Hello and welcome to the final Eco-Schools Newsletter of the academic year, we hope you are all busy preparing for a fantastic summer break, you deserve it!
To kick this newsletter off, we simply want to say thank you. Each and every one of you has gone above and beyond your roles to give young people a voice and empower them to protect our planet… we can’t put into words how amazing this is, but we can, simply say, thank you!
Due to a coding error on the part of our IT supplier, last Friday, some of you received multiple e-mails reminding you that the Eco-Schools Green Flag application window closes on 31st July. Multiple procedures and precautions have since been put in place to ensure it will not happen again – apologies to those affected.
Eco-Schools Training 2022-2023
Thanks to ethical children’s clothing brand Frugi, we are delighted to announce that our online training sessions for 2022-2023 are once again entirely free for anyone employed by a school, college or nursery in England.
Ideal for Eco-Coordinators working towards Green Flag for the first time, our training is divided into three different sessions taking place throughout the academic year. This means the Eco-Schools Team can accompany you and on your journey and provide support whenever needed.
Session 1 will introduce the Eco-Schools programme and provide advice on navigating Steps 1-3 in a busy school (or nursery).
You can sign up for Session 1 now by heading to Get Involved > Eco-Schools Training 2022-2023 on this website or clicking the link below – be quick each session has limited spaces!
Things to be Excited About 2022-2023
With the academic year coming to an end, we wanted to share some exciting initiatives we are launching (or re-launching) in 2022-2023!
- Learning About Forests has been simplified and improved, challenging participating schools to complete a number of new activities in order to achieve the free LEAF accreditation.
- The Get Loud on Litter eco-project will encourage young people to raise awareness of and tackle litter-related issues.
- Top Tips for Covering the Climate Crisis in schools – This series of 5 short videos (made in collaboration with eco-author Sarah Roberts) will enable educators to tackle climate-related issues with confidence.
- After taking a forced break due to COVID, the Eco-Schools National Awards are back and this time online! Recognising the most innovative and impactful Eco-Schools in England!
- Our first ever Eco-Schools Impact Report will highlight that small people can make a big difference!
- (Re)Love Our Stuff relaunch, with new resources and graphics!
Not Ready to Submit Your Eco-Schools Green Flag Application?
If you’re not ready to apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag this year and worried all your hard work will be lost… don’t worry! Simply save any evidence you have gathered in a folder on your computer, it can (and should) still be used as evidence towards an Eco-Schools Green Flag next year!
Renewing Your Eco-Schools Green Flag Application
If you applied for an Eco-Schools Green Flag last academic year, you do not need to renew your Green Flag this year. Last year was the final year of Eco-Schools as a two year programme and therefor your Green Flag status will remain in place until next Summer.
Eco-Stat – the Hottest Day of the Year (so far)!
It looks like today is likely to turn into the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures reaching 33C, but did you know the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 38.7C with the measurement taken in Cambridge on 25th July 2019. Worryingly, many experts have predicted this record temperature will be comprehensively beaten this year with temperatures in the UK reaching over 40C for the first time. This simply highlights how important it is to be proactive in combatting climate change, it’s also just another reason we’re so thankful to have so many inspirational Eco-Coordinators throughout England engaging young people in environmental action.
Eco-Schools, Working Together to Make a Difference!
One of the more challenging aspects of the Eco-Schools programme is linking with others to spread Eco-Schools actions beyond school boundaries and maximise impacts. In this regard, Marlow in Buckinghamshire is a very lucky town, because it is blessed with several schools all willing to work together, going above and beyond to improve their local community and protect our planet.
Earlier this year, Marlow C of E Infant School hosted the second annual Marlow Eco-Conference for nearby schools. At the conference, Eco-Committee reps from 9 schools (infant, primary, junior and secondary) discussed how they could make a difference, deciding to hold an Eco-Day of action on the 10th June to mark World Environment Day.
Having decided on a date, they formulated a plan of action:
- To raise awareness, all pupils at every school would wear green for the day.
- They would travel to school sustainably.
- They would complete litter-picks across Marlow.
- No electricity would be used in any school.
- Throughout the day pupils learning would be environmentally-themed.
- … and they would spread the word in a local newspaper.
The day was a massive success, with Mrs Sharon Reynolds, Headteacher at Marlow C of E Infant School, saying ‘Children at all of our schools are keen to make a difference. They decided that, if they worked together, then the whole town would see how serious they are about looking after our beautiful planet and safeguarding it for their future’
Now, 3 of the 9 schools involved have achieved an Eco-Schools Green Flag and the remaining 6 are in the process of applying before the deadline!
Thank you to all participating schools for sharing your masterclass in collaboration, we’re sure many will be inspired by your actions to reach out to their nearby schools next year!