6. Monitoring and evaluating your progress

Pupils monitoring electricity

How to monitor and evaluate your progress

To find out whether you’re successfully achieving the targets laid out in your Action Plan, you should monitor and evaluate your progress. As well as allowing you to judge the success of your activities and plan any necessary changes, a continuous monitoring process will help you to sustain interest in the programme throughout your school.

Your methods of monitoring will depend on the targets and measurement criteria set out in your Action Plan, as well as the age and ability of pupils, staff and helpers. You may wish to consider the following forms of monitoring:

  • Meter readings to show the effects of energy/water saving activities
  • Litter/waste audits to show the effects of litter/recycling initiatives
  • Calculating financial savings from bills to show the effects of energy/water saving initiatives (where meters are not accessible)
  • Gaining personal impressions of the changes that have taken place from pupils, staff, residents, local community. Carrying out this type of measuring complements whole school involvement
  • Before, during and after photographs as visual evidence to support your Green Flag application/assessment
  • Listing evidence of wildlife/species to show the effects of school grounds development

We suggest that Eco-Coordinators and the Eco-Committee:

  • Encourage pupils to undertake the monitoring wherever possible to help foster a greater sense of ownership towards the project
  • Display the monitoring results (e.g. in graphs, charts) and use the data to deliver aspects of the curriculum
  • Make sure the whole school is kept up to date with the progress towards achieving your Eco-Schools objectives, perhaps posting ongoing results on the Eco-Schools noticeboard or by celebrating achieving a target in assembly
  • Produce a regular report for school council meetings and governors
  • Collate your data so that when your school applies for a Bronze, Silver or Green Flag Award you have the evidence required

Each year you’re expected to carry out a follow-up review. This is, in effect, a repeat of your original Environmental Review and you can use an identical questionnaire. Comparing the results of your original and follow-up review will reveal what progress has been made and help you plan your future environmental strategy.

How the Pod can help

Each activity on www.jointhepod.org starts and ends with a survey. Using the Pod's activities is a great way to measure and record the impact of your actions as well as to track the progress of your projects. Schools can collect Pod points to win medals and certificates for running any of the Pod’s activities.