Environment and Sustainable TravelIn this section...
At Barrow Hedges, we strive to create an environmentally friendly and sustainable school environment. We believe that children at our school should be able to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in the decisions about the way we do things both individually and collectively, locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future. We have many initiatives which we regularly work on to help our school contribute to making our wonderful world a greener and happier place to live.
We have a team of Eco Warriors
We have an Eco Warrior team which comprises of two representatives elected from each Year Three and Year Five class. The team meets once a month to discuss current environmental issues and how they may be addressed in school. The diligent and hard-working Eco Warriors also carry out important tasks, such as collecting batteries and pens from each classroom, and litter picking around our school!
We are a Gold Accredited STARS school
Barrow Hedges has been awarded Gold Accreditation by Transport for London STARS! TfL STARS is a community project committed to more active, safe and sustainable travel for children and young people. Gold is the highest accreditation and means that we are in the top 10% of London schools setting high standards to inspire others to transform travel habits, fully engage the wider community to promote best practises and see a measurable reduction in the number of journeys made by car every day! Just a few examples of how we achieved this are by walking and using public transport for school trips; Year Six planning their journey to high school; our active travel art competition and having discussions in class about road safety.
We recycle batteries
Did you know that each year, 600 million batteries are thrown out? More than 20,000 tonnes of batteries end up in landfill sites – that’s as heavy as 4,000 elephants! It can take 100 years for a battery to decompose, and the chemicals in the battery can pollute the soil and water, which animals and plants need to survive. However, all the parts of the battery can be separated and used again to make new things. Recycled steel can be used by the construction industry, so your old battery could end up in a skyscraper! The metal and plastic can be used to make new batteries, and the chemicals can even be processed and used in grass fertilizer. Last year, Barrow Hedges collected over 4000 batteries to recycle and prevent going to landfill!
We learn about the world and why we must take care of it
We learn about how to look after our planet in a variety of different ways throughout our time in school. For instance, Year Four visit Bough Beech each year, where they learn about where our water comes from and how it is made safe to drink! The children also found out about the importance of saving water due to the large amount of energy used to produce it and created some beautiful posters to promote this. Another example is when Year Five investigate ways to reduce climate change as part of their ‘World at Work’ theme. To finish the theme off, they create informative and engaging mixed media collages that represent our changing climate and the effects it is having on our everyday lives.
We encourage our parents to buy second hand uniform
At Barrow Hedges we have an Eco Pre-Loved Uniform shop run by parents. This is where our parents can purchase second hand uniform, helping them to save money as well as preventing clothing from going to landfill! The shop is open every day after school.
We recycle textiles
We have a clothes bank at our school that is run by small textile recycling company on a mission to divert used clothing away from landfill and raise money for schools and community services in the process. The items donated to the bank are either sent on to Poland and Ukraine to be worn again or converted into industrial cleaning wipes and insulation materials. So, if you have any clothes, shoes, bed linen, accessories (such as belts, hats, gloves, scarves, handbags) or soft toys, please bring them in!
We recycle whiteboard pens
Billions of pens are sold every day - the company BIC alone sells over 8.76 billion items each year. Multiply that by the number of other manufacturers and you have a staggering amount of plastic being wasted once used! It can take up to 10,000 years for pens to fully decompose in landfill. We collect all our whiteboard pens once they are used up and recycle them to stop them going to landfill and polluting our planet!
We try our best to actively travel to school
At Barrow Hedges, we understand that actively travelling to school when we can is important. One of the reasons for this is because when we exercise, our hearts beat faster, our breathing gets quicker, we warm up and we feel energised. Walking, cycling or scooting is good for our hearts, lungs, muscles and bones, and helps to keep our bodies healthy and strong. The habit of walking to school can also encourage healthy eating habits, such as having a nutritious breakfast every morning. Finally, it’s a great way to spend time together with family and friends and chat about your day!
We turn off lights and other electrical devices
At Barrow Hedges, both children and teachers turn off the lights and electrical devices when we go home or are no longer using a room. as this helps to save energy. It can also help reduce carbon emission and other harmful greenhouse gases. Therefore, turning off our lights and computers is a simple way to help protect the environment and save
We recycle paper
Did you know that paper is the main form of waste created by schools, making up at least a quarter of all its rubbish? There are almost 34,000 schools in the UK, so this is a lot of paper! Both teachers and children alike help to recycle paper at Barrow Hedges. Every classroom has a ‘scrap paper’ drawer or box, as well as an eye-catching green recycling bin!
Miss Hine is the Environment and Sustainable Travel Lead