Sheffield school flies the flag for the environment

A Sheffield school is flying the flag for the environment after securing a top award in recognition of their work to protect our planet.

By Alana Roberts
Monday, 15 July, 2019, 13:07
Brunswick Community Primary School's eco team (L-R) Rosie McLaughan, Charlie Burghes, Georgia Oxley, Emily Bailey, Mrs Leszczynski, Bailey Crisp, Ava Piddington, Kelisha Green-Thompson and Miyah Gray

Brunswick Community Primary School was recently presented with the Eco Schools Green Flag Award following another successful renewal attempt.

The school in Woodhouse has held the award, which recognises excellence in action to improve the environment in both school and the community, for over 10 years and hosts an assessment visit every two years to renew its eco-school status.

However, it is the pupils that are the driving force at Brunswick, where there is a Green Team comprised of representatives from each year group and spearheaded by Foundation Stage 1 teacher Maddie Leszczynski.

The Green Team act to monitor the environmental performance of the school and showcase their findings on the school’s Eco-Board.

Throughout lessons students are taught about topics such as the importance of recycling and renewable energy, and are encouraged to walk to school to reduce pollution and harmful emissions.

Neil Frankland, headteacher of Brunswick Community Primary School, said: “We’re just really proud and it’s a massive part of our school ethos and is a great achievement for the school. The reason that we’re getting this and getting the renewal comfortably is just because it’s part of the day-to-day, the children just do it.

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“They’re passionate about being an eco-school, passionate about sustainability, they switch lights off and switch the computers off.

“Part of being a primary school is preparing the children to be responsible citizens and this is it. They’re the ones that are going to be doing this when they’re older. If we don’t teach them now and they don’t have the right attitude then we’re all in bother.”

The school has also seen a 20 per cent reduction in its electricity bills and is working with Energy Sparks, a school-specific energy analysis tool, to monitor its energy usage and make the school more energy efficient.

After visiting Brunswick, Eco Schools assessors said: “There was clearly an ethos of environmental awareness at the school with the Eco-Code widely displayed. The environmentally themed collages made of recycled materials were particularly striking and it was interesting to see the Eco-Community display board in the hall, in addition to the Eco-Board.

“Sustainable development awareness is evident in planned lessons, for example climate change discussed in the context if ‘Chatterbox’ sessions, the ‘Brunswick Project’ and the Science Garden.

“Previous recommendations to improve Monitoring and Evaluation and use of really school data in maths graph work had been taken on board e.g evidencing a 20 per cent reduction in electricity bills compared to the previous year. Well done to everyone.”