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Environmental schemes by Kent schools recognised in the KM Charity Team's Green School Awards


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Recycling, changing to energy-saving lightbulbs and stopping the use of single-use plastic straws are among the dozens of green schemes by schools across Kent and Medway recognised in this year's Green School Awards.

The sixth annual awards, organised by the KM Charity Team, looked at the efforts made by students, staff and volunteers at schools who have put the environment top of their agenda, despite a year of restrictions and disruption due to the pandemic.

Mike Ward KM Charity Team Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Mike Ward KM Charity Team Picture: Countrywide Photographic

At an awards ceremony at Ashford International Hotel, hosted by Mike Ward, chief executive of the KM Charity Team and kmfm's Nicola Everett, winners from primary and secondary schools across the area, along with colleges and other school team members were all praised.

Mr Ward said: "The Green School Awards are probably more important today than they have ever been. They encourage schools, children and parents to really get involved, learn and think about how they can do something to help our planet.

"But I think most importantly it is a way young people can take charge of their future. It’s also a great lesson for all of us to know that you don’t really have to do a lot as doing a little can make an enormous difference – especially if we all join in."

The awards are sponsored by: Medway Council; Kent County Council; Streetspace Group; SGS Energy; Ashford International Hotel; Golding Homes; KCS Professional Services; Seeclear Facilities UK, Blessing by Blé and NCS Technology.

Clean Air for All Champion Katie Martin, AP Academy, Medway, receives the award from Cllr David Blake, Medway Council Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Clean Air for All Champion Katie Martin, AP Academy, Medway, receives the award from Cllr David Blake, Medway Council Picture: Countrywide Photographic

OVERALL CATEGORY WINNERS

Clean Air for All: The Rowans AP Academy, Medway

The Chatham school spent a whole year focusing on the environment, from lessons on climate change and human impact on the planet to recycling more; using less paper and walking to school, and engaging in lessons about air quality and about the history of smog. Students built kites and solar panel cars to model modes of transport that are less polluting and there was a school-wide focus on environmentalism, including planting 60 trees around the school.

School Energy Conservation Champion, Sir Roger Manwoods School, Dover at the Kent Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic
School Energy Conservation Champion, Sir Roger Manwoods School, Dover at the Kent Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic

Energy Conservation: Sir Roger Manwood's School, Dover

An eco-friendly, green and healthy fundraising campaign to encourage people to walk, cycle or run – virtually – to Glasgow for the COP26 climate change summit - the Ready Steady Glas-Go campaign - aimed to raise £16,000 to change all 500 lights in the school over to more energy efficient LEDs. The project is estimated to save around £5,000 a year and around 10 tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere.

Green Champion Award went to School of Science & Technology, Maidstone at the Kent Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Green Champion Award went to School of Science & Technology, Maidstone at the Kent Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic

Green Champion: School of Science & Technology, Maidstone

The secondary school's green campaigners started small - seeing that the school canteen was using single use plastic straws they took the lead on writing to the schools leadership team to introduce a policy to promote the idea of students bringing in their own reusable straws. They also aim to plant trees in the school grounds and have introduced new bins for recycling specific items, but the biggest impact was getting the school to change its search engine to Ecosia which funds tree planting across the world.

Green Travel Award went toWest Malling CEP School at the Kent Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Green Travel Award went toWest Malling CEP School at the Kent Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic

Green Travel: West Malling C of E Primary School

Engaging even the youngest learners, it involves people from the school and local community. Through teachers and parents volunteering, the school provides a walking bus from the nearby supermarket car park every morning and three afternoons a week, which allows a safe environment for the children to walk to school supervised and helps cut the amount of parking near the school.

Nature Conservation Champion, Broadstairs College, Thanet Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Nature Conservation Champion, Broadstairs College, Thanet Picture: Countrywide Photographic

Nature Conservation - Raising Awareness Through Education and Engagement: Broadstairs College, Thanet

The college has implemented a range of practical initiatives including designing displays that showcase plastic in our seas and the consequences for wildlife and collaborating with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue organisation, and their most ambitious project - installing 21 pairs of swift boxes on one of their buildings for the endangered species, working with the RSPB.

School Recycling Champion, St Edwards Catholic Primary School, Swale at the Kent Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic
School Recycling Champion, St Edwards Catholic Primary School, Swale at the Kent Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic

Recycling: St Edward's Catholic Primary School, Swale

Despite restrictions and disruptions the Sheerness school has continued to incorporate more aspects of recycling into their school grounds and curriculum. These include three stages of composting within the school garden, boxes on the playground at break times and water butts, and an eco committee which meets monthly which has on-going projects such as recycling old plastic milk bottles as watering cans, making bird feeders from recycled plastic drinks bottles and classes having recycling bins for paper.

OTHER CATEGORY WINNERS

Clean Air for ALL

Luton Urban Greening - Luton Primary School, Medway

Anti-idling competition - Bradfields Academy, Medway

Science Week - Saxon Way Primary School and Children's Centre, Medway

Energy Conservation

Solar Irrigation Project Sutton Valence Primary School, Maidstone

Helping green spaces to come alive - The Wyvern School, Ashford

Our Green Journey - Ashford College

Make SST Greener - School of Science & Technology, Maidstone

Sustainability Project - St Michael's RC Primary School, Medway

Wellbeing Garden - Sheppey College, Swale

Green Travel

Eco Committee Walk 2 School Challenge - The Thomas Aveling School, Medway

Nature Conservation

The Orchard project - Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School, Canterbury

Greening up the school - Chatham Grammar, Medway

Going Green at Hemsptead - Hempstead Junior School, Medway

The importance of our planet - New Ash Green Primary School, Sevenoaks

The Beach Clean Project - St George's C of E Primary School, Sheerness, Swale

The Beach Clean Project - St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Broadstairs, Thanet

Recycling

Cans for Cash - Victoria Road Primary School, Ashford

Project Upcycle - Canterbury College

Protect our Planet - Cecil Road Primary School, Gravesham

Make Thamesview Green - Thamesview School, Gravesham

Small changes can make a big difference - Palm Bay Primary School, Thanet

Alison Bentley from Brookfield Junior School, Larkfield gets an award for Road Crossing Patrol Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Alison Bentley from Brookfield Junior School, Larkfield gets an award for Road Crossing Patrol Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Jackie Castaneda who serves both Rainham School for Girls and The Howard School receives her Road Crossing Patrol award at the KM Charity Team's Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic
Jackie Castaneda who serves both Rainham School for Girls and The Howard School receives her Road Crossing Patrol award at the KM Charity Team's Green School Awards Picture: Countrywide Photographic

Road Crossing Patrol

Jackie Castaneda who serves both Rainham School for Girls and The Howard School

Alison Bentley from Brookfield Junior School, Larkfield

* Nominations for the 2022 awards will be opening shortly. Find out more here.

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