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From our Eco Coordinator: Eco developments this year

From our Eco Coordinator: Eco developments this year

At St Mary’s, students have taken environmental action far beyond the perimeters of the school’s Environmental and Sustainability Policy.

Student enthusiasm for environmental action was galvanised through the St Mary’s student voice initiative – a school-wide commitment to expressing and listening to each other. The Eco Committee was formed with a remit to:

  • Raise the profile of environmental issues
  • Take action on issues that reflect student interests, emotional concerns, and societal needs
  • Research and submit an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award

Since its foundation, the Committee has led many eco-initiatives, culminating in a Green Flag Award with distinction.

New initiatives

A school-wide environmental student survey informed the Committee’s action plan. Based on student interests and concerns, initiatives were launched in three areas:


  • Whale Tail Project – a whale tail sculptured from used plastic
  • World Ocean Day resource: ‘Read, Watch, Listen and Act’ explored how to protect the ocean
  • Creative competition: What does the ocean mean to you?


  • Reworked Bin for unrecyclable materials (e.g. face masks, crisp packets) to upcycle into products
  • Local litter pick
  • Assembly on the 5 Rs

School grounds

  • Gardening Club
  • Grow, Cook, Eat scheme
  • Bird feeders
  • Community produce stall

Other initiatives kept eco-issues top-of-mind:

  • Fortnightly Eco Wednesdays offer eco-related activities such as making seed bombs, creative writing workshops, TED talks, vegan baking, and making reusable masks.
  • A Sustainability Day with expert speakers from Greenpeace, an eco-entrepreneur, workshops, competitions, and school Sustainability Pledge Tree. 
Curriculum initiatives

The Committee evaluated how embedded environmental issues were in the curriculum – finding excellent examples in many subjects. In addition, curriculum leads explored new opportunities for students to learn in outdoor/natural spaces, including using a new outdoor learning space and a biophilic classroom. Our DT curriculum at KS3 is now focused on sustainability.

  • Raising the profile of key issues
  • Sharing knowledge and developing practical solutions
  • Empowering students to effect change
  • Encouraging student leadership skills

The Eco Committee goes from strength to strength, holding fortnightly meetings supported by the St Mary’s Sustainability Coordinator. As Luisa M. notes:

“I enjoyed becoming part of the Eco Committee as an Outreach Officer. In this role, I brought my ideas and passion to the fight against the climate crisis with like-minded students who share the determination and eagerness to help our community protect the planet!”

The Eco Committee demonstrates many of the values that sit at the heart of St Mary’s – from promoting creativity, collaboration, and building life-long skills to encouraging students to develop a responsibility to others and to strive for change with courage and resilience. Those demonstrating these core values are now formally recognised through new Community Scholarships, which celebrate students who make a difference to wider school life, including our environmental impact.

This ensures that those who excel at leading and delivering positive change gain the recognition they deserve. After all, this is a vital part of being a St Mary’s girl!

Harriet Whiting, Eco Co-ordinator

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