Polesden Lacey Infant School has run a sustained eco awareness project for nearly 10 years, completely changing school life and education to be environmentally charged, with projects such as a school garden complete with a recycled bottle greenhouse and vegetable patch.
Through the projects the school has now become a hub within the local community, selling its home-grown vegetables, and student cooked treats straight from the school kitchen.
The turn-around began in 2008 after the school noticed the amount of waste paper, food and water.
After investigation and a few small projects, they discovered the students were ‘fascinated and passionate’ about looking after their world. Initially, the school started with the 9 areas of the Green Flag Project, now however they have a full blown eco committee made up of staff, parents and governors.
However what really clinched the victory was the way the school operates the eco committee: the problems are brainstormed and then translated into meaningful projects for the students to participate in.
They present the problem to students and allow them to find solutions.
Most recent examples of student solutions include, not sending Christmas cards to save paper, recording when the lights are left on and making hedgehog houses from recycled wood after students heard about struggling numbers.
“It’s really tough to pick a winner usually, but after visiting the school and seeing firsthand what an amazing amount of effort is put into sustainability it’s only reaffirmed our decision. From the school herb garden to the waste paper bins, you just have to look around to see the effect it’s having on students. It’s a fantastically positive learning experience here”. Commented Owen from the Community Education Awards.
Rosie Keedy, head teacher at Polesden described how proud of everyone at the school she was: “The entire school community has a strong sense of purpose and teamwork and there is a sense of pride at what has been achieved." She went on to aptly describe how “if the school were a stick of rock, it’d have eco written through it”.