As a Sustainability and Climate Change Centre for Excellence, Holme Grange School continuously develops and strategises environmentally friendly projects for the School and local community. Recently, the School hosted a ‘Sustainability Day’ in collaboration with St.Teresas and Montague Park, where students voiced their concerns about climate change.
The day began with a screening of the film 2040 made by Australian Director Damon Gameu, which explores what life might be like if the world embraced it’s sustainable resources. The pupils aged from six to sixteen then took part in online Zoom workshops where they joined with pupils from St.Teresas and Montague Park to discuss and debate ways in which the school and community could become more sustainable. The following ideas were generated from these discussions:
- Aim for less food waste at lunchtime
- Turn off lights in classrooms, to avoid excessive electricity usage
- Shop locally
- Implement a car share scheme (after COVID19 restrictions are lifted)
- Swap shop for all your old clothes
- Plant more trees on site
- Build a living plant wall
- Create a green roof on a school building which will grow vegetables and wild flowers
- More fundraising events or sponsorship for wind power and solar panels
- The possibility of electric charging points for vehicles
- The possibility of electric school minibuses in partnership with other local schools
- Turn physical energy into kinetic energy (ie. running in the school gym)
As well as Sustainability Day, the School has formed a dedicated staff-led sustainability team who are already working with Wokingham Council for carbon neutral community plans. Several teachers have become eduCCate Global Sustainability certified teachers and the whole staff body have completed the UN CC:Learn Children and Climate Change course. The school achieved its eduCCate Global Silver award in only two terms. The pupils are also running Eco Councils and environmental groups arranging activities and assemblies to highlight key environmental issues.
On reflection, Holme Grange School is not new to sustainable initiatives, The Grange building (built in 2016) is a net-zero building with 273 solar panels that supplies the building with all it’s necessary energy. Furthermore, The Hive building houses 95 solar panels and Eaton Grange has 90. This drive towards clean energy is ongoing, and Holme Grange is always on the lookout for more environmentally friendly onsite developments.