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.
December 2020 – 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!
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.
In October 2020, we complete our annual travel survey. The results indicated that 21% of students travel to school by car, 63% walk, 3 % cycle, 6% walk after dropping off away from the school and 7% use a bus. 11% of students indicated that they would like to cycle to school, so we hope that more will be able to use this mode of transport in the near future as we would like to reduce the 21% using a car to get to school. Not only would this reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, it would also increase air quality around the school at the peak times when students are arriving and departing on foot. And of course, walking and cycling has great benefits for well-being!
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.