Let’s Go Zero school action:
Rathfern Primary School – Lewisham, England.

Rathfern Primary School have done many campaigns and projects for environmental sustainability. They apply a whole school approach when taking climate action which benefits both staff and students. To name a few actions they have taken: 

  • The Sustainable Development Goals are intertwined throughout the curriculum, making it easier to link the sustainability projects.
  • Run anti-idling campaigns and successfully campaigned for a school street.
  • The students run an Eco-refill shop every month which has proved very popular with families. 

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.

The teachers and students leading the action:

The children have a great awareness and understanding as to why these projects are taking place and why we, as a community, are working towards the 2030 goals.”

Michelle Henderson-Vieira,
Teacher and Global Learning Lead

What are they doing in their school?

Rathfern Primary have held many anti-idling campaigns and have successfully campaigned to become a street school.  Additionally, by working closely with Street Trees for Living they have planted 10 trees outside their school and along the road which was originally very bare. A student group called the Community Ambassadors supported the project by door knocking and working with local businesses to fundraise for the trees and together it’s made a huge impact in the local community. 

The school does a lot to minimise waste and support their community and circular economy. The Community Ambassadors help to run an Eco-Refill shop at the end of every month, supported by an organisation called Pupils Profit. The students came up with their own logo and run the shop, from counting the money afterward to finding customers, there is huge support from families.   

They have also started a termly second-hand clothing sale to embed the importance of the circular economy, repurpose and reuse. The school sells five items for £1, it’s not about money but it is about supporting the local community. All items are donated by parents from the school community, with an amazing range of items including uniforms. It is a positive occasion with everyone buying items, teachers, staff, and parents.  

Rathfern has also recently joined the food waste programme with Lewisham Council, which is a weekly pick-up with the other bin collections. Food waste is separated into clear bags and is collected for energy generation or composted to farmers.  

The school recently won some funding for a Sustainable Drainage System programme to be delivered transforming their concrete playground into a natural oasis including a rain garden, vegetable and herd garden, platform for children to use as a stage and many trees. This will help combat flooding and heat stress, future proofing the school.  

Through the Thames Water and Climate Resilient Schools Programme, the school has also installed nine rainwater raised beds that harvest the rainwater directly from school roofs. And have installed a weather monitor.  


Rathfern have embedded the Sustainable Development Goals throughout their curriculum, linking learning to the various sustainability projects they run. Supporting the students learning with real life experience and making it a whole school approach.

en_GBEnglish (UK)