Let’s Go Zero school action:Ysgol Bro Dinefwr Secondary, Wales
Ysgol Bro Dinefwr is a rural secondary school that started off its sustainability work by growing vegetables. Now staff and students are working on many different aspects of school life to become carbon neutral by 2030. This includes:
Expanding an outdoor learning area for the whole school to use. This helps students learn about the environment through different subjects such as art and drama as well as food growing.
Looking at how the school buys energy, and pledging to be 100% renewable by 2030.
Working with local chefs to make canteen food procurement more local and sustainable.
A student-led petition, supported by all schools in the local authority area, to ensure food is sustainable and menus are controlled by the council.
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 have seen first-hand the role of action in reducing climate anxiety – the pupils have written letters to staff explaining why they think this is a good idea. We need to empower them and inspire them.”
Ian Chriswick, Assistant Head Teacher
“My favourite thing about working outdoors is that even though it doesn’t feel like we’re learning, we’re learning all the time…. It’s more calm, out here so I feel like I can focus more on the work I am doing”
Eva, Year 7
The school aims to install an electric vehicle charging point at the school for use by teachers and the wider community – it would– be the first in the area.
Students have started a petition with all schools in the local authority area for the council to procure sustainable and local food. Currently, chickens come from a wholesaler in South East Asia. The school has been producing meals with local chefs to show the council how it can be achieved.
Students are also involved in food growing, and next year they hope to make chutneys for the community from their newly planted orchard.
The school wants 100% of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. There are currently solar panels on one of their five buildings, and the school hopes to increase this to all five. Any surplus electricity would be bought from a local wind farm.
One of the main strands of the new curriculum for Wales in 2022 is sustainability; to develop ethically informed citizens. Rather than just telling the children what to do, the school aims to practice what it preaches.
The school’s outdoor performance stage is wooden and, where possible, was built with sustainable locally sourced products. Students were involved with the design process for the stage, and they learnt all about the materials and sustainable building methods that were being use.
The students are part of a network of schools that meet once a term to discuss climate change issues and how as individuals, their school and their local authority can take climate action. It is chaired by pupils from one of the schools each time and includes guest speakers from local organisations and council including the director for education and the deputy minister.