Heathly/ECO Schools – Fiona Hawkins
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 students.
First is a Bronze Award, which is given to schools who have carried out an energy and recycling audit, and who have created an 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 Barnabas’ has focused on the following areas:
- Energy Saving: We achieved Level 1 Energy Certification award in March 2006 from the Energy Saving Trust.
- Eco Warriors: This is a group of children who daily 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. We have a recycle squad who check at the end of each day that waste is in the correct place.
- Healthy Living: This links to ‘Healthy Schools’ – an award we received in May 2006. The school has an accessible water fountain, and we encourage all the children to drink plenty of water.
- Recycling: 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.
- Composting: We now compost waste from the school kitchens and have reduced the kitchen refuse by 75%. 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!). Year 5 and Year 6 visited a landfill site and a recycling centre at Stanton Harcourt 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 Collecters, 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.
The school’s ECO flag is now proudly hanging outside our school.
Visit the government’s ECO School website for more information about the ECO Schools programme.
Our Eco Code
- We are saving electricity.
- We are being healthy.
- We are recycling.
- We are caring for our environment.
- We are saving water.
- We are exercising and making healthy choices.
Eco Legacy Donations – Solar Panels for St Barnabas
The PTA are hoping to raise £5000 to support the ONCORE solar-panel installation at St Barnabas School.
To send your donation using Virgin Giving please click on the link below and follow the instructions on the Virgin Giving site.