Tue, 07 Jul 2020
TWO Thatcham schools are flying high after being recognised for their environmental commitment.
Parsons Down Partnership of Schools, which includes Parsons Down Infant and Junior schools, has been awarded the Green Flag by Eco-Schools.
Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging 19.5 million children across 67 countries, making it the largest educational programme on the planet.
It empowers children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness through a seven-step framework to achieve the Green Flag.
The accreditation is the result of a year’s worth of eco actions and activities devised by the pupils’ eco-committee.
Since September last year, the partnership has focused on the topics of energy, water and waste, making significant environmental changes in school.
Pupils and staff recycled crisp packets and pens, switched off electrical items when not in use and learned about the importance of water – raising money for Water Aid in the process.
Environmental topics were also studied, from learning about plants in Year 2 to assessing the impact of deforestation in Years 5/6.
The school’s commitment to eco work continued in lockdown, setting a competition on Earth Day to write an eco-code – a mission statement that demonstrates their school’s commitment to improving environmental performance.
The winning entry was an eco rap written by a boy in Year 5.
Parsons Down headteacher Catherine Bull said: “I am delighted to announce that Parsons Down Partnership have been awarded this prestigious Green Flag for their hard work and dedication to the Eco-Schools initiative.
“I have been continually impressed by the dedication of children, staff and the local community to work together to make a difference and look after our precious planet.
“This has continued throughout lockdown and achieving our Green Flag means a lot to everybody.
“I am immensely proud of everybody who has enabled this to happen and I’m looking forward to building upon the hard work next year.”
An important part of the Eco-Schools scheme is to spread the word about taking care of the environment.
During the shutdown of schools, Parsons Down has developed an Eco-Schools web page, which includes an eco blog feed and curriculum work, as well as the eco-committee’s action plan.
Each year group was also set Our Planet projects during lockdown, providing a great scope for eco home learning across the whole partnership.
The school has also shared eco activities on its website, blog and social media pages.
An Eco-Schools from home page has been used to display environmental activities, games and information, as well as to share photos of the environmental work children have been doing during lockdown.
The school said this had provided children “a chance to continue to develop their environmental impact within their home and local community”.
For more information, visit https://www.pdp.w-berks.sch.uk/ eco-schools or https://www.pdp.w-berks.sch.uk/eco-schools-from-home