Let’s Go Zero school action:Dalmain Primary School, London, England
After eco work was stalled by COVID19, Dalmain Primary School has been re-establishing its Eco Council and getting its networks going with parents, the wider community and the local council. With a driven head teacher, the school has already managed to:
Install solar panels by working with Retrofit Action For Tomorrow (RAFT).
Become the first Lewisham school to replace its old gas boiler with a new air-source heat pump.
Continuously monitor waste, water, and energy use to reduce bills and save resources.
Explore the Let’s Go Zero map to see where else teachers, students and school communities are taking action to become zero carbon by 2030.
“We’re very much at the beginning of our journey with all of this. Every step is a step in the right direction. I have a team that really look over this stuff all the time. It’s a lot about getting the right people. I can be passionate about this, but I need a team around me to deliver this, I need a leadership team who are on board, I need an office team who are on board, so they very much are.”
Erika Eisele, Headteacher
The school is on the South Circular, an exceptionally busy road running through South London, and is doing a lot of work on air quality. The school has worked with Lewisham council to create a school street, a road outside the school that temporarily restricts motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. The restriction applies to school traffic and through traffic. The result is a safer, healthier and pleasant environment for everyone.
A lot of the students already walk and cycle to school, but implementing the school street has made a huge positive impact.
The school monitors water use to see where waste is happening. This revealed that the school was being charged twice for its water use.
Dalmain is also looking at trying to get new toilets that use less water.
The school has done a lot of work with RAFT including installing solar panels, fixing leaking roofs and insulating the building. RAFT also ran educational workshops with students and staff, supporting a whole school community approach, where everyone understands why it is important to retrofit old buildings. The students used a thermal imagery camera to see where heat was being lost, and used imagery from this as part of an art project.
The school has also switched off one of its gas boilers and replaced it with an air-source heat-pump. Dalmain is now searching for funding to replace another boiler.