The children of Perry Hall Primary School from Orpington, Kent are celebrating today after being named Regional Champions of the Better Energy School Awards. Their ‘Pass It On Project’ not only took top spot in the ‘Totally Clued Up’ category, but was also declared the best project in all categories from schools in central and southern England.
The Better Energy School Awards is a nationwide competition for 5 to 11 year olds, which is run by the Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE) in partnership with TotalEnergies. The competition, which aims to generate interest in the environment and raise awareness of the need for sustainable energy sources, has received entries from almost 400,000 children since it began in 2007.
Perry Hall Primary School is justifiably proud of its reuse schemes, which benefit the local community while reducing the need for the production of new items and eliminating waste. The school’s reusable uniform scheme has expanded to include school shoes and coats, while new schemes have been introduced for reusable football boots and fancy dress. Resuable party packs for birthdays are also available. The children are very much involved and since lockdown ended, the Eco-Committee has asked the children to share ideas for creating new schemes, create a business plan and advertising for them.
In the summer term last year, while home-schooling, the year 4 pupils conducted investigations into plastic pollution and deforestation. They wrote letters to their local MP and created videos and worksheets. The children made the link between consumerism contributing both to deforestation and to an increase in disposable plastic.
Until 2020’s lockdown, children from the Regional Champion Schools were invited to attend an Awards Ceremony in London, but the Awards are now virtual and take the form of a video, broadcast online.
The virtual Awards Ceremony video will be receiving its premiere on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/566093271 at 10.30am on 23 June and journalists are welcome to join us. It will also remain available for later viewing at a later date.
All of the Regional Champions will receive a specially commissioned trophy and a cheque for £1,000 to put towards their school funds, while the UK Champions – to be chosen from the Regional Champions and announced at the end of the virtual Awards Ceremony – will receive a total of £5,000 for their school funds.
YPTE Director, Peter Littlewood, said: “The 2020-21 academic year has been an exceptionally challenging one for schools, with multiple lockdowns and all kinds of restrictions on class mixing to deal with. Despite this, environmental education has clearly remained extremely important to many schools and young people’s enthusiasm for learning about the natural world has remained undiminished.”