The School Council at Caythorpe Primary have been working on gaining Eco-School accreditation and have been rewarded with a Bronze Eco-School Award, the first step towards the highly acclaimed Green Flag, which was quite a challenge during lockdown!
The Year 3 and 4 pupils first became inspired to take more care of their environment when they went on a residential to the Stibbington Environmental Education Centre, an award-winning Eco Centre. Stibbington’s ethos encourages all residential visitors to take part in Eco Action and to learn about sustainable lifestyles during their stay.
Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging 19.5 million children across 67 countries, making it the largest educational programme on the planet. Staff at Caythorpe look to empower their children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness through the Eco-School programme in order to eventually achieve the top award of the international Eco-School Green Flag. The Eco-School initiative develops pupils’ skills, raises environmental awareness and aims to improve the school environment.
To gain the Bronze Award, the School Council set up an environmental committee of enthusiastic ‘eco-warriors’ who then carried out a review of the school’s environmental performance with the help of willing parent volunteers. Aspects reviewed included energy and water usage, biodiversity, the school grounds and healthy living. Using the information they collected, the School Council then created an action plan ensuring all pupil views and ideas were at the heart of the plan.
One child said, “I’ve heard about global warming and that it’s not good for our planet and that we can do something about it. So I wanted to find out more.”
Helen Hunt, Deputy Head and Year 3/4 Class Teacher, commented, “I was really impressed with the children’s enthusiasm with the project. Not only that, we had to get the community on board so it’s also thanks to some willing parent volunteers. The Bronze Award is the action planning stage, now we can’t wait to put all of our plans into action to gain the Silver accreditation.
The project has made a positive impact, including increasing confidence, developing leadership skills and improving pupil well-being. They really feel they are doing something for the environment and their community.”
Caythorpe hope to hold an Eco-Day or Week where all of their lessons are based around environmental issues, as well as making links between the school’s environmental activities and the curriculum.