Secondary School of the Year

"Our school would be a very different place without the Eco-Schools programme being fully embedded in everything we do."

For over 15 years, Cardinal Allen High School has held an Eco-Schools Green Flag award. During this time, Cardinal Allen has worked on each of the ten Eco-Schools topics and this has had a huge impact on their school!

After years of hard work, Cardinal Allen’s school grounds are now amongst the most biodiverse areas in Fleetwood. This year alone the Eco-Committee planted a hedgerow, seeded a 1 acre wildflower meadow and secured £3300 of funding to introduce bees into the school. The same bees are now busy at work producing Cardinal Allen’s latest product ‘Cardy Honey’. All of their hard work this year has enhanced what they already had: an environmental corridor, woodland, orchard, allotment, bug hotels, hedgehog nests and bird/bat boxes.

After several years of Energy topic campaigns, Cardinal Allen is now far more energy efficient and the Eco-Club are using their knowledge to support local primary schools, so they too can benefit from increased energy efficiency. Working on the Global Citizenship topic has ensured Fairtrade products are widely used within the school and this year Cardinal Allen are hosting a Fairtrade Conference for other, local schools. In addition, Cardinal Allen works with schools around the world in India, Tanzania and Nepal to share teaching techniques and student experiences through collaborative learning projects. After working on the Water topic, all taps in Cardinal Allen are now water saving and many water fountains have been introduced to reduce reliance on bottled water. Cardinal Allen has even become a recycling hub for a variety of items including shoes, pens and batteries. Truly their school would be a very different place without their participation in the Eco-Schools programme.

The curriculum at Cardinal Allen has also been enriched by their Eco-Schools work. The school aims to ensure that all their students are environmentally aware and responsible: from learning about healthy living in food technology classes to water utilisation in science lessons, the Eco-Schools programme can be found throughout student’s learning. Environmental learning has even spread beyond school hours to after-school activities and clubs including Bee Club (to train budding beekeepers) and participation in the John Muir award (encouraging students to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places).

Cardinal Allen’s work has also benefitted their local community: they have helped Fleetwood council achieve In Bloom awards and are custodians of an area of their local beach hosting regular litter picks and highlighting the issue of beach litter. The Eco-Committee’s hard work at Cardinal Allen will also be appreciated for generations to come after they secured £42,000 of funding to replace a 50 metre snake sculpture at a local country park. This snake sculpture will be enjoyed by the children of Lancashire for many years teaching them to love being outdoors and subsequently improving their health.