Written by Mrs Aldridge, Sustainable Travel Lead
I am very pleased to report that sustainability is now firmly part of our agenda and growth as a school. It is true that there is much still to do and achieve but the progress made by the King’s community is definitely something to celebrate.
Eco Targets and Tips
Awareness of the rationale behind reducing our carbon footprint has been achieved through assemblies delivered to all three schools. There is an assembly every term and they address different ‘tipping points’ and the climate emergency we face. The sustainable agenda is also embedded within academic departments as each curriculum area now has a sustainability target within their development plan. Furthermore, each tutor group in each of the nine Houses in the Senior School has their own Eco Target. Similarly, an Eco Tip is communicated to each tutor group every week in all three schools. These tips offer practical ideas for reducing carbon emissions and have definitely taken a more festive flavour in recent weeks.
Bike Shelters and Care Use
Progress has been made in terms of reducing single car use on the site and it is great to see that covered cycle shelters has more than doubled this term. Equally, car users are now actively encouraged to not leave the engines running whilst waiting for their children and I thank you all for your cooperation with this.
Sustainable Travel Day
There was a very successful ‘Sustainable Travel Day’ in September with over 400 pupils across Willow Lodge, the Junior School and the Senior School travelling into school in a more sustainable way; on foot, by bike, via public transport or through car sharing. Each of these pupils were rewarded with a fresh fruit smoothie courtesy of our fabulous Catering team. The Sustainable Travel Days are now a regular feature of the school calendar and the next one is scheduled for Friday 28 February.
Golden Padlock Prize
The pop up Golden Padlock Prize has also been awarded this term. The latest winners were Victoria Froehling (4GLA) and Matthew Leitch (5LES) (both pictured below with Mr Hartley). They received a £15 voucher for the Bike Factory as a reward for cycling in every day whatever the weather!
Eco Schools Committee
There have been two pupil Committee Meetings this term and the first stage of the Eco Schools Award is now complete. The Committee (featured image) have agreed to focus on three key areas in the first year: Travel, Energy and Health and Wellbeing. The Sustainability Prefects, led by Hannah Peters (U6WAL) in the Upper Sixth, are now conducting a school wide Environmental Review before the King’s Eco Schools Action Plan is written. Parents and other staff are going to be invited to join this Committee next term.
Steps to Sustainability in the Festive Season
In the build up to Christmas, there have been lots of positive steps to be more sustainable in our festive fun. Secret Santa has definitely gone greener this year with pupils wrapping presents in magazines, newspapers and recyclable paper. My own form, 5BRD, agreed to only buy chocolate encased in cardboard not plastic. Another tutor group, 4BRD agreed to buy all their Secret Santa presents from Charity Shops. Although, we all love a good Christmas cracker, the pupils on the Committee agreed that there shouldn’t be crackers with their Christmas lunch, in order to reduce the plastic waste generated from the mini toys inside.
Finally, in terms of raising awareness, there is a Senior School House Competition for the Christmas holidays where each pupil is invited to take a photograph of a ‘sustainable act’. The House with the greatest number will be the winner. However, there will also be a free smoothie for each pupil in the House with the most inventive acts of sustainability.
Everyone on the Eco Committee wishes you all a very Merry and Green Christmas!