Peterborough Eco Education Awards 2012

PECT has been providing support for local schools to improve and embed eco education. This has been done through a range of resources and events, including the Peterborough Eco Awards. Now in their 3rd year, the awards provided a showcase for Peterborough’s schools to share best practice and celebrate their achievements. This year’s event was hosted by Ken Stimpson School on 3rd July and was supported by Peterborough City Council Children’s Services, NHS Peterborough, PECT Consultancy Ltd and Lindum Homes .

More than 20 schools entered, creating displays and stands in a series of categories, each with a green theme.

The panel of judges – Ken McKay PECT Board Member, Carol Wakelin of Queensgate, Matthew Flower of Lindum, Peterborough Councillors John Fox and Nigel North, and Shaqueela Abeed of NHS Peterborough - then chose the winners.

The winners:

Green Shoots - Heltwate School

The school’s “Eco-Group” was formed this year and held a successful Waste Week to raise awareness. Activities included a uniform recycle, junk modelling themed on the Olympics, sorting waste at dinnertime, waste games, and Skips for Schools. The group are still doing many of the initiatives.

School Grounds - Parnwell Primary

A section of disused school has been turned into an allotment/wildlife area, with a pond and nature trail.

Sustainable Travel - Braybrook Primary

Flying High - Braybrook

Green Supporter - Rachel Clark, Braybrook

The school has spent a great deal of time looking at the ways in which children travel to school, and have run several projects to promote sustainable travel. In January it launched as a “Bike It” school, holding bike assemblies, poster competitions, and Dr Bike, where children were offered prescriptions for their bikes. They finished 7th in the East of England during the Big Pedal and are currently working towards their Sustrans heroes awards.

Growing Greener - Jack Hunt School: All 84 tutor groups at the school were given the chance to design, grow and produce a miniature garden as a summer term competition.

The gardens were judged on attractiveness, teamwork, eco friendliness and originality.

Each tutor group also has an appointed ‘eco rep’ who attends a weekly meeting about green issues in the school.

Gardening - Duke of Bedford Primary

The school has been growing its own fruit and vegetables for two years. The food is then used in the school kitchens as part of their hot dinners. They have a large allotment and have developed part of it into a herb garden/quiet area. The garden was designed by pupils and divided into four sections, for which different classes are responsible.

Energy – Stanground St John’s

A Powerdown fortnight held at the school in November increased awareness of energy consumption. The Energy Audit Team, chosen from Key Stage 2 classes, wore Audit Team T-shirts and checked on energy consumption throughout the building. Events included drama workshops and a poster competition. The caretaker used energy consumption monitors during lessons, and on Powerdown Day they banned hoovers, dishwashers, lights and even hot meals. The day led to a 73 per cent drop in consumption for the day.

Eco Promotion - Hampton College

The college held a successful Powerdown fortnight in November, and from this event pupils set up an allotment, something they have been interested in doing for a number of years. Green Team members eventually presented their ideas to a school council meeting and were allocated pots and space to set up the allotment. It is hoped that in the long term this project will provide vegetables and herbs to be used in the canteen.

Biodiversity - Woodston Primary

The school designed their own butterfly conservation garden in the shape of a butterfly, with plants specially chosen for nectar and flowers. They have a beech hedge, and a summerhouse for the winter months. Although the garden is for butterflies, bees moths and caterpillars are also present.

Waste and Recycling.- John Clare Primary

The school ‘s Eco Warriors have created a toy swap shop at lunchtimes, and although it has made a slow start they are putting together a long term approach.

Judges Awards (3 Winners) - Iqra Academy, Eye C of E Primary, Heltwate School

Iqra has been working with PECT for two years on an innovative project called ‘Faith in the Environment’, which has comprised trips to the Eco-tech centre, a sustainable transport policy, moves towards becoming a fair trade school, and an inter-faith exhibition starting later this month.

Eye was awarded the Green Flag and afterwards building work has changed the school grounds, expanding growing spaces into the school courtyards to create two new outdoor classrooms.

Other awards were the ‘Eco Factor - presented to Heltwate School, Jack Hunt School, and Woodston Primary, and a Special Recognition Award for Marija Stepanenko (Ravensthorpe Primary).

As well as the displays there were also several games on the day. The winners were: Ravensthorpe Primary (Hunt the Duck) and Woodston Primary (Quiz).

The other schools involved were Dogsthorpe Junior School, Hampton Vale, Home School Group, Ken Stimpson School, Oakdale Primary School, Old Fletton Primary School, St Thomas Moore Primary School, Welbourne Primary School, and William Law Primary School,

Deputy mayor June Stokes, who attended with numerous members of Peterborough City Council including leader Marco Cereste and cabinet member for education John Holdich, thanked staff and parents for their support towards the various schools.

She said: “These awards are a wonderful project to make schools and homes more sustainable.

“The enthusiasm and hard work here is fantastic and I hope you all go back to your schools bristling with new ideas.

PECT would like to thank IKEA, Dobbies, Queensgate, Clare Cottage, Anglia Co-operative, Moor Farm Meats, PCC Climate Change Team, Bettaland, Vivacity and Enterprise for kindly donating prizes.