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Top green schools revealed

By Liz Nicholls

Excited eco-heroes from Kent and Medway schools were in the spotlight at the Green School Awards yesterday.

Pupils from the overall winning schools with supporters from Golding Homes, Loop CR, Specsavers, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, and Volker Highways.
Pupils from the overall winning schools with supporters from Golding Homes, Loop CR, Specsavers, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, and Volker Highways.

A wealth of projects helping pupils to gain a better understanding of their impact on the environment – and empowering them to do something about it – were revealed at the annual awards event, staged at Kent Cricket Club in Canterbury.

Twenty-three winning schools from across the country were invited to the prestigious presentation event. Teachers, pupils, and parents were roundly praised for their work and the schools received glass trophies and framed certificates to trumpet their green credentials.

The five overall champions included Minster CEP Walking Bus, Thanet, who were named Overall Walk to School Champion. St John’s CEP School in Maidstone were awarded Overall Recycling Champion; Sandown School in Dover clinched the Overall Green Champion award; and Aylesford Primary School won the Overall Eco Travel Champion accolade.

Sutton Valence Primary School in Maidstone were named Overall Nature Conservation Champion and they received a Green Apple trophy.

A Special Award was given to the Medway Bikeability Team in recognition of their sterling cycling proficiency programme which is delivered to around 1,700 pupils every year.

Each winning school received a copy of The Curious Tale of the Dodo for their school library - a fun book with a serious message, written by Anthony Cooper. The Kent author has donated many copies to the KM Charity Team to support their work with schools.

The event included a performance from Walderslade Primary School, who won the 2017 Walk to School Song Contest with their rendition of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah from Disney’s Song of the South. They also received a framed disc of their recording presented by Phil Wilson from Independent Music Productions.

The song for this year’s competition is Reach by S Club 7 and is now open for entry at www.kmcharityteam.co.uk/songcontest.

The Green School Awards are run by the KM Charity Team and give eco-friendly primary and secondary schools the chance to shine. The event rewards schools for their efforts in energy conservation, green travel, recycling and sustainability, and nature conservation.

Details of the winning schools’ projects will be printed in a best practice brochure, and distributed to every school in the county to encourage others to follow their lead.

Simon Dolby, chief executive of the KM Charity Team, said: “All of our winners are doing wonderful work and we want to give them the recognition they deserve.”

He added: “Even better, many of their initiatives go beyond the classroom, or the school gate, to involve pupils and their families at home – or people in the wider community. This is a fantastic message that should be shared as widely as possible, and that’s what we aim to do.”

The event was run in partnership with Golding Homes and supported by LoopCR and Ashford International Hotel. To view photographs of the event, visit the KM Charity Team's Event Gallery page.

Schools can get involved with green initiatives – including the walk to school scheme Active Wow – at www.kmcharityteam.co.uk/wow.

The KM Charity Team organise a range of events to celebrate excellence in schools including The Kent Teacher of the Year Awards – currently open to nominations at www.kentteacheroftheyear.co.uk – as well as the Kent Literacy Awards, KM Bright Spark Awards, Young Cooks, and the Perfect Packed Lunch Awards.

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