Stillness Infant School has held the internationally recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag award since 2004.
Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging 19.5 million children across 67 countries, making it the largest educational programme in the world. The awards programme empowers children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness through a Seven Step framework to achieve bronze, silver or the international Eco-Schools Green Flag award.
The Seven Step framework begins with setting up an Eco-committee, completing an environmental review and producing an action plan. It moves through to linking environmental issues with our whole school curriculum. We inform and involve the whole school community through assemblies, class discussions and lessons, and to parents through our weekly year group and whole school newsletters (our newsletters are emailed to parents and can be viewed on our website too.) As a school, the staff monitor and evaluate the school’s environmental work by asking for pupil feedback and through the quality of the work produced by the pupils. We have a school Eco-code which is displayed in every classroom and other school spaces (offices and shared teaching spaces such as our art room and computer suite.)
There are a total of ten topics to choose from for each Green Flag renewal which occurs every two years. We choose five of these topics and each renewal requires us to change two of these topics to ensure we eventually work through all ten topics over time. The topics are biodiversity, litter, marine, energy, healthy living, school grounds, transport, waste, water and global citizenship.
At Stillness Infant School, much of the learning and many of our activities are embedded in the curriculum. We have an Eco-council that is made up of twelve pupils, two from each of our Year 1 and Year 2 classes and they litter pick around the school, discuss ideas and activities and complete audits around the school. An environmental audit is completed each year with the help of our Eco TA who also completes our action plan using year group planning and other embedded activities. An eco-notice board is located in our playground for the parents and visitors to view.
The children enjoy environmental activities across the whole school curriculum. Our year group topics include looking at animals and minibeasts, planting seeds, watching the seasons and the weather and learning about the oceans and the rainforest. Our TfL STARS school travel plan means that sustainable travel activities (walking, scootering and cycling) are regularly undertaken including ‘Walk to School’ month and the ‘Big Pedal.’ We complete the Daily Mile every week, take part in Fairtrade Fortnight and watch the lifecycle of ducks from eggs to ducklings – a real school highlight! Our Eco TA organises and runs many of our Eco activities including organising our Year 2 recycling monitors and scooter training for Reception pupils. Annually we take part in national charity events like Children In Need, Comic Relief, Macmillan and others to raise awareness of these issues to the children and the parents alike.
For more information on our environment work, please contact Zara Mitton via the school office. Please also see the website links to our TfL STARS school travel plan, Nature Explorers and the Daily Mile.