An Eco-Schools welcome to the new year
The 2018-2019 academic year was amazing for Eco-Schools: 2930 schools joined the programme, 789 schools achieve our Bronze award, 468 our Silver award and 371 our international Green Flag award! These numbers are both humbling and staggering – the Eco-Schools team would like to say a massive thank you to all those educators who have used the Eco-Schools programme to protect our planet and inspire young people in the last year – not all heroes wear capes!
We have had a busy summer updating our website, you may have already noticed some new images, but we would also like to highlight a few other changes.
Our biggest change is the introduction of our new Early Years pathway, we are proud to be the first Eco-Schools nation with a dedicated Early Years Pathway catering for nurseries, children’s centres and other early years settings. We were inspired to create this new pathway after seeing growing interest from early years settings, last year 33 nurseries achieved Green Flag success! We have amended the Eco-Schools criteria and created a new set of resources, all to make the Eco-Schools programme more accessible to younger children. We will also soon be introducing new Early Years Eco-Schools logos created by the astoundingly talented children’s illustrator Duncan Beedie.
As former KS2 – KS5 teachers the Eco-Schools team needed a little help developing the new EYFs criteria and resources and for this we would like to thank Mark Bird and Childbase Partnership – meeting with several of their Green Flag nurseries helped us to see that early years can be eco too! We would also like to thank the inspirational Faye O’Connor and all of the amazing staff at Everton Nursery School and Family Centre, after we Green Flag assessed their school we knew it would be the perfect place to film our new Seven Step videos – thank you for allowing us to. Thank you also to Stuart from Welton Media for filming and editing the very lovely (and very cute) videos. Finally, Francis would also like to thank Honey Pot nurseries in Liverpool – assessing their nurseries helped to inspire the resources and he loves passing a flying Green Flag everyday on his way to the Keep Britain Tidy office!
We now have training dates available from January to March for anyone who would like to become one of our Green Flag volunteer assessors. Assessing an Eco-School is a inspirational, positive and rewarding experience and we look forward to meeting our future assessors in 2020. Thank you to the Field Studies Council for letting us use their fantastic venues.
We also have dates available for our ‘How to Become a Successful Eco-School‘ Eco-Coordinator training, which run from October to December 2019. Thank you to RSPB for allowing us to use their beautiful reserves for these training sessions.
Over the summer Eco-Schools manager Lee has been busy figuring out what Instagram is and how to use it – she is slowly getting to grips with ‘#s’ you can follow her progress here! Don’t forget to also follow us and share your stories with us on Twitter and Facebook it’s a great place to see what Eco-Schools around England are doing and keep up-to-date Eco-Schools news.
Don’t forget about our first ever national Award Ceremony at the Etihad stadium on the 12th December 2019. Nominations are open until the 4th November and you can expect a very, exciting guest announcement imminently!
Finally, good luck in the new academic year and as always if you need any help, support, clarification, information or inspiration do not hesitate to get in touch.