Two years have passed since Green Schools Project went from an idea to an organisation with the aim of helping schools to set up and run a student-led environmental programme. The first year was about getting the foundations in place and year two has been spent getting more schools involved, adding to the programme and trying out new ideas. Here’s a brief outline of what’s been achieved:
1. 15 schools implementing the programme
In the first year we were just working with 3 pilot schools, so year two saw a big increase, with 15 putting the ideas into practice. Here are a few of the notable successes:
• Newstead Wood School started their ‘Bio-Eco Society’ with Year 13 students taking the lead. They organised a clothes swap and improved the school recycling system so that all recyclable material is being collected. Read about their success in this article.
• Northumberland Park School also got their school recycling, adding lots of bins around the school and manning the bins in the dining hall at lunch time so that everyone understands what can and can’t be recycled.
• Alec Reed Academy held a climate fair in the summer term. They had lessons on reducing their carbon footprint, a poetry competition and a series of workshops delivered by Year 10 students to Year 7s about a variety of issues associated with climate change.
2. Primary Schools
Last year saw the introduction of a primary programme to Green Schools Project. It was adapted from the secondary programme to be more suitable for younger students with the help of Laura House, a primary teacher and director of Green Schools Project.
• Orchard Primary School in Hackney trialled the resources and used them to great effect to help them renew their Eco-Schools Green Flag award! Watch their video.
• William Patten Primary School held assemblies, workshops and a competition to come up with ideas for making their school and community more green. Read about it in this article.
3. Environment in Brexit Britain
In March, to coincide with the triggering of article 50, we held a public event to highlight the uncertainty around the consequences of Brexit on the environment. Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP, Sam Lowe, Campaign Lead, Friends of the Earth, and James Murray, Editor Business Green were among the high profile speakers.
Students from the Northumberland Park Sustainability Committee also presented what they had achieved during the year to show the impact action in schools can have on the local community. Read about it in this article, watch videos of the talks, or find out how you can take action in this blog.
4. Interactive Student Portal
In the background work has been on-going on the website which now means that students can login to see tasks, upload evidence and compete against other schools. We believe that the more students take the lead on environmental projects the more skills they will learn and the more effective their campaigns will be. Watch this space for competitions and prizes for the schools at the top of the leaderboard!
5. Featured in the Guardian
At the end of April, we were very happy to have our work highlighted in an article in the Guardian, pupil power: how students are turning schools green.
It’s been a busy year, and this year promises lots more! We are on track to have 30 schools following the programme, and the target is to double this number every year. With evidence of climate change ever more apparent from fires in Europe and Australia to floods in India and record breaking hurricanes in America, now is the time to ensure that young people learn how they can contribute to tackling what will be the defining issue of their generation.
If you’d like your school to be part of Green Schools Project, click on Go Green!