Environmental issues and responsible citizenship have long been important topics addressed in lessons across our curriculum at Hardenhuish, but now an ambitious and exciting project is underway to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. The School already has a small wind turbine and solar panels on two buildings; L Centre and C Centre. The wind turbine and solar panels produce sustainable energy, contributing to the school’s electricity needs when we are in session. We sell electricity back to the national grid in the holidays and out of school time. This has not only cut our energy supply costs and significantly reduced the school’s carbon footprint, but has also contribute to our curriculum in allowing pupils to see at first hand the possibilities of making a positive impact on climate change.
In 2011 the school began work with Wiltshire Council and the Severn Wye Energy Agency on the YEP (Young Energy People) Project. This has seen the formation of a School Energy Management Team, comprising 16 pupils. These pupils have audited the site and looked at the efficiency of our current energy use. Subsequently, they presented their findings, making recommendations to the School’s governors.
Already, the School has taken steps to address their recommendations:
- Installation of new, efficient gas boilers in L Centre and T-Centre
- The installation of superefficient bio-mass boiler to heat A Centre, S Centre, C Centre and the House
- New lagging on under floor heating pipes in L Centre
- Survey of entire site ahead of installation of LED lighting where suitable
The School Parliament Eco-Committee, has also worked hard at raising the awareness of Green issues with pupils and staff. Their ‘Lunchtime Crunchtime’ saw the amount of litter on site halved week-on-week. They have been responsible for the arrival of new white paper recycling bins for each room and for plastic and cardboard recycling bins in the canteen areas. In addition, their bio-diversity area and bug-hotel will be used by pupils as part of the Science curriculum this year. Their suggestion for raised planting beds was also met and we look forward to seeing the green-fingers club growing in the new term. The Committee was highly commended for its work by the Speaker for the House of Commons in a national competition.
As a result of the Green Project, the school now has the coveted Eco-Schools Green Flag Award, one of only three awarded to secondary schools in Wiltshire. This prestigious title is in recognition of the tireless effort put in by staff and students alike to make the school and greener, more sustainable place. The target now is to go for re-accreditation in 2015 and earn Green Flag Ambassador School status! The Green team meets weekly in school and are always on the lookout for exciting projects within the community which might help to raise the profile of sustainability issues. Please contact Assistant Headteacher David Clarke if you would like to know more.