Step 5 Informing and Involving

Involving the whole school and wider community in your Eco-Schools work

View the full Green Flag criteria, resources and examples below

Informing and Involving Criteria

In order to achieve the international Green Flag Award a school must meet the following criteria.

  • Your school has a prominent and designated Eco-Board detailing all of your work on the Eco-Schools Seven Steps and chosen topic actions. This includes: Eco-Committee members from all year groups (with photographs if possible), meeting minutes, a copy of your Eco-Schools Environmental Review, your Action Plan, examples of Monitoring and Evaluation and your Eco-Code.
  • Your Eco-Board should be regularly updated to reflect your Eco-Schools work.
  • Your Eco-Committee should use a variety of mediums to help communicate their topic actions: newsletters, school website, the school’s Twitter account etc.
  • Your whole school and wider community is involved in Eco-Schools work in and around the school, for example: parents/carers, local authorities, businesses, other national and regional charities, neighbouring schools and residential groups and homes.

Informing and Involving Resources

Here is a selection of resources designed to help you inform and involve the whole school and wider community, please login to your school Eco-Schools account to find more.

You will need to submit a photo of your Eco-Board for your Green Flag application. It is an essential part of your Eco-Schools work acting as a blueprint for your eco-actions and a reminder that being an Eco-School is about a whole school approach.

What’s great is that the Eco-Board can be designed, created and updated by the Eco-Committee at any point on your journey to Green Flag. Use our (Green Flag standard)  Eco-Board template when putting your own together.

At this stage you Eco-Board must include:

  • Your Eco-Committee, showing pupils from all year groups (preferably pictures, but if not possible then names and year groups), so others know who to speak to in order to find out more about your Eco-Schools work.
  • Evidence of project work that your school has undertaken so far.
  • Your most up to date  Environmental Review and Action Plan.
  • Evidence of your previous awards, be they Bronze, Silver or previous Green Flags, along with any other accreditation or award that links to your Eco-Schools work.
  • Meeting minute with space for suggestions from others and examples of eco-work that has been covered in the curriculum.

Eco-Schools Guide to Informing & Involving

Eco-Schools Team Tips

In an early Eco-Committee meeting gather an Eco-Tip from each Eco-Committee member, save these tips and add an ‘Eco-Tip of the Week from the Eco-Commitee’ section to your school newsletter – you should have enough tips to last for many school newsletters!

Informing and Involving FAQs

Answers to some of the most common informing and involving queries.

What does informing and involving mean?

To maximise the impact of their Eco-Schools work, the Eco-Committee will need to tell as many people as possible about the work they are carrying out and involve as many people as possible.

How do we inform our school about the Eco-Schools programme?

The first step to informing your school is your Eco-Board: you will be asked to submit a photo of your Eco-Board as evidence during the final stage of your Green Flag application. Other ways we suggest you inform the school is through holding regular assemblies and class presentations about the work your Eco-Commitee have completed and organising fun school events and competitions.

How do we involve our school in the Eco-Schools programme?

One of the best ways of involving the whole school is to get involved in one of the many environmentally friendly events that happen every academic year. For example Keep Britain Tidy runs the Great British Spring Clean and Great Big School clean every March and the Pods Switch Off Fortnight happens every November. There are many other examples; it is entirely up to your school and Eco-Committee to choose which events to get involved in based on the topics you have picked for your action plan.

How do we inform our wider community about the Eco-Schools programme?

You can inform the wider community about the Eco-Schools programme through newsletters to parents (e-mailed newsletters are preferable); invitations to class assemblies and school events and through sharing your progress on any social media the school may have. You could also invite members from the wider community to have a presence on your Eco-Committee (dependant on your safeguarding policy) and encourage the community to get involved in schools events such as litter picks.

Can we have an electronic Eco-Board?

In short, yes! We have seen schools have a page on their school website act as an online Eco-Board accessible by both pupils and parents. We have also seen schools put all of the information required on an Eco-Board in a PowerPoint presentation, which is then displayed on screens throughout the school. If you do decide to create your Eco-Board electronically it is important that it still contains all of the information on our Eco-Board template as we use this as evidence when assessing Green Flag applications.

School Examples

Norbury Manor Primary School, Croydon

The Eco-Committee at Norbury Primary school decided to host an Eco-Week. During their week of eco-activities, all learning was focused on the three topics the Eco-Committee had chosen to work on in their Action Plan: Waste, Litter and Energy. Teaching staff used the books Greta and the Giant by Zoe Tucker and Protect the Planet by Jess French as a springboard for learning and their week of activities.
The whole school discussed the importance of saving energy, writing informational leaflets for saving energy in school and at home and creating 'Switch Off!' signs for light switches and electronic device. For the Litter topic, anti-litter posters were designed (using recycled paper of course) and the whole school participated in litter picks. Addressing Waste. the Eco-Committee ensured each classroom had a clearly labelled recycling box and old photocopying boxes were upcycled to create new pen recycling boxes.
Norbury even went above and beyond the topics in their Action Plan; creating bug houses; practicing observation and orienteering skills; and planting bee friendly plants to help with the pollination cycle.
Towards the end of the week, everyone reflected on their journey to becoming an Eco-School and how everyone plays a role in protecting the planet. As Greta Thunberg said, 'No one is too small to make a difference!'

