The Eco School awards encourage schools to think about a range of areas including waste reduction, energy saving, healthy living, water, biodiversity, transport and travel. Full accreditation is achieved through an audited programme of commitment and activity by the school and pupils.
First is a Bronze Award, which is given to schools who have carried out an energy and recycling audit, and who have created an Working Group, on which both the staff and children are represented.
The Silver Award is achieved once the school agrees on an Eco Code. We have a copy of the code in every classroom, we also have an Eco notice board in the playground entrance to promote Eco News.
To achieve the Gold Award and have the right to fly the Eco Green Flag the school must demonstrate its on-going commitment in several of the key ‘Eco-friendly’ activities.
All classrooms now have their own mini compost bin which is emptied regularly into the new composting area in Garden School or in the staff room. Garden School has a new composting system that is used by the children and staff. Lessons have been delivered to pupils on the importance of composting and the benefits it has on their environment. Eco-committee gave a whole school assembly to promote recycling within school.
To ensure playground and garden is litter free by increasing children's awareness of not dropping litter. Calderdale Council visited school to talk to key stage 2 and took part in a session designed to help young people understand the importance of litter and the effects it has on their environment.
To improve curriculum outdoor facilities and activities in the school garden. Highbury's school garden has been cleared of weeds and growth from the help our Garden School Teacher Andrew Wright and parent and outside volunteers. Raised beds have been added to provided areas for growing food produce. Natural habitats have been constructed by child out of materials found in the school garden to offer garden birds a place to feed, bird feeders made by our children and promotion of local wildlife delivered in Garden School sessions.
On Thursday 19th September, an Eco School Green Flag Assessor visited our school to review all the evidence that had been collected for our application for Green Flag status.
The assessor was amazed by the contribution of all the pupils and staff, in particular the commitment and passion of the members of the Eco Committee and work in Garden School.
She loved the work we have done in our school grounds and Garden School. The assessor then awarded the Green Flag status to Highbury School which is the highest level of achievement.
The following is the Assessor's comments:
"It was inspiring to learn about the benefits of the gardens and green space for the students. The horticultural experience brought to the school by Andrew and passionate leadership was great to see. It is a leading example of tailoring Eco Schools to the specific requirements of the provision and enabling students to benefit from it. Benefits of the programme have included the development of gross motor skills, encouraging play, observing changes, supporting independence and overcoming barriers that many students have regarding food. Well done to everyone and keep up the great work”.
Well done to all involved in the process, and especially to Andrew for his leadership!