Step 5 Informing and Involving

Engaging the entire school and its wider community in eco-projects and actions for the 3 Eco-Schools topics chosen in Step 3: Action Plan.

Informing and Involving Criteria

In order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag award your school must meet the following criteria.

  • Your school has a prominent, designated and up-to-date Eco-Board (physical or digital) detailing all your Eco-Schools work. This includes evidence of topic actions and work on each of the Seven Steps (see criteria for each step for further details).
  • Your Eco-Committee communicate with your school in a variety of ways.
  • Your whole school has the opportunity to participate in Eco-Schools work.
  • Optional for first Eco-Schools Green Flag: Your wider school community benefits from, or is invited to participate in, your Eco-Schools work.

Informing and Involving Criteria Guidance

Further information about the Eco-Schools criteria for Step 5: Informing and Involving.

  • Your Eco-Committee may communicate their Eco-Schools work in a number of different ways, including: e-newsletters, assemblies, school website, social media etc.
  • Your Eco-Committee might choose to involve any of the following members of their wider community in their Eco-Schools work: student’s families, your local authority, utilities providers, local or national businesses, charities, nearby schools or feeder schools, ‘friends of’ groups, places of worship or any other local organisations.
  • This step is essentially present throughout your Eco-Schools journey from start to finish. We recommend beginning to look at this section of the Eco-Schools Application as early as October.

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-Committee’ section to your school newsletter – you should have enough tips to last for many school newsletters!

Informing and Involving Resources

A list of Informing and Involving resources you will be able to access when you login to your Eco-Schools account.

  • Secondary Social Media Posts. Social media images, which can be used to highlight and celebrate each step of your Eco-Schools journey.

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-Committee 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 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 students 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.

Informing and Involving Examples

Aylesbury High School, Buckinghamshire

Aylesbury High School were awarded their Eco-Schools Green Flag last year following two years of hard work. Their first step was to get as many enthusiastic students as possible involved, quickly identifying those students capable of leading the projects decided on in their Action Plan. Aylesbury's Eco-Committee and Coordinator soon realised it takes time, persistence and dedication to just keep pushing even when things seem bleak. The Eco-Committee addressed the whole school during assemblies and found that the school website is a great place to highlight to parents the need for eco-initiatives in school.
The first area Aylesbury's Eco-Committee tackled was the canteen, which is now plastic free with all take-away packaging fully biodegradable. This had a huge impact on Aylebsury's waste and recycling programs. As part of their Eco-Schools work the school has also created a small garden area and the Eco-Committee are now working towards further increasing biodiversity across the school site. The school's leadership team has also agreed that any future building work and improvements will minimise environmental impact and increase the school's energy efficiency. The Eco-Committee and Eco-Coordinator at Aylesbury have words of advice for other schools working to become more sustainable: 'Obviously there are limits on expenditure so it is important to remember that we can't achieve everything perfectly. It is about doing what you can, every little thing adds to the global picture.'

School Website

Downe House School, Thatcham

In an effort to save paper, Downe House Eco-Committee (or DECOs for short) decided to use their school website to create an electronic Eco-Board and tell the world about their journey to Eco-Schools Green Flag. Acting almost like an eco-blog, the DECOs' webpage hosted all the Eco-Schools work usually found on a physical Eco-Board: Environmental Review, Action Plan, Monitoring and Evaluation, a fantastic Eco-Code etc.
However, hosting their Eco-Board electronically also allowed the Eco-Committee to create an innovative, detailed and forward-thinking Eco-Board, which also included: detailed description of why actions in their Action Plan were chosen; links to environmental news stories; book recommendations; advice on being sustainable at home; environmental quizzes; art competitions; surveys; details on staffroom environmental action... and much more! Thank you DECOs for showing us how electronic Eco-Boards can enhance Eco-Schools work!

School Website

Victoria Education Centre

This photograph is of Torin and Reece broadcasting their 'Eco-Time' show from Victoria Education Centre's VIBE (Victoria Inclusive Broadcasting Enterprise) radio station. Radio manager Tony is a part of Victoria's Eco-Committee and he uses talking points and information from committee meetings to create eco-shows. Each radio show includes interviews with passionate students and the sharing of any Eco-Work (poems, research, speeches) that the students have completed. The show also includes eco-jingles and information about upcoming eco-events. Currently, they are creating a soundclip of their Eco-Code to include in their broadcasts. Other recent features have included: student information on how to grow a pumpkin in the run-up to Victoria's School Pumpkin Growing Collaboration and an interview with an expert on trees, who visited the school and shared tips on identify trees. Staff and students at Victoria all agree that the radio station is a great way to share all their Eco-Schools work.

School Website

Cardinal Allen, Fleetwood

Eco-Schools is an integral and major component of Cardinal Allen's curriculum. As a Green Flag holder, the Eco-Schools programme drives campaigns to reduce energy use, litter and waste in our local community. The Healthy Living and Transport topics have instigated projects that have enabled their students to live healthier lives and the Biodiversity topic has empowered students to look after their local environment and wildlife. The Eco-Schools twinning programme has also allowed Cardinal Allen to link with students from around the world and sharing their passion for environmental issues.

Cardinal Allen is part of a large cluster of 14 like-minded schools and they share many joint activities to make the Fleetwood area a better place to live. Over the past few years, they have enjoyed getting to know each other at events such as their Eco-Conference and Eco-Fashion Show as well as trips to local country parks.

School Website

Ashfield School, Nottingham

Not only have pupils at Ashfield School in Nottingham appeared on BBC East Midlands Today talking about their Eco-Schools work to the local community, they also begin targeting new Eco-Committee members before they are even old enough to join the school! At year 6 open evenings, prospective students are asked to write an environmental pledge on a piece of bunting. This bunting is then saved to go in their base room in the next academic year - a great way to brighten a room and tell everyone about what is important at Ashfield!

School Website

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