Teaching Maths at Kingsmead School in Enfield I was frustrated by the lack of awareness of environmental issues, and the lack of opportunities for students to understand the simple steps that they could take to improve the impact that the school, and they as individuals had on the environment. Supported by my Headteacher, I developed the as yet un-created role of Sustainability Coordinator, assembled a group of enthusiastic students, and two and a half years later we were awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag!
Here’s a brief outline of how you too could achieve this:
- Become the Eco-Coordinator at your school, if this is not a role currently make it one!
- Join Eco-Schools. Your school may already be registered, 11,672 schools in the UK have an Eco-Schools award, but less than 10% of those have been awarded a Green Flag.
- Set up an Eco-team. Any year group that you think would be enthusiastic and willing to go into assemblies to spread the word can form an effective team.
- Draw up an Action Plan. Energy’s got to be on there, other good projects to start off with are recycling and growing vegetables.
- Collect data on energy usage from past bills. Get the eco-team to plan a strategy on reducing electricity and gas use.
- Get the Eco-team to present assemblies to the whole school. This will raise awareness and gather support for your projects from all the staff and students.
- Get your message out there! Get active on social media, create a noticeboard, put messages in the bulletin, get students to write articles for the newsletter and get a page on the school website.
- Do as many projects as your Eco-team has the time and energy for, getting as many students involved as possible.
- Report all the successes widely, keep people informed, and keep the campaigns visible.
- A couple of years down the line apply to Eco-Schools telling them what you’ve achieved and get a massive Green Flag sent to you that you can proudly display in the school!
This was the most rewarding experience I had in 12 years in teaching, and I’d thoroughly recommend doing it. If it sounds like a daunting project to take on when you are already busy with everything else that being a teacher involves then there is help for you. Green Schools Project provides guides, presentations and resources that will take all the time and effort out of achieving this. Have a look around the website for more information and get in touch!