Best in Education: Best Green School - Swinton Fitzwilliam School

Best Green School Award - Swinton Fitzwilliam School
Best Green School Award - Swinton Fitzwilliam School
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Eco excellence is a way of life at Swinton Fitzwilliam Primary which was praised as Green School of the Year.

The Rotherham primary has worked hard to be awarded Green Flag status, with much of the impetus coming from an eco council made up of pupils and parents.

Kristy Smith, who leads on eco policy issues, said energy saving was now second nature all over the school.

“We switch lights off, recycle batteries, cans, bottles - in fact if it can be recycled, we do it,” she said. “We review our eco rules each year to ensure they are relevant and up to date and it is the children themselves who lead it all - it is all their vision.”

MP for Wentworth and Dearne John Healey visited the school to see one of the latest innovations - officially opening play areas created using recycled tyres and designed by the eco council.

Swinton Fitzwilliam also won Rotherham’s Big Pedal competition, designed to cut down on car use and carbon emissions by encouraging more children to cycle to school.

The school’s next project is to install 100 solar panels on the roof, with children and staff working with David Wilde from the Dearne Valley Eco Schools group.

Headteacher Vicky Helliwell said it was hoped the scheme would make a big difference to the school’s electricity consumption.

“We hope the children will be able to closely monitor just how much energy we are saving and how much sunlight the panels are capturing. It’s an exciting initiative,” she added.

Runner-up in the category was Sheffield’s Broomhill Infant School, which won coveted Green Flag status and then had the award renewed.

An assessor visited the school to check that staff and children were still as highly committed as before to their green policies. He declared he was extremely impressed by the children’s enthusiasm, hard work and willingness to get involved with the project.

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