Eco–Schools is an international award scheme to raise awareness of environmental issues.
We gained Eco School Green Flag status in June 2007 and continue to work to improve our school and the environment.
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The Eco–committee is a group of children from KS2 who are interested in improving and maintaining their school and grounds with a ‘green’ ethos. The committee is open to anyone; they vote on the Chairperson and Secretary and assign roles for themselves such as litter and compost monitors. They lead the termly meetings and through the initial discussion set targets for the following year under the leadership of our Eco Friendly Teacher, chief Eco–Warrior and parent Mrs. Atkinson.
Projects have ranged from recycling, promoting wildlife and thinking hard about how we can save energy. We have put up bird boxes and birdfeeders in the grounds and are delighted to see more birds visiting us.
We have created a log pile behind the garden area. We have been building bird boxes, watching birds, made bird mobiles, iced bird biscuits and children have made their own bird cake to hang in their gardens.
What is an Eco School?
The Eco School Awards encourage schools to think about a range of areas including waste reduction, energy saving, healthy living, water, biodiversity, transport and travel. Full accreditation is achieved through an audited programme of commitment and activity by the school and children.
First is a Bronze Award, which is given to schools who have carried out an energy and recycling audit, and who have created a Working Group, on which both the staff and children are represented.
The Silver Award is achieved once the school agrees on an Eco Code. We have a copy of the code in every classroom; we also have an Eco Notice Board in KS2 corridor to promote Eco News.
To achieve the Gold Award and have the right to fly the Eco Green Flag the school must demonstrate its on–going commitment in several of the key ‘Eco–friendly’ activities.
St George’s has focused on the following areas:
The Eco–commitee check our use of energy. They take weekly meter readings, and to attain Level 2 we will be analyising the readings and introducing ways to reduce energy consumption. We have also focused on water consumption; we check taps are off and promote water aid. The Eco–commitee recycle squad check at the end of each day that waste is in the correct place.
This relates to ‘Healthy Schools’ — an award we originally received in May 2000 and now renewed in June 2007. The school has an accessible water fountain, and we encourage all the children to drink plenty of water.
There are recycling boxes in all the classrooms, and we have set up a paper trail to ensure that every piece of paper is used to the full. We also collect water that is left from the water jugs to water the plants.
We now compost waste from the school kitchens and have reduced the kitchen refuse. At the start we included fruit waste, but unfortunately that attracted too many fruit flies around the composter.
The whole experience has been very educational for the children (and the teachers!). All the children have been fantastic and if it wasn’t for them we would not achieved all that we have. They are our Eco Warriors, Composters, Recycle Squad, Water Collectors, encouraging the whole school to behave in an environmentally responsible fashion.
They have also put in an enormous amount of effort in to the Healthy Schools programme. The elder children take turns as Lunchtime Helpers and Playground Buddies to promote healthy a diet and lifestyle.
The PTA has provided support by funding our ‘Fruity Fridays’ and the ‘Trim Trail’ equipment.