Tue, 31 Mar 2020
Prior's Court is working towards Eco-Schools status, with pupils being encouraged to engage with and protect their surrounding environment.
Prior's Court is a special school, offering needs-specific facilities and tutoring to children, young people and young adults with severe autism.
Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging 19.5 million children across 67 countries, empowering them to drive change and improve their environmental awareness through a simple Seven-Step framework in order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag award.
Prior's Court staff are teaching green values to pupils through a number of Eco-Schools-themed activities, such as using virtual reality headsets to explore marine life and its preservation.
More than 2,000 trees and plants have also been planted on Prior's Court's grounds in Hermitage, while efforts have been made to remove plastic bottles from canteens.
As a result of the new environmental strategy, up to 22,000 sheets of paper are now being saved per month.
A nine-member committee has been formed by Prior's Court pupils to carry out regular assessments.
Prior's Court has already earned its bronze Eco-Schools award and is now hoping to go further and achieve Eco-Schools Green Flag status.
The school's purchasing manager Nickie Dunphy said: "Our fundamental aim for the young people we support is to give them the tools to be as independent as possible and that often means thinking deeply about how we do things.
"This has been the case with our Eco-Schools ambitions.
"We are already seeing the benefits of our approach as our young people – both those on the Eco-Schools committee and not – are truly engaged with the tasks at hand and have been hugely enthusiastic in their efforts.
"This is testament also to the dedication of our staffing team.
"We have reached the bronze stage, but this is just the beginning – we want to reach Eco-Schools Green Flag status and make a real difference to the environment."