School Website

Sussex Road Primary School, Tonbridge

The Eco-Warriors at Sussex Road Primary School thought of an amazing way to get their whole school involved in environmental actions: by creating their first ever Eco-Warrior Challenge. For their classmates to participate, they simply had to complete 9 eco-activities (designed by the Eco-Warriors) such as donating an item of clothing or completing a litter pick. They would then have to get their completed sheets signed off by an adult and hand them to their Eco-Coordinator. Finally, one completed KS1 sheet and one completed KS2 sheet were chosen at random to receive an eco-prize that the Warriors had sourced by writing to local businesses.

School Website

St Benedict's Primary School, Birmingham

St Benedict's Primary School Eco-Committee have decided to take a stand against single-use plastics in our school, after learning about the danger plastic poses to our environment and in particular, the marine environment. Our children asked if we could reduce the amount of single-use plastics we have in school by stopping using plastic cups and plates for school parties. This was achieved by writing to the Head Teacher to gain support and then implementing the policy across the whole school. The Eco-Committee also wrote to the school milk supplier to ask them to find an alternative to plastic straws in wrappers on each carton. They then contacted our seed supplier to ask them to no longer send seeds in plastic envelopes: the Committee got a reply stating that our supplier respected the children's concerns and would be looking into this for them. The children then took part in a plastic pick and tidied their local area making sure to remove any plastic items they found. The amount of plastic that they found shocked the Eco-Committee so much they decided to write to the Queen to emphasise how concerned they were about the UK's use and poor management of single-use plastics. To our children's amazement they got a reply! This has furthered our children's belief in themselves and their understanding that they can make a difference because their little voices are just as important as everyone else's!

School Website

Milford Pre-School, Lymington

The staff at Milford are passionate about proving that age is no object when it comes to being eco-friendly.
As a pre-school, Milford have shown other settings how they can join in and what they can do to become more environmentally aware. At meetings, our Eco-Coordinator, Sarah, regularly tells other pre-schools how they can be more eco.
We harvest the power of pester by teaching our pupils about being eco in school and at home: for example switching off taps, to make sure no water is wasted (we have even installed a water butt in their allotment and mud kitchen). The lights are only on in Milford when the sun is hiding behind clouds and we harvest the sun for our solar pizza ovens! On the topic of food, we grow all of our own fruit and vegetables (mostly using seeds that parents have donated). Each term we hold allotment workshops for the parents, parents are invited to come along, give advice and share the workload - a great way to get everyone involved. We regularly send messages home to parents to encourage them to follow our eco-friendly actions like swapping plastic straws for paper, making sure our wider community is informed about environmental issues.
Our wildflower meadows and planters encourage biodiversity and this stimulates our children's learning and we invite many visitors in such as worm watch and the local council's waste department.  To make recycling easy for parents we collect pens, pouches, stamps and batteries to recycle or donate and three times a year we support our community by holding a collection for our local food bank.
As the children are so young, they don't attend formal Eco-Committee meetings, instead, they learn through their daily routine and activities. By involving parents in everything eco, we make sure to provide these learning opportunities are also available at home.

School Website

Penshurst Primary School, Hessle

During half-term the Eco-Committee at Penshurst decided to invite pupils, parents, grandparents and siblings to work on both Evie's Garden and their allotment area. During the day, an unorganised shed was finally organised (thanks to keen grandparents); two new triangular beds were created (by repurposing old, unused playground equipment); an (unloved) sandpit was turned into a new carrot growing area, a (donated) mini greenhouse was built; and seedlings were planted (the allotment is now flourishing). The day was great fun and a huge success - it just goes to show what can quickly be achieved by involving your school community in Eco-Schools work!

School Website

Portsmouth High Prep School, Portsmouth

The Year 6 Girls at Portsmouth High Prep School wrote and edited their very own Eco Earth newsletter showcasing all the fantastic things their school community do to help protect our environment, There were articles about: beach cleans, which take place during the summer, and why they are important; how to recycle crisp packets and other food wrapping; an interview with the school gardener; advertisements for a second-hand clothes sale; eco reading recommendations and of course an update on the progress of their Eco-Schools Green Flag Award.

School Website

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