The RLS Eco-Schools team have been working very hard on our bronze award. They have formed an eco-committee and are meeting fortnightly. They have completed an environmental review of our school which considers biodiversity, energy usage, global citizenship, healthy living, litter, marine life, school grounds, transport, waste & water usage, and uses the information gathered to create an action plan which initially focusses on three main areas. The three main areas which have been chosen are energy, waste and biodiversity.
During the election, Eco-Schools students painted ‘Vote Planet’ and ‘Vote for our Future’ on the back of old banners and hung them on the school railings to encourage voters to consider the climate emergency .
Next week, some students from the Eco-Schools group are going on a visit to the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre, there are also plans in the pipeline for a visit to the Bodmin Recycling Centre. Keep your eyes open for the new Eco Schools noticeboard which will be going up in the next few weeks.
Students from the Eco-Schools meetings attend monthly RLS Environment Action Group meetings to discuss ways to improve Richard Lander School’s carbon footprint with the Headteacher, School Business Manager and other staff. As a result of these meetings, our water fountains are being changed to a design which makes it much easier to refill water bottles; this is currently taking place during the evenings. We are looking forward to the appearance of dried mixed waste recycling bins in school. It is very important that we only put recyclable items in this bins so we will be printing guidance on this in the next bulletin. Richard Lander School is heated with gas central heating and we are working on reducing our gas consumption by turning the thermostat down a degree. We will be able to bring you consumption figures as to how this improves our carbon footprint in the near future.
Members of the Environment Action Group recently held a Skype call with nutritionist, Hannah, from Autograph Catering who provide the food in our canteen. As a result of this we are delighted that there are now vegan options on the menu every day. More on this below.
Representatives from Eco-Schools and the EAG have been working with other members of the community to share concerns, ideas and potential solutions. Holly, Joel, Miss Wright and Mrs Jones travelled to Trythall Primary School on Wednesday to meet staff and students from other schools in Cornwall, they also enjoyed a tour of the amazing Trythall Permaculture garden, which includes a pond, a poly tunnel, chickens, a Celtic maze made from unwanted turf, a ‘growing and education’ area made from recycled pallets and is surrounded by native species hedging which has been planted by the parents. There was a presentation from Janine Bisson from Cornwall Council on the council’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030 and the level of change needed from us all. Pirate FM were also at the event to make a film, which we look forward to seeing soon. Thank you very much to Janine for organising this event.
Students have also been attending ‘Education, Climate, Wellbeing and Collaboration: Joining The Dots’ meetings with members of the wider community. There are a wealth of experts at these meetings, with dedicated environmentalists, representatives from Cornwall Council, local business and people who work with young people in all capacities. Everyone is committed to supporting young people in the face of climate emergency.
The school council meetings, which were held last term, all raised our school’s carbon footprint as a major cause for concern, along with a lack of obvious recycling facilities, showing that the climate emergency is a priority for the majority of our students. The Extended Leadership Team have been discussing the minutes to these meetings this week and there is a longer report on the school council findings later in this bulletin.
Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging 19.5 million children across 67 countries, making it the largest educational programme on the planet. For nearly 25 years Eco-Schools has been empowering children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness through the simple Seven-Step framework in order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag award. If you would like to join the Eco-Schools group, please see Mrs Boase.