan to carry out improvements. A pond was built last summer to encourage wildlife and improve biodiversity. The money for this was kindly donated and they hope to make the area surrounding the pond a haven for wildlife. The sourcing and disposing of the school’s food is being investigated in order to improve its sustainability.
Team Eco meet weekly and produce minutes which can be viewed by our community on the virtual eco noticeboard. Already, they have introduced new recycling bins both on site and in the boarding houses, with Year 10 pupils having recycling responsibilities as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award. They also plan to implement the usage of compostable cups and compost bins and install smart meters into the boarding houses.
As part of their work, the team have also put together a ‘Gresham’s Environment Policy’ which includes working with local businesses and charities to support their environmental projects. They have also committed to having an Eco week once every academic year to help raise awareness. This year, the Eco week will take place from the 26th-30th April and the pupils in Team Eco are preparing presentations for their peers as well as competitions to ensure the week is a success.
In order to achieve the final Gold award, the team must create an eco-code which is known and understood by everyone within the school and impress an assessor who will visit the school (COVID permitting) to judge whether the team have been successful. The aim of the movement is to ensure teachers, pupils, parents and the wider community incorporate sustainability into the core school operations. Pupils will be empowered and educated, so they have the tools to build a sustainable future through teaching and learning.