Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.
There are 46 countries around the world that run the Eco-Schools programme, linking more than 40,000 schools – from the UK to France, from Morocco to South Africa. Eco-Schools is administered in England by Keep Britain Tidy; in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful; in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy; and in Northern Ireland by Tidy Northern Ireland.
Children are the driving force behind Eco-Schools – they lead the eco-committee and help carry out an audit to assess the environmental performance of their school. Through consultation with the rest of the school and the wider community it is the pupils that decide which environmental themes they want to address and how they are 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 really shout about their environmental success.
Schools work towards gaining one of three awards – Bronze, Silver and the prestigious Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity.
What is an Eco-School?
Our School is part of the Eco-School programme. This means that we are committed to ensuring that our school is environmentally friendly and that we teach our children the importance of being eco-friendly. We are currently aiming to achieve a Bronze Award for our school.
What is an Eco-Committee?
In order to monitor our success we have an action team made up of two pupil representatives from each class in Years 1 – 6. The children meet regularly to discuss areas for improvement and also help to inform the rest of the school about our Eco status.
We have completed an Environmental Review of our school and are developing our Action Plan, this will help us to achieve the Bronze Award for our school.
We have already increased the recycling we do in school by the addition of Battery and Clothes recycling banks. We have made poster to remind us to turn off lights and save water in school.
One of our next steps is to:
Further decrease our school’s carbon footprint. This means ensuring that every pupil and adult knows the Eco-Code pledge and puts it into practice. Our Eco Councillors are busy completing surveys of the different resources we use in our classrooms. We are taking a careful look at the things we need and use in all our lessons, especially the use of paper, things we need to buy and also the way we use energy. We are hoping to identify ways to save resources and ways we can recycle / resuse more. This includes reducing the use of our printers and photocopiers.
We also plan to make full use of our school grounds, our Forest School and our gardens and develop stronger links with the community and other schools.
We have recently taken part in this year’s ‘Waste Week’ – Eco Councillors were busy checking that lights and taps were turned off when they were not being used. Also planning exciting recycling activities for later this year.
Year One have been designing an Eco flower bed for their garden, using recycled wood. It is now in place and planted with wonderful spring flowers.
Finally, we would like to ensure that everyone at Cumnor School upholds the ethos of sustainable living, which includes being happy and enjoying each day.