Saint James C of E Primary School, West End is the first primary school in the Borough to achieve the Eco-Schools Green Flag with help and support from Eastleigh Borough Council’s sustainability team.
The school set up an Eco committee called the Planet Protectors, co-ordinated by learning support assistant Heather Rudd and chose biodiversity, global citizenship and healthy living as three of the ten Eco schools topics they would work on. Over the past couple of years they have achieved Bronze and Silver awards and now this year have achieved the Green Flag award.
Eco-Schools is an educational programme that empowers and encourages children to drive change, raises environmental awareness and improve their environment and the wider community. The programme also encourages pupils of all ages and abilities to work together to develop their knowledge and environmental awareness. The positive impacts on pupils include increased confidence, development of leaderships skills, improved pupil well-being and behaviour and greater motivation at school.
The Planet Protectors have worked hard on reducing the energy the school uses, recycling milk bottle tops and plastic pens, Encouraging more people to grow their own food and working with Bike It Ray, from Sustrans, on increasing walking, scooting and cycling to school. Throughout all these activities there has been a strong focus on mental health and well-being.
Cabinet Lead for Environment Cllr Rupert Kyrle said, “These awards show the interest in the environment and climate change the young people have and we must listen to them and make the necessary changes. This award is richly deserved for the hard work that Heather and the Planet Protectors have put into it.”
Heather Rudd said, “I am extremely proud of all the Planet Protectors and all they have achieved in the school. We look forward to continuing with our work and taking forward new ideas in the future.”
Eastleigh Borough Council supports Eco-Schools and would encourage any other schools who are interested to talk through the options with Giles Gooding, the Council’s Sustainability Officer email@example.com