The ECO Committee at Friends’ is a pupil led team which organises whole school activities and leads campaigns to improve the quality of our School environment. In October 2013 Friends’ gained the ECO Schools Green Flag Award. The focus for the award had been reducing litter and promoting recycling. The ECO Committee co-ordinated and led all the projects, but the Award could not have been achieved without the support and enthusiasm of the whole School community in promoting our ECO slogan: ‘Don’t Just Wear Green – Be Green!’
Members of the Eco-Committee raise whole school awareness of environmental issues through leading assemblies; highlighting to pupils how their work fits with the Quaker values of the School and our collective responsibility to promote sustainable living. The Eco Committee has also drawn up an environmental policy for the School, now a feature of the homework planner.
The committee organises a range of activities throughout the year. Each cycle of the Green flag application requires members to undertake an extensive environmental review. This provides a basis for formulating an action plan to put strategies in place to help achieve specific goals. This year the committee would like to focus on biodiversity in the school grounds, in particular we would like to give the wildlife garden a makeover. We continue to accept a free pack of native species trees from the Woodland trust each year for planting out in the grounds.
The committee is also looking at the problem of traffic congestion around school and whether it is possible to increase the number of pupils making sustainable journeys to school. Committee members monitored traffic on one morning and recorded a total of 197 vehicles passing through the school gates in 1 hour. ‘The Big Pedal’ has now become an annual event and we had a good response this year, extending participation to the prep department. The Big Pedal is a national inter schools cycling competition lasting for 2 weeks. It is run by Sustrans and Friends’ enter one stage of the race. On this day staff, parents and pupils are encouraged to cycle to school. A free breakfast is offered in the canteen as an incentive. The popularity of cycling is increasing and staff involvement in the event is very encouraging.
The committee is looking at ways of raising some money to carry out work in the school grounds. To this end they will be selling Eco wrist bands with our Eco slogan.