PECT: flying the flag for eco education!
The charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) is leading the way nationally with its Eco Framework for schools – embedding knowledge of sustainability issues into classes to inspire the next generation of forward-thinking students. Now Woodston Primary School has won the race to become the first school in the city to be awarded PECT’s Peterborough Eco Framework flag for its outstanding green credentials
A new Peterborough Eco Framework flag for schools
Inspired by designs from local pupils, it was unveiled at the end of 2015. This flag will be flown at schools across the city to celebrate and mark students’ environmental achievements and to encourage others to do the same. As part of PECT’s Eco Framework, schools can gain accreditation in each of the 10 environment themes. Certificates will be awarded for each theme, and when a school has achieved five themes they can proudly fly the flag.
Woodston Primary School receive first flag
Woodston Primary School won the race to receive the first flag in the city for achieving certificates in the themes: Land Use and Wildlife, Sustainable Materials, Sustainable Transport, Zero Carbon, and Zero Waste.
‘We are delighted with Woodston Primary School and its pupils’ green achievements,’ explains Jill Foster, PECT’s Environmental Education Manager. ‘Some of their key activities included having a new pond installed with a pond dipping platform. They also have a nature area with camp fire, den-making area, bat and bird boxes, plus they grow herbs and vegetables in various beds around the school grounds.’
In addition to this, the school’s Eco Team has helped to create a Green Procurement Policy, Anti-Litter Policy, set-up recycling bins for printer cartridges and also a reusable materials box, which is used for arts and crafts. Regular sustainable travel events and activities are held at the school, such as the Smoothie Bike, Learn to Ride, Stabilisers Off, Bling your Bike and more. The school also has solar thermal panels which help to heat up the hot water, and they measure their energy usage throughout the day.
‘To be the first school in Peterborough to receive the Peterborough Eco Framework Flag is a big achievement for us,’ explains Gary Eldred, the Eco Coordinator from Woodston Primary School. ‘From recycling through to our amazing yurt we are covering various areas of the Eco Framework. Our children thoroughly enjoy learning in our outdoor areas and this plays a big part of ‘The Woodston Family’ ethos.’
Peterborough Eco Education Awards 2016
Not only was the first Peterborough Eco Framework flag won this summer, but the green achievements of students across the city were celebrated at this year’s Peterborough Eco Education Awards (PEEAs), which were held at the Voyager Academy in summer 2016.
The PEEAs, sponsored by Skanska and run by the charity PECT, showcase the excellent Eco Education project work that takes place in Peterborough schools, to share best practice and celebrate green improvements. In the run-up to the awards, pupils aged 3-18 years developed projects which demonstrated their commitment to the environment.
The projects were grouped into Peterborough Eco Framework themes, which comprised categories such as health and happiness, land use and wildlife, and local and sustainable food. The projects were displayed at the event and marked by a panel of judges. ‘This is the third year Skanska has sponsored this event along with members of our supply chain and the feedback I continue to receive is that this event is one of the most fulfilling that we all attend,’ explains John Birkenhead, Contracts Manager for Skanska on Peterborough Highways. ‘Hearing the passion in the students’ voices and the smiles on their faces when they explain what they have been doing is great to see. I would also like to thank all the teaching assistants and teachers who support the students in delivering their wonderful projects.’
The pupils and teachers really enjoy celebrating the year’s green achievements too. As one teacher said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity to see what other schools are doing, not just big projects either, but small changes you can do that make a big difference. It’s not an onerous task to create a display and the children you take can really champion your projects, on the day and back at school.’ When the pupils were asked how they would describe their day, one summed it up with: ‘Brilliant, can we go again next year please?’
To find out more For more information about the Peterborough Eco Framework for schools please contact Jill Foster at PECT on 01733 866440 or email
. For further details about Peterborough Environment City Trust, visit www.pect.org.uk