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_________________________ Eco-Schools Award

 

Eco – Schools is an environment education programme and is managed in England by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the anti – litter campaign for England.  Eco-schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of school life. Eco-Schools can help enhance the curriculum and get the whole school united behind something important. Currently Riverside Bridge School is working towards getting the Eco-Schools Bronze Award  which is the first stage to apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag.

 

Eco-Schools creates green behaviours in young people and those connected to them so that good habits learned in schools are followed through into homes and communities.

Benefits of joining Eco-Schools include:

  • making a difference to pupils’ lives;
  • enhances the curriculum;
  • links to the community;
  • school improvements;
  • saving money;
  • recognition and publicity.
Once registered, schools follow a simple seven-step process which helps them to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity.

Step 1Pupils are the driving force behind Eco-Schools – they form and lead a Green Team Committee which was elected in the Autumn Term by each year group. They meet at least once every half -term and share responsibility with adults for running and keeping a record of these meetings.

 

Step 2: Our Green Team Committee have carried out Eco-Schools Environmental Review which looked at nine key areas – Biodiversity, Energy, Global Citizenship, Healthy Living, Litter, Marine, Transport, Waste and Water.

 

Step 3: Our Green Team Committee is currently producing an Action Plan influenced by the Eco-Schools Environmental Review. They decided to concentrate this year on the three key areas that they think our school need to address  – School Grounds, Healthy Living and Waste and how the school is going to make some eco improvements.

 

After achieving our Bronze Award, our Green Team Committee will be eager to progress towards the Silver Award, on average this will take around 3-6 months.

 

Step 4: With SLT, the Green Team Committee will look where, within our Growth Curriculum, environmental issues are covered. In fact, Eco-Schools can fit into virtually all aspects of the curriculum and help to make learning, both inside and outside the classroom, fun and engaging.

 

Step 5: The design of an Eco-Board, detailing all the school work on Eco-Schools Seven Steps and chosen topic actions. This will include the Eco-Committee members from all year groups, meeting minutes, a copy of our Eco-Schools Environmental Review, our Action Plan, examples of Monitoring and Evaluation and our Eco-Code.

 

At this stage, the school will be granted the Silver Award.

 

Step 6: The Green Team Committee will have to show how they monitor the effectiveness of our Eco-Schools topic actions, via data collection, topic specific National Call to Action surveys (, before and after photographs, … Measuring and monitoring is an integral part of the Eco-Schools programme, allowing the school  to showcase our environmental success.

 

Step 7: The creation of an Eco-Code, which will be an agreement on an environmental statement for Riverside Bridge School drawn up by pupils.

Once the school has worked through the Eco-Schools Seven Steps, it will be time to apply for the international Eco-Schools Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity. Bronze and Silver are both self accredited and Green Flag is externally assessed by an Eco-Schools Green Flag assessor.

Undertaking the Eco-Schools programme is a long-term journey and it can take time for schools to implement the different elements of the framework and engage their staff, pupils and community with it. However we, at Riverside Bridge School think it’s a journey well worth taking and our Green Team Committee is up for the challenge.
The committee are in the process of completing an action plan where they have highlighted strategies to make our school more eco-friendly to achieve our first Green fFag.