4. Informing and involving

Young pupils doing a Big Tidy Up

Informing others about your work

There are various ways that the Eco-Committee can spread the word about the Eco-Schools work taking place in school.

The Green Flag award criteria state that by Green Flag level you must be using your Eco-Schools noticeboard to detail your activities. This could include:

  • Details of who is a member of the Eco-Committee
  • Details of the next meeting
  • Copies of meeting agendas and minutes
  • Photographs of your work
  • Graphs of the monitoring and evaluation of your work
  • A copy of your Action Plan
  • A copy of your Environmental Review

Please note that your noticeboard must include a copy of your Eco-Code!

Whole school involvement is key

One of the key aims of Eco-Schools is to see the whole school participate in environmental activity. Whilst the Eco-Committee will take the lead on planning and developing the Action Plan, it is very important that as many pupils, teachers and staff participate in the projects as possible. For pupils to really engage with Eco-Schools and feel proud of their achievements, the Eco-Committee needs to ensure the whole school is involved.

One of the best ways of involving the whole school is to hold a regular Day of Action.This provides an opportunity for everyone in your school – pupils, teachers and non-teaching staff – to get together to work towards achieving some of the targets set out in your Action Plan. You could hold a clean up event or ban junk food for a healthy eating day. You could even turn off lights and heating for the day and hold some of your lessons in the school grounds.

As you progress through the Eco-Schools programme, you’ll increasingly have the opportunity to link the work you’re doing to the wider community. Involving parents, neighbours, local businesses and your local authority can be excellent sources of advice, practical assistance and even funding. Schools are the focal point of the whole community and, as such, can inspire and demonstrate how sustainability can be adopted into homes and at the heart of the local community.

Involving the whole school and wider community

The following ideas show how you can enhance your Eco-Schools work by including the whole school and the wider community.

When the Eco-Committee is formed:

  • Election of pupil representatives
  • Create an Eco-Schools display board featuring Eco-Committee members
  • Deciding on which Eco-Schools topics to tackle
  • Seeking advice on themes from authorities or local businesses

At Environmental Review stage:

  • Survey of school and wider community
  • Letters to local businesses to find potential waste operators
  • Letters to parents identifying skills the school is looking to secure

When preparing your Action Plan:

  • Regular feedback to pupils and staff through assemblies or tutor time
  • Arranging speakers from outside organisations and businesses
  • Extending the Action Plan to include activities for pupils to do at home
  • Display Action Plan targets on the Eco-Schools notice board

Launching Eco-School projects:

  • Organising a school-wide launch event explaining the aim and reason for the project
  • Issuing a call to action for pupils and parents

As part of monitoring and evaluation:

  • Updating and encouraging the whole school at assemblies and tutor times
  • Displaying results of your activities throughout the school
  • Include real life monitoring in curriculum work (eg. graphs of how pupils get to school)

Celebrate your achievements:

  • Commending or rewarding participants
  • Informing the local media
  • Organising a celebration event and inviting local community leaders and parents
  • Contacting and supporting other local schools 

How the Pod can help

The campaigns and assemblies on www.jointhepod.org can be a great way to introduce a sustainability topic to your students, or used as a mechanism to kick start the work of schools new to the Eco-Schools programme.

Campaigns calling schools to action, like the Pod's Switch-Off Fortnight and Waste Week, can be a good method of achieving a whole school approach and making everyone aware of the school's commitment to becoming sustainable.

In the Pod's Community Area, you and your pupils can blog about your progress while completing activities and campaigns and can also upload photos to celebrate the success of the activity. There are a range of take-it-home worksheets to get families involved too.

Your Eco-Schools work should also link to the schools curriculum.