School raises Green Flag to recognise eco-efforts

Watchlytes eco council members with their Green Flag

Watchlytes eco council members Natalie Eckland, Lily Chalkley, Tyler Groome, Charlie Hull, Bella Anderson, Freya White, Abigail McDonald and Josh Morgan with their Green Flag. - Credit: Jo Williams

A Panshanger primary school has received a prestigious international accreditation recognising work in making their school more environmentally friendly and raising eco-awareness in fellow pupils.

Pupils at Watchlytes Primary School in WGC took part in the Eco-Schools initiative, a global education programme that prompts young people to explore sustainability and climate change and take action.

They have now been awarded an Eco-School Green Flag, a scheme created to inspire the next generation of innovative, inspirational environmentalists and tell local communities that a school, college or nursery is forward-thinking and actively engaged in protecting our planet.

To secure the award, youngsters collaborated to conduct an environmental review, assessing how eco-friendly their school is.

They reviewed everything from the school’s recycling practices and energy usage, to how environmental themes are covered in classrooms. Building on their findings, Watchlytes eco council planned a year of activities that would up their green-credentials.

The group connected their work to three Eco-Schools topics: energy, waste and global citizenship.

Activities included installing compost bins on site for food waste, developing recycling processes, raising money to buy recycled books made from elephant dung and leading assemblies to spread awareness of the importance of looking after the planet.

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Eco council leader Jo Williams said “I am extremely proud of the eco council for the progress they have made and how hard they have worked. They have had so much enthusiasm and each one of them has a real passion to help protect our planet."

Eco council member Lily Chalkley added: “It has been such an amazing experience and now I’m more eco-friendly!”

Eco-Schools England manager, Adam Flint, said: “Earning an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award takes passion, commitment and a desire to make a difference. Pupils should be proud of their great work. They’re an inspiration and it makes us feel heartened and positive about the future of our planet.”

The Eco-Schools Green Flag received by the school in recognition of their achievements is made from recycled plastic bottles, and will need renewing each year to ensure Watchlytes continues its outstanding environmental work from one generation to the next.