Every setting that achieves an Eco-Schools Green Flag goes above and beyond to protect our planet, their actions are truly inspirational. The Eco-Schools’ Awards are designed to further highlight a small number of Green Flag schools, colleges, and nurseries each year, who have delivered, and shared, especially innovative, inspirational, and impactful Eco-Schools work.
Don’t forget, you can apply for an Eco-Schools Award by completing Q.4 in the Bonus Educational section before submitting your Green Flag application.
Biodiversity Topic Award Winner: Hemdean House Primary, Reading
From tiny pygmy shrews in Cornwall to mighty oak trees in Cumbria, Biodiversity in England and on Earth is amazing. But unfortunately, the incredible variety of animals, insects, and plants we share our planet with is under threat – an estimated 1 million species are currently at risk of extinction. Last year pupils in England said, ‘enough is enough,’ and battled back, building bug hotels, feeding birds, and creating over 1 million m2 of natural habitats… Hemdean House led the charge.
Energy Topic Award Winner: Bidston Avenue Primary School, The Wirral
Energy is used to light our schools, cook our school lunches, and enhance our learning, but most of the UK’s electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels, which produces greenhouse gases, contributing to the climate crisis. Young people in England understand that whilst energy is great, the impact our energy-use has on our planet is not so great. So, last year Eco-Schools across England appointed energy monitors, fitted energy-saving devices, installed renewable energy sources, and even made financial savings for their school… and no school put more effort into their energy-saving actions than Bidston Avenue Primary School.
Global Citizenship Topic Award Winner: West Kirby Grammar School, The Wirral
Global Citizens know that we are stronger when we think collectively and work together. They know that to make our planet more peaceful, sustainable, and fair we need to stop thinking individually and start collaborating. And that’s just what Eco-Schools across England did last year, raising awareness, organising charity events, and including as many people as possible in their Eco-Schools actions… Everyone who participates in the Eco-Schools Programme thinks like a global citizen, but one school particularly shone, West Kirby Grammar School in the Wirral.
Healthy Living Topic Award Winner: Cambourne Village College, Cambridge
Our health and our planet’s health are inherently linked, and this is why every year thousands of Eco-Committees plan and deliver projects that not only improve young people’s mental and physical wellbeing, they also positively impact our world. Last year more than 100,000 young people benefitted from Eco-Schools Healthy Living projects ranging from growing their own fruit and vegetables, to introducing new mental wellbeing practices in their school… And one school particularly stood out, Cambourne Village College.
Litter Topic Award Winner: Meldreth Manor School, Royston
Litter is waste that’s in the wrong place. It looks terrible, costs our country millions of pounds to clean up every year, and every day the RSPCA receives 10 calls about animals harmed by litter, that’s more than 3,000 calls a year. Eco-Schools across the country cannot and do not accept this, so last year young people from across England went out into their local communities and removed more than 25,000 bags of litter from our streets… The litter actions at Aurora Meldreth Manor School caught our attention.
Marine Topic Award Winner: Queen Elizabeth Hospital School, Bristol
Marine environments are under threat. Plastic pollution has been found in the deepest depths of our oceans and ocean acidification threatens corals, crabs, and all other marine-based life. Last year, regardless of whether their school is located near the coast or not, Eco-Committees defended our oceans, banning single-use plastics, cleaning beaches, and reusing water bottles… One school did all this and more – Queen Elizabeth Hospital School.
School Grounds Topic Award Winner: Nether Hall School, Leicester
There are nearly 25,000 schools in England and each one has the potential to cut carbon emissions, support biodiversity, and create future generations of environmentalists! And last year millions of young eco-warriors realised this potential, planning projects that captured carbon, supported biodiversity, and promoted outdoor learning, working hard to turn English Schools into a sustainable superpower… And the actions of young eco-warriors at Nether Hall School in Leicester were especially impressive.
Transport Topic Award Winner: Gorse Hall Primary School, Tameside
Transport is one of the world’s biggest sources of the greenhouse gases that trap heat in our atmosphere and cause climate change… and that’s not all, the pollutants that cars emit also affect the air we breathe, harming our health, and contributing to respiratory diseases like Asthma. That’s why last year thousands of young people in England ditched the car and walked, cycled, and scooted to school instead… One school led on these actions, Gorse Hall Primary.
Waste Topic Award Winner: Downsview Primary School, London
Waste is a problem, it drains natural resources, pollutes land and sea, and releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent that carbon dioxide, into our atmosphere… And unfortunately, the UK has a huge waste problem, we’re producing so much of it that our country’s landfill space is quickly running out! But together we can make a difference – last year schools working on the Eco-Schools programme managed to divert more than 2 million kgs of waste from landfill… And Downsview Primary School refused, reduced, reused, repaired, and recycled their way to our Waste Award.
Water Topic Award Winner: Acorn Early Years Shambrook, Bedford
Without water life as we know it would not exist, yet sometimes water is taken for granted and not recognised for the precious natural resource it is. Fortunately, this is not the case for pupils who attend an Eco-School. Last year, Eco-Schools’ pupils checked dripping taps and fixed toilet leaks, harvested rainwater and reused grey water, installed water-saving devices and appointed water monitors… And some of our country’s youngest eco-warriors were role models for all – Acorn Early Years Shambrook.
Early Years Setting Award: Employee-Owned Childbase Partnership
The Eco-Schools programme works slightly differently in Early Years settings, where some of our littlest Eco-Warriors are a bit too young to plan and deliver their own eco-projects. In settings like this, it’s up to dedicated staff members to plan environmental actions and learning that younger children can connect with and take part in. In these settings, inspirational staff members take huge and complicated issues and translate them into understandable and fun learning opportunities for young people. They do this because they believe that no one is too small to make a big difference, and their efforts deserve recognition, this year’s award recognises a whole chain of trailblazing nurseries… Childbase Partnership!
Schools are incredibly busy places, every day pupils have a packed curriculum to work through, whilst educators are tasked with delivering learning in fun, engaging ways that are inclusive to all. Yet despite the day-to-day challenges that all schools face, Green Flag Eco-Schools also find time, often sacrificing break and lunchtimes, to educate young people about environmental issues and deliver planet-protecting, pupil-led environmental action! They do this not because they have to, but because they want to create a better future for everyone. If we all shared this attitude, there wouldn’t be a climate crisis. From the many inspirational primary schools who achieved an Eco-Schools Green Flag last year, Westbrook Hay were especially inspirational.
Secondary Setting Award: Aylesbury High School, Buckinghamshire
Secondary school students are often stereotyped as lazy and indifferent, but anyone lucky enough to witness the amazing work of Eco-Committee’s in high schools last year, would know that this stereotype is the exact opposite of reality. Because all secondary school students involved in the Eco-Schools programme are passionate, proactive, and dedicated young people who work tirelessly to improve their local community, support biodiversity, reduce waste, and fight climate change. The students at Aylesbury High School are amongst the most passionate and committed of all.
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