We are committed to improving sustainability across all areas of the school, so that we can contribute as much as possible to reducing the impact of our actions on our planet. We want to play our part in ensuring that we protect the planet for our students, and for future generations. A key goal in this is to ensure that we reduce our carbon footprint, as well as looking at increasing biodiversity and habitats on our site.
Our Sustainability Project Updates
Update October ’22 : Eco-Schools Green Flag Award: October 2022
We are delighted to have been awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag for our work as a whole school in 2021-22. In particular, the award is focused on student activities and the work of our Eco-committee which was the Student Leadership Team for Ecology and Sustainability. The feedback from our application was really positive and detailed. It included:
- It’s wonderful that you have appointed such a representative Eco-Committee, this shows your school’s excellent commitment to both the programme and the eco-cause.
- We love the range of activities that you and your Eco-Committee planned for delivery. The fact that they cover both indoor (a ‘Switch-off’ campaign, a WWF fundraiser and British Science Week with Zero Carbon Day) and outdoor (regular litter picks, no-mow areas, tree maintenance and refurbishing your wildlife area) activities is excellent. You’ve clearly embedded the ethos of the Eco-Schools programme far and wide in your school!
- We’re really impressed at how you’ve linked environmental issues to a variety of curriculum areas. We loved seeing the excellent examples of your Schemes of Work and curriculum links. This is a great example of layering in sustainability and climate change into your studies.
- We loved reading about how you had incorporated learning about global issues not only into the Geography and Science Curriculum (most common ones) in your school, but also into other areas such as Personal Development.
- We love that your pupils have taken their great work beyond the school gates and into their local community by planting a tree for the Queen’s Green Canopy Jubilee Appeal.
- We were delighted to learn that your school sustainable travel plan earned you the Bronze Award from Modeshift Stars. We are certain that your pupils will have greatly benefitted from your involvement with such outside organisations as Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Herts for Learning and the St Albans Sustainability Schools Group.
- Congratulations to everyone for the great work you have managed to do, earning your Green Flag with style. You should all be very proud of your work and the application you have submitted!
There were a lot of staff and students involved in our work last year, thank you to all who participated. We are currently making plans for this year’s priorities and the new SLT committee is about to be appointed. We look forward to working with them to move things forward again!
Update December ’21 : Sandringham Travel Plan
We have just updated our school Travel Plan to assess the situation around our site and travel to and from the school. This considers aspects such as safety and sustainability, to try and ensure that we can foster positive habits and consider our local community. It includes the latest travel surveys for both students and staff and key actions for the school to take forward in trying to maintain safety and improve sustainability. With such a large site and school population, our actions and decisions about travel can make a really big difference to the local area and to reducing our carbon footprint. We encourage all stakeholders to read the plan and consider their own part in continuing to develop improvements.
Update May ’21 : Year 8 Tree planting
We received the second half of our Woodland Trust trees to plant and were pleased to ask every student in Year 8 to take part in the planting. The students really enjoyed getting outside and planting the trees around the site, to try and increase our habitats for biodiversity and increase our contribution to climate change mitigation. We have now planted a total of 840 trees! Next year, we will focus on the Wildlife Garden to create some further specific habitats and look at growing some food such as herbs and vegetables. This is all part of our overall Sustainability Strategy.
Update April ’21 : New Sustainability Strategy
We have been working on sustainability at the school for some years, but we have taken some significant steps forward recently and have put together a plan to incorporate multiple aspects of what it means to be a sustainable school. The strategy can be viewed on the document attached.
The overarching aim is to aim for carbon zero by 2030, in line with a national campaign for schools; ‘Lets Go Zero’, which we have just signed up for. We will be working towards each of the strands identified on our plan to put in place tangible actions. For example, we have already made a great start on ‘Biodiversity’ with the tree planting this year, with Year 8 about to plant 420 more in May!
In coming months and into the next academic year, we will highlight more work which we are undertaking in each of the areas and we will measure our progress against these going forward. Parents, carers and others in our local community are a key part of these actions and we would love your support!
Update : December ’20 – Tree planting
In 2020-21, we have signed up to The Woodland Trust’s scheme ‘The Big Climate Fightback’. Trees are one of our strongest warriors in the battle against climate change. They lock up carbon, fight flooding and cool our cities. To hit the Government’s 2050 carbon net zero target, the UK desperately needs more trees. The Woodland Trust aims get 50 million more trees in the ground over the next five years and have offered free tree packs to schools. We have been successful in applying for two ‘Woodland packs’, each of 420 trees, with a mixture of oak, silver birch, hazel, blackthorn, hawthorn and rowan. The first 420 arrived in November and have been planted by students in Year 7, with support from students in Yr12 and 13. Tim Kirwin came to help us to successfully complete the planting, we are really grateful to him for his expertise and enthusiasm. Year 7 all managed to plant at least two trees each and had great fun in the process! We now have a new tree line around the school field perimeter, with some smaller planting of large trees in other selected locations. We look forward to planting more in March!
Sustainability at Sandringham
To help us to progress in our projects to improve sustainability, we have signed up the Eco-Schools scheme https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/ Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging 19.5 million children across 67 countries, making it the largest educational programme on the planet. The scheme uses a framework in order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag and we have started to work towards achieving this. Eco-Schools develops pupils’ skills, raises environmental awareness, improves the school environment and could create financial savings for schools as well as a whole host of other benefits. Our SLT committee for Sustainability and Ecology is looking at the scheme at the moment and have completed an audit of sustainability across the school. They are now drawing up action plans to focus on specific areas, such as biodiversity, waste and energy. We look forward to sharing news about the work towards this in coming months.
Sustainability Travel Plan
We have a school Travel Plan to assess the situation around our site and travel to and from the school. This considers aspects such as safety and sustainability, to try and ensure that we can foster positive habits and consider our local community. It includes the latest travel surveys for both students and staff and key actions for the school to take forward in trying to maintain safety and improve sustainability. With such a large site and school population, our actions and decisions about travel can make a really big difference to the local area and to reducing our carbon footprint. We encourage all stakeholders to read the plan and consider their own part in continuing to develop improvements.
We know that many of our students and families are really enthusiastic about promoting sustainability in their own actions. We have heard about some great ideas, some of which are listed below. There are just over 1600 students at Sandringham, with all of their associated families. Imagine how much of a difference we could make if we all made small changes!
Ecobricks: https://www.ecobricks.org/ A great idea to use plastic to create ‘bricks’ for use in multiple ways, whilst reducing plastic waste.
Refill options and sustainable food: Using refill shops rather than buying food in the usual packaging. There are outlets in London Road and Sandridge: https://www.therefillpantry.co.uk/ Other decisions could include shopping more locally and considering food miles and sustainable practice when purchasing meat and vegetables.