Balgowan Eco-schools achieves Green Flag Award

We are proud to announce that we obtained the Eco Schools Green Flag Award on 21st January 2014!

This award shows that Balgowan’s Eco Schools Committee have covered a vast array of topics and really made a difference in the school environment.

Qualifying for the Green Flag meant that a trained assessor visited the school to check that we’d met the criteria, and to ask the committee a range of questions about our work.

The assessor visited on Tuesday January 21st and met with the committee, which included all the pupils, and the various adults (parents, governors and staff) who are also involved.

The questions that she asked were not directed at the adults supporting the group, but at the children. It was very impressive watching our young ambassadors talk with enthusiasm and vigour about the work they’d been doing. Many of the committee are new to the role, but still answered questions with confidence and knowledge.

Some of the questions seemed challenging even to the adults, but the committee handled them with aplomb. One such question was “How do you know that what you’ve done has had any effect?”. Once they started to reply, more and more chimed in. “We weigh the compost, and we know that there is much more now than when we first started.”; ” We check the classrooms and are finding that most remember to turn off the lights when they leave.” Mr Clark added “I’ve noticed that there is almost no litter in the playgrounds of an afternoon anymore, which saves me hours of work every week.”.

The assessor was impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the group, and fact that the majority of the work and ideas was very much pupil lead. She also commented that she was very impressed with how hard we had worked and how sustainability and environmental awareness has been improved within our school community

After the long interview, the pupils proudly escorted her around our school so they could show her the many changes we had made to our school since joining the programme. We took a walk around the school grounds to see  the garden beds out the front with the compost bins and wormery, the mini-beast and bird sanctuaries in the front of school and the playgrounds, and the litter pickers and fruit bins in the playgrounds.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the immensely hard work put in by Miss Tina Brabham who has worked tirelessly to build up the committee and put the actions into place. It’s an incredible achievement, and one that we hope we can continue to build upon in 2014.