Let’s Go Zero school action:Parkgate House School, London, England
Parkgate House School have been working with their students and local community to lower their school’s environmental impact. They have been collaborating with lots of external organisations and have created a pupil-led eco-committee to drive their sustainability efforts, which include:
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“It’s part of our ethos to be connected to our wider world and be connected to our community. We want to inspire children to go off and lead their lives in a sustainable way.”
Lizzie Lyon, Heap of Prep and Eco-Coordinator.
Each year, during the spring term, Parkgate House School focuses on an area of sustainability, outside of the curriculum, to give students the opportunity to enrich their understanding of the world. This year, they are focusing on marine conservation and have the Marine Conservation Society coming in to deliver workshops. Sustainability is also embedded into the curriculum and lessons are made as cross curricular as possible, from students using recycled materials to create art projects, to writing environmentally themed non-fiction in English lessons.
Nursery and early years students spend a lot of time outdoors in the school grounds, going on nature walks and taking part in the nature club, whilst there are plans to involve all students in planting trees in their local common. In the coming year, the school hopes to create more green space within the school community by utilizing common areas, and eventually wants to have a biophilic classroom.
To promote good eco-habits within the school community, Parkgate House has an eco-committee that runs weekly checks on how sustainable each class is being, monitoring things like electricity usage and recycling. As part of this initiative, there was a competition where the children designed a trophy from recycled materials to be given to the most eco-friendly class each week. Points are awarded for good sustainable habits, such as using reusable water bottles and travelling to school in environmentally friendly ways.
Students have also been involved with another project, Dirt is Good, run by a charity called Future Foundation. The project aims to inspire young people to be change makers, empowering them through in-school workshops and assemblies. There are also more opportunities for students and staff to get involved in other environmentally focused events, such as Earth Day and Global Goals week.
The school has persuaded the local council to start mixed recycling, which wasn’t offered before, as well as changed their catering company to a supplier that uses much less plastic packaging. Members of the eco-committee monitor the recycling to ensure it is sorted correctly, as well as the number of disposable items used within the school.