Local school goes green for gold

A team of 18 “eco-warrior” students at West Jesmond Primary School are working with staff to create a sustainable school environment, in the hope of winning “gold status”

The school is aiming to gain an eco-school classification which consists of three awards, with the ultimate being gold. To achieve this, the school must fulfil a nine-topic action plan that includes energy, water, biodiversity, school grounds, healthy living, transport, litter, waste and global citizenship.

For the global citizenship topic, the school is focusing on climate change, with the concept that everyone can do their part to reduce their carbon footprint. As for waste the school has a reinforced recycling policy, alongside fruit composts which the students manage. In the same way the school runs a gardening club to complete the topic of school grounds. To reduce transport emissions the school encourages both cycling and walking with a newly established cycle path. The school is reinforcing healthy living by prohibiting chocolate in packed lunches, and providing fruit in afternoon class.

Amy Henderson, an eco-group volunteer, says that “Ultimately, the school is aiming to achieve the gold award, and is working very hard to do so. Both students and staff attend weekly eco-group meetings in an attempt to reduce the school’s eco-footprint, and so far it has been a great success.”

Members of staff say they are hoping that forthcoming events will be as successful as Eco-Week last summer term. Activities the school have previously pursued include trips to a recycling plant, an assembly on water given by Oxfam and a bicycle recycling day where pupils had the opportunity to sell their unwanted bike or exchange with others.

The school is currently working towards a “Green Day” planned for the 25th May, and hopes it will have been granted gold by the end of the school year.

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