Longhill High School an Eco-School?
Eco-School is a simple, seven step framework designed to place young people, in control of environmental actions and projects in their school, local community and beyond.
When a school has worked through the Eco-Schools Seven Steps, they can apply for an Eco-Schools Green Flag during the Summer Term. The Eco-Schools Green Flag is a symbol that shows a school goes above and beyond to care for their local environment and our planet.
Climate change, biodiversity loss, plastic pollution and a myriad of other environmental issues are already affecting our lives now. Unfortunately, their impact will only increase in future years. But young people don’t have to be bystanders – you have the ability to make a positive difference now and throughout your lifetimes.
As mentioned, the Eco-Schools Seven Step framework has been designed to place young people in control of environmental actions and projects in their school and local community, the seven steps usually take one academic year to work through:
- An Eco-Committee is a group of young people who, supported by an adult Eco-Coordinator, take responsibility for delivering the Eco-Schools programme.
- The Eco-Committee then complete the Eco-Schools Environmental Review which has been designed to review a school’s environmental performance, whilst also providing inspiration for future eco-actions.
- The Eco-Committee then create an Action Plan, choosing three of the ten Eco-Schools topics to plan projects for. The Eco-Committee will then work on these projects throughout the academic year.
- Next, Curriculum Links need to be gathered, demonstrating that environmental issues are covered in a school’s learning.
- Step 5 is Informing and Involving, when the Eco-Committee ensure that a whole school and its wider community are kept updated on their progress and involved in the projects in their Action Plan.
- The Eco-Committee also needs to monitor the progress of their Action Plan and evaluate their successes, this will help an Eco-Committee appreciate their school’s achievements and evolve their Eco-Schools work further.
- Finally, Step 7 asks an Eco-Committee to decide on an Eco-Code for their school. An Eco-Code is a statement that reflects the environmental ethos of a school.
To Achieve an Eco-Schools Green Flag, schools must work on three of the ten Eco-Schools topics in their Action Plan. The Eco-Schools topics intend to break global issues like climate change into more manageable environmental themes. Often schools choose to work on the topics that they scored lowest on in Step 2: Environmental Review, though sometimes schools simply choose to work on the topics they are most passionate about or have the best ideas for.
- Biodiversity: Maintaining a high level of plant, insect, and animal life locally and globally.
- Energy: Reducing energy use and investing in greener energy sources.
- Global Citizenship: Taking an active role in a community and making our planet more peaceful, sustainable, and fair.
- Healthy Living: Improving physical and mental wellbeing.
- Litter: Reducing litter, which harms wildlife and costs millions to clear every year.
- Marine: Protecting and conserving water-based ecosystems.
- School Grounds: Improving school environments for students, staff, plants, and wildlife.
- Transport: Promoting and encouraging sustainable transport.
- Waste: Refusing, reducing, reusing, repairing, and recycling.
- Water: Valuing and preserving our most important natural resource.
Miss Swordy will be leading the project for Longhill High School. Students can join the Eco Council by attending meetings during Friday Lunchtimes in A13.