Kesgrave High School

Kesgrave High School set out its path to sustainability when it teamed up with The Greenways Countryside Project and Natural England to pursue a project in its SSSI woodland.  Staff and students took part in conservation management, engaging in activities such as the creation of otter holts, bird boxes and coppicing.  At this time, and to date, we are nationally recognised for the percentage of students that choose pedal power to get to school and we were starting to get involved with campaigns such as The Carbon Trust ‘Switch It Off’.  With these projects evolving ‘The Eco Schools Project’ was launched. There are four action teams: Energy/Water, Healthy Living/Transport, Waste/Recycling and Biodiversity/School Grounds. Sub-projects include installation of solar panels, a recycling scheme and a butterfly conservation garden.  By 2009 we had achieved Green Flag status.  

We aim not only to raise “eco-awareness” but also to encourage inclusion and the projects have brought together a diverse group of students and teachers.  We have set up links with other schools believing that communication across the wider community is vital.  Furthermore, environmental issues can be found throughout the curriculum, including an A Level course in Environmental Studies.  Many students leave Kesgrave High School to pursue environmental courses/careers and at the minimum all students leave with an understanding of the importance of sustainability, to pass on to older and future generations. 

 Birchwood Primary School

Our first project for the year came from all the children via our school council. Over 40% of our children regularly cycle or scooter to school. We wanted to encourage this sustainable mode of transport by providing a bike shelter for bad weather. As an ‘Eco’ school it was important to us that the shelter was made from sustainable materials. The original racks were kept in situ with the shelter built over the top. We included two water butts in the design so that the rainwater could be harvested.

Our second project was on a much larger scale. Our school is built on one level incorporating a large roof area. The roof is mainly south facing and lends itself well to solar thermal panels. The cost of installation was huge and beyond our budget. However a little investigating led us to grant funding with the BRE Buildings Research Establishment.

Our installer applied on our behalf for the phase two funding and we received 50%. Our Eco-schools co-ordinator applied for the second part of the funding, and after along time filling in forms having drawings made of the site and arranging planning permission we were successful and received the other 50%.

The solar thermal panels not only provide the school with hot water they have become a learning tool for the whole school community. 

 All Saints CEVA, Newmarket

All Saints’ CEVA School is situated in a congested area, on a busy road in Newmarket, so our Travel Plan focussed on improving pedestrian safety and increasing the number of families using more sustainable ways of travelling.

Some of the projects we have undertaken include installing a new covered cycle shelter, running annual Young Cyclist training and working on new paths and signs to make it safer and easier for those walking. To highlight to the children, the benefits of walking or cycling special events have been held as part of ‘Healthy School’ and ‘Walk to School’ Weeks. We have used our Junior Road Safety Officers to spread the message to the younger children by playing games, doing activities and taking assemblies. In addition, as a school we make the effort to walk to local events whenever possible to set a good example. The police and the local community have been involved in trying to avoid congestion near the school and improve parking. These are all small things in themselves but we are trying to make a difference and to educate the next generation about green issues, for the benefit of the individual, community and world as a whole. 

 Nacton CEVC Primary School

Our school has formed a close relationship with Home Farm Nacton. The Farm, named Tesco Organic grower of 2009, has supplied all our vegetables since 2006. Our school buys into Suffolk County Catering. Staff and 89% of pupils regularly enjoy a school meal.

Our cook emails the farm and our vegetables are delivered to the door from 500 metres away. Fresh and with less than one food mile!

In Maths Year 2000 we invited the manager of Home Farm to explain how he calculates the number of carrots grown in each field, and how many fall off the lorries! Although a rural school, some of our children did not know how the potato grew. They do now!  Our children love visiting the farm and seeing where our vegetables are harvested.

Our children also grow and harvest vegetables to give to our cook, Annie. She serves these separately so our children can enjoy what they have grown. Our lunchtime gardening Club love planting and tending the seeds and plants grown through Suffolk’s Kitchen Garden project.

All our school community enjoy our healthy lunches with tasty vegetables, knowing that by reducing our carbon footprint, we are being green while eating our greens!

 Foxborough Middle School

Our Eco-Schools action team have been working hard for getting on for 3 years now, they have led the team through many exciting projects.

Within our school we have recycling bins in every classroom this waste is then transferred to county blue bins that is collected as paper rubbish. We teamed up with Lowestoft Together and helped them in their efforts of cleaning up Wisset way pond near the school by conducting a wildlife survey. We grow our own vegetables to give to the kitchen to use in the school meals and have held Eco-Sales to recycle unwanted items.

We campaign to have as many children walk or bike to school as possible to cut down on carbon emissions. This is highly successful as we achieved green in our recent school travel health check in both areas. In many of the practical lessons we use recycled materials, but in particular we carry out a unit on making hats using the process of poly-fusion with plastic bags.

We run regular big tidy ups at which we clear up the outside of the school, we have had parents, many children and even a journalist turn up!.