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An essential aspect of the Priory curriculum is to support learners to be the best citizens they can be. To achieve this priory have signed up to be a part of the Eco Schools award. Eco-Schools is the largest global sustainable schools programme – it starts in the classroom and expands to the community by engaging the next generation in action-based learning.

The aim of the programme is to be the basis for the parts of the curriculum that develop learners understanding of sustainability and environmentally issues. The programme supports learners to understand the role that they can play to address the eco issues that exist in our community and in the wider world. By support learners understanding of eco-friendly behavioural patterns they are more equip and understanding how to continue these behaviours in adult life.

The seven stages of the Eco School Award™ Scheme are:

The creation of the Eco school’s committee:   The committee includes learners from all year groups and Pathways. There is also a group of staff who are a part of the committee.  The outdoor learning team as also a part of the committee. We also need a Governor to be involved so please volunteer.  The learners in the committee can be identified on the Eco School display board. 

Eco School review:   The learners in the committee were asked to carry out an Eco school review. The areas that the learners had to review were water, waste, biodiversity, litter, global citizenship, energy, the school grounds, transport and marine life.   The questions were differentiated so that all the members of the committee could understand them. Some of the questions were: Does the school have pet animals? Do you eat fish at school?

Action plan:  Once the review was completed the learners had to select three areas of development in the form of an action plan. The learners chose to work on rain water collection, developing the food areas and collecting food waste. 

Monitoring and reviewing action plan:   This is a big part of students learning as it helps them to reflect on the goals that they set the school. It also linked to the fifth step which is linking Eco issues to the curriculum. This is the stage where the students identify lessons that address Eco issues.

Informing our community:   To inform our community the students will create a page for the website and regular articles for the school newsletter. This will include the final step which is sharing the Eco school code with the school community.

Reward Scheme:  The restructure of the houses and house points so that students could also award was discussed as a tool to empower students.

What have we done so far?   At present the school has established an Eco committee, completed an Eco school review, created an action plan, set up the food waste collection and supported all students in their understanding of how to use the food waste bins.

What next?  The outdoor learning team and the students will be developing the food growing through the school. This will include identifying locations and equipment needed to collect rain water and sharing with students and staff how the water can be used.  The team are applying for external funding for the growing curriculum.

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