A green flag will be displayed with pride at a Newcastle primary school whose pupils – led by a team of young Eco-Warriors – are celebrating official recognition for their outstanding environmentally-friendly work.
Newcastle City Councillor Hazel Stephenson, Sheriff and Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle, was guest of honour at Atkinson Road Primary Academy to present pupils with their Green Flag as part of the Eco-Schools programme.
Eco-Schools is an environmental education programme managed by the Keep Britain Tidy anti-litter campaign for England.
Schools follow a step by step process which helps them to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity.
And the superb work of Atkinson Road’s young Eco-Warriors – backed by the entire school and staff – has landed them the programme’s top Green Flag award.
The Atkinson Road children concentrated on three areas – litter, recycling and energy.
They get to keep their Green Flag for two years and then have to reapply to retain it as part of an on-going programme of green activity.
Coun Stephenson said: “I think it’s wonderful, I think this school is an example everyone should follow, we can all learn a lot as adults from the children here.
“The children can teach us so much, with also the help and involvement of the parents at home who encourage their children to continue their great work at home.”
Gillian Crowe, Atkinson Road teacher, said: “Eleven Eco-Warriors from Year 5 led on the project with every child in every class taking part.
“We recycled paper and plastic. I think they have taken the message home to their families.
“A lot of it is about nurturing respect for the environment and how important a message that is.
“They are all really keen and they have taken their responsibility very seriously, coming into meetings with ideas about what they can do.
“Classes were recycling plastic and they came up with the idea of having green bin liners for the caretaker and cleaners to make it easier for them to dispose of waste correctly.”
Melanie Wallace, Newcastle City Council Enviro Schools officer, said: “The children have reduced their energy rating for the school, by switching off lights and reminding teachers through a red and green card system – red card for lights needlessly left on.
“Energy has gone down from a D to a C rating. They all worked together as a team. They have been outstanding and as a school we can use Atkinson Road as a fantastic example of best practice and to encourage others schools to do the same.”