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Accrington St. Christopher’s Church of England High School Autumn Update

Eco group have continued with their positive approach to encourage learning and includes hope, action and participation at a local and global level. Sustainability has been firmly established on the school agenda. Winning the Mayor of Hyndburn’s best environmental project award in November kicked off a very exciting academic year.

We ran our first, in house teacher training day. This year we aimed to revolutionise the adults, by running our own CPD day: Time To Grow Up in conjunction with the Prospects Foundation.  Bringing together local experts, teachers, governors and teaching assistants to help us share ideas to further sustainability in our schools. A successful day, had experts on hand for growing, grant applications, energy conservation and the all important ideas exchange.

In March we were the only northern school to be chosen, due to our contribution to the sustainability agenda in our area to attend the opening ceremony of Climate Week at the commonwealth office in London. We mixed with ambassadors and CEOs of very successful companies who were all keen to hear more about pledge 4 veg and the other initiatives we have employed.

We established our new growing environment for our pupils (the polytunnel 46′ x 16′), adeptly during our Ofsted inspection! We shared our polytunnel with the county as BBC Radio Lancashire’s Steven Lowe conducted the entire Lancashire Outdoors Show form the Polytunnel!

The produce from the polytunnel and outside beds is used in the school canteen for our dinners. The menu has included, potatoes, courgettes, marrows (Mr Parker’s form has grown one bigger than mine and has plenty of photographs* to prove it! ), tomatoes, lettuce, rocket, spinach, swede, turnip, beetroot, cucumber, tomatoes, leeks, onion and we look forward to the dreaded brussel sprouts  to be harvested later this winter!

Pupils convinced the teachers to attend cycling proficiency classes after school to encourage them to cycle to school. Bike bins have been introduced, so pupils and staff can store their bike and gear in a dry secure place during lessons.

Promoting the new 20 mph zones around school has raised awareness about cycling to school. The theatre group ‘Riot Act’ spent a morning with all the eco and sports reps. The Year 10 Eco Group members recently went to the county council chambers to present their 2012 campaign to the councillors and other schools.

June saw the 3rd annual Summer Eco fair, with primary pupils took part in the Eco factor, with challenges including carrying water the same distance as African children, recycling as many items against the clock as well as completing a green Olympic challenge.  The usual Green Dragon’s Den allowed pupils to show their innovative recycled/reclaimed ideas to local business representatives, councillors and special guest from the citizenship foundation, in London. However the TRASHION show was the highlight o the event Year 11 and 10 pupils designed and made outfits out of trash, under the direction of Mrs Morrison.

In September we were announced regional winner of £1,000 in the Co-ops Green Revolution. The money will be spent on irrigation of the polytunnel and outdoor furniture for the pupils.

We believe it is important that every pupil and member of staff sees that they have a role to play and that they co-operate together to make sure there is enough for all – and not just for now; but forever.

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