The future is not just bright for Applemore College, it’s green! Applemore College’s student led EcoTeam has achieved Eco-Schools Bronze Award in just six weeks and is well on the way to completing the criteria for the Silver Award.
Eco-Schools is an international award programme, managed in England by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.
Gill Hickman, New Forest Sustainable Schools Co-ordinator, recently visited Applemore College’s EcoTeam and heard all about their work to achieve Bronze Award. They shared their progress so far and their many ideas, including their development of some creative litter focussed Scratch games and animated cartoons.
To satisfy the Bronze Award requirements the environmentally friendly students from Years 7 – 10 have formed an EcoTeam that meets regularly and records their discussions and actions. They have developed a motto for their Eco-Schools journey which is ‘TEAM” – Together Everyone Achieves More, showing how they understand that a lot of their work is about involving all the students in the school to make a difference for our environment. The team undertook an environmental review of the school, asking many teachers for feedback about the school’s performance in nine environmental areas. They have reviewed the responses and from this have developed an action plan and are working on three key project areas: Energy, Waste and Recycling (this includes litter) and School Grounds.
Applemore College’s involvement in the recent Postcard to Paris Climate Change project shows that action is being taken to raise students’ awareness of energy issues. 51 students sent postcards with messages about their Climate Change concerns to world leaders at the COP21 Conference in Paris 2015. Geography, Science and even French classes were involved in this activity, linking the EcoTeam work to the school curriculum.
The Applemore EcoTeam are working hard on their ideas to transform their school’s daily routine into one that benefits the environment, saves money and improves the school’s surroundings. They recently presented their Litter Campaign ideas to the School Governors and the student College Council and are ready to take action and progress through the Eco-Schools Awards. They have the support of their teachers and school governors who are keen to ensure that education for sustainability is incorporated right across the school, with the associated benefits to pupil’s learning, wellbeing and confidence.
Gill commented “I am so impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the EcoTeam and all the staff involved. Congratulations for a very well deserved Bronze Award”.