STEP 5 Informing and involving

Informing and involving

To maximise the impact of their Eco-Schools work, the Eco-Committee will need to get as many people involved as possible, pupils may also want to get involved with larger community environmental projects. The Eco-Committee can let people know about their Eco-Schools work by; having a prominent, eye-catching Eco-Board, holding assemblies and class presentations and by organising fun school events and competitions. By involving the wider community, the Eco-Committee will be helping even more people to get involved in looking after the local environment.

Informing and Involving Criteria

See what you need to be doing to fulfil the Eco-Schools criteria for Informing and Involving.

  • Your school has a prominent and designated Eco-Board detailing all Eco-Schools activities, including a copy of your Environmental Review, Action Plan, minutes, before and after photographs and photographs of Eco-Committee members (or list of student names if photos not possible).
  • Your Eco-Board should be kept up to date.
  • Your Eco-Committee could use a variety of mediums to help communicate their actions; newsletters, school website, the school’s Twitter account – be inventive!
  • The wider community is involved in activities going on in and around the school, for example parents, carers, local businesses, environmental organisations, local churches and residential groups and homes.

Eco-Board - An Essential Part of Eco-Schools

Put up a prominent noticeboard to showcase your Eco-Schools work. This forms the basis of your Green Flag application – so getting it right is essential.

Central to life as an Eco-School and an essential part of applying for your Silver Award and Green Flag, your Eco-Board is integral to telling the whole school and wider community about all of the great work you have been doing to become more environmental.

It should act as a live document; a blueprint for your Eco projects and a reminder that being an Eco-School is about a whole school approach – with everybody having the chance to feed in to the changes that are made.

What’s great is that the board can be designed, created and updated by the Eco-Committee and evolves as your school becomes more Eco.

See our perfect example Eco-Board here, which you should use as a template when putting your own one together.

Eco-Boards must include:

  • Your Eco-Code
  • Your Eco-Committee, showing pupils from all year groups (preferably pictures, but if not possible then names and year groups) This includes all KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4 year groups in the school. Nurseries, colleges and specialist schools can adapt their Eco-Committee to suit their setting.
  • Evidence of ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation – which will be largely in the form of graphs and charts
  • Evidence of project work that your school has undertaken
  • Your most up to date Action Plan, in SMART format (use our official templates for guidance)
  • Evidence of your previous awards, be they Bronze, Silver or Green Flag, along with any other accreditation or award that links in to Eco-Schools work
  • Plastic wallets or similar, attached to the bottom of the board for anyone to access. These should contain; meeting minutes, your Environmental Review, space for suggestions from others in the school, snippets and evidence of eco-work that has been covered in the curriculum.

Involving the whole school or setting

Getting others involved in your Eco-Schools work and making sure they stay informed.

One of the best ways of involving the whole school is to hold a regular Day of Action. This provides an opportunity for everyone in your school to get together to work towards achieving some of the targets set out in your Action Plan. You could hold a clean-up event or ditch the junk food for a healthy-eating day. You could even turn off lights and heating for the day and hold some of your lessons in the school grounds.

The following ideas show how you can enhance your Eco-Schools work by including the whole school and the wider community.

When the Eco-Committee is formed:

  • Electing pupil representatives
  • Creating an Eco-Board featuring Eco-Committee members
  • Deciding on which Eco-Schools topics to tackle

At Environmental Review stage:

  • Surveying the school and wider community
  • Letters to local businesses to find potential waste operators
  • Letters to parents identifying skills the school is looking to secure

When preparing your Action Plan:

  • Regular feedback to pupils and staff through assemblies or at form time
  • Arranging speakers from outside organisations and businesses
  • Extending the Action Plan to include activities for pupils to do at home
  • Displaying Action Plan targets on the Eco-Board

Launching Eco-School projects:

  • Organising a school-wide launch event explaining the aim and reason for the project
  • Issuing a call to action for pupils and parents

As part of monitoring and evaluation:

  • Updating and encouraging the whole school at assemblies and form time
  • Displaying results of your activities throughout the school
  • Including real-life monitoring in curriculum work (eg graphs of how pupils get to school)

CELEBRATE your achievements:

  • Commending or rewarding participants
  • Informing the local media
  • Organising a celebration event.

Learning outcomes

Communication and organising are key to effective Eco-Schools activity that gets the whole school involved.

Communicating ideas and projects to a wider audience and getting them involved in projects are key skills in the modern world. Your Eco-Committee will have the chance to develop a lot of these skills as they get their peers involved in their Eco-Schools work.

  • Communication
  • Public speaking
  • Design
  • Literacy
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Facilitation
  • Organising
  • Community engagement

Interactive Eco-School

You can find a greener version of pretty much everything your school uses; pencils, carpets, uniforms, energy. Here you can investigate how you can ‘green’ your school

Interactive Eco-School