What are Eco-Schools?
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. There are 9 key areas of Eco-schools; Energy, Water, Biodiversity, School Grounds, Healthy Living, Transport, Litter, Waste and Global Citizenship.
Schools work towards gaining one of three internationally recognised awards – Bronze, Silver and the Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity.
Pilsley's Eco Journey
The pupils and staff at Pilsley C of E Primary are very proud to be a Green Flag status Eco School. We began our environmental work back in 2002 and quickly became composting experts thanks to a Royal Society grant that enabled us to work with scientists at Heeley City Farm in Sheffield. Then we set up our own different types of compost bins and wormery back in school. We also started to recycle paper and to learn about Fair Trade and were awarded our first Green Flag in 2004.
For our second Green Flag, we focused on water conservation in the school. We carefully audited how much water we used using both an estimating system and taking readings from the water meter. We put water hippos in the toilets and made notices to make sure all taps were turned off when not being used. We looked at the health benefits of drinking water and at World Water Issues. Our school twinned with a school in the Gambia and exchanged letters and questionnaires about how much water we use and where that water comes from. The school was shortlisted by Severn Trent Water for ‘BeSmart’ School of the Year, one of only 5 in the Severn Trent region. This helped us to achieve our second Eco School Green Flag in 2007.
We are currently working towards our third Green Flag and are focusing on improving the school grounds. We have created a school garden with six raised beds (well done to everyone who moved the 14 tonnes of top soil needed to fill them!), a new shed with a water butt to collect water from the roof, a polytunnel and have had a water pipe and tap put in so we no longer have to carry any extra water we may need.
The Eco Club meet with Miss Davison. Thanks to each pupil and every member of staff for all our environmental efforts!