Making a difference to pupils’ lives
The Eco-Schools programme provides a unique opportunity that empowers pupils to lead change within their school and have a positive impact in their wider community. The programme encourages pupils of all ages and abilities to work together to develop their knowledge and environmental awareness. Independent research into the Eco-Schools programme in England found evidence of the positive impacts on pupils, including increased confidence, development of leaderships skills, improved pupil well-being and behaviour and greater motivation at school.
Waste less and save money
As well as the pupil benefits, which have a hugely positive effect on the whole school community, individual schools benefit from reducing their environmental impact. Eco-Schools consume less water and energy and produce less waste – in turn saving money that can be allocated elsewhere in the school. See the true extent of these savings below.
Green Flag award criteria
At Robert Ogden School we have been part of the Eco-schools programme for over 11 years gaining our bronze award back in 2007. We applied for our first green flag in May 2010 and are due for renewal again this year. Over the years we have committed ourselves to the programme and it is now firmly embedded into the curriculum. To apply for a green flag we have to follow the strict criteria below.
• The school has an Eco-Committee that meets at least once every half term
• Pupils take significant responsibility for running the committee (the level of responsibility expected depends on the age and ability of the pupils involved)
• The Eco-Committee includes a parent and/or governor representative
• The Eco-Committee has completed an Environmental Review covering the Eco-Schools nine topics and green procurement policy topics
• The results have been recorded
• Pupils were involved in carrying out the review
• Results of the review have been discussed by the Eco-Committee and communicated with the whole school
• The review must be completed at least once every two years, but ideally should be completed every school year, to enable the Eco-Committee to do follow-up reviews to see the progress your school has made.
• The Eco-Committee has produced a detailed Action Plan
• The plan contains timescales, who is responsible and how eco work will be monitored and evaluated
• The plan should contain development of any policies made that cover the nine topic, this should include a Green Procurement policy (A green procurement policy has been a requirement from January 2013)
• The Eco-Committee has shared the Action Plan with the rest of the school
Linking to the curriculum
• Sustainability has been covered in at least three curriculum areas by most year groups
Involving the whole school and wider community
• The school has a prominent, designated notice board, detailing Eco-Schools activities
• The Eco-Committee regularly communicates Eco-Schools activities to the whole school and wider community (eg. via assemblies and newsletters)
• The school has shared good practice with other schools who wish to join the Eco-Schools programme or who are already engaged in the programme
• The school shares good practice and supports others within their Eco-Community (eg. local Eco-Centres and homes)
Monitoring and evaluation
• Physical evidence has been collected of the school’s progress including data collection and analysis (graphs etc)
• Some monitoring data has been used in curriculum work
• The school has an agreed, adopted and displayed Eco-Code
• The Eco-Code is displayed on the Eco-Schools notice board and in all classrooms
• The Eco-Code is known and understood by the majority of pupils and staff