Worksop youngsters celebrate after their eco efforts earn school a 'green gong'

Pupils at Worksop’s Sparken Hill Academy have earned an international accreditation this academic year – recognising their work making their school more environmentally friendly and raising eco-awareness in fellow pupils.

By Andy. Done-Johnson
Monday, 18th July 2022, 3:49 pm

Eco-Schools is an international education programme that prompts young people to explore sustainability and climate change and take action.

Pupils at Sparken Hill collaborated with Jo Dobbs, the academy’s eco coordinator, to conduct an environmental review, assessing how eco-friendly the school is.

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

Youngsters at the school celebrating their eco achievements

The group connected their work to three Eco-Schools topics: marine, litter and biodiversity.

Activities have included carrying out litter picks both in school and locally in collaboration with Sea Shepherd UK and Keep Britain Tidy; collating information for The Big Plastic Count for Greenpeace; planting, making bird feeders and bug hotels; writing to Sir David Attenborough; producing a video for the COP26 and encouraging their peers to make a “Promise to the Planet”.

Principal Richard Lilley said: “The achievements of the eco group are significantly important to the development of the school - not only for this generation, but for future generations to come.

"One of our key principles in school is ‘responsibility’. These pupils demonstrate that no matter what age you are, you can make a positive and wide-ranging decision to improve our environment and change the world for the better.

"We are all justifiably proud of their accomplishment and we shall be flying the green flag for many years to come.”

Year 6 pupil Sophie said: “I have learned that we all need to do whatever we can to save the environment. I have shared what I have learned with my peers and my family.

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"I always wanted to be part of Eco Club and would definitely recommend people join because everyone needs to know how they can help our planet.”

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.”