St Andrew’s School in Chedworth has become a net-zero carbon school and the children are excited to show others how to do the same.
The transformation from being a standard, oil heated school with a poorly insulated, partly Victorian structure, to clean, green and modern took only about a month, said Matt Fulford, school governor and project manager. The school secured a £125,000 grant from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.*
From air source heat pumps and solar panels to insulation and double glazing, every area of the school building has been considered.
The solar panels will provide for the school’s power needs with a battery to save any extra power generated.
The children love the little changes showing a more sustainable way of life which are seen throughout the school.
The LED lighting is controlled by movement sensors, so there’s no need to remind people to switch off the lights. Bees, bugs and berries are thriving in the wildlife area and they have even changed the way that they do crafts.
One of the school children proudly showed Bishop Robert their new glue sticks. He said, “It’s quite cool actually – instead of having our normal gluesticks like these ones, we’ve changed to rolling glue, which we can refill. You just pick off a nozzle and pull this off and we can fill it back up again.”
The headteacher, Nikita Smith, said, “I have been inspired by the steps our school has taken to become Net Zero Carbon. Here at St Andrew’s Church of England school, we show children that everyone can contribute towards change – and that change can happen on their doorstep.
“A lot of our curriculum content covers the climate crisis and the damage to our environment in the world but our school’s effort makes these topics accessible to every pupil.
“It is vital that we teach children that what they do matters, whether this be in their actions towards our planet, or actions towards each other. We recycle everything from glue sticks to clothes and this larger scale project will help children understand how renewable energy works. The children are our future and their actions and understanding about how we can be better is inspirational.”
Bishop Robert said, “The reality of the climate crisis simply cannot be denied and it is essential that all of us play our part. As Christians we believe that our world is a precious gift, given to us by God, to care for and enjoy. Jesus promises life in all abundance and this is of course rooted in the creation of which we are a part and in which we all share. Working to safeguard the environment and to promote climate justice is, therefore, an essential and integral way in which we live out our faith.”
How can my school do the same?
*Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme opens for applications at 2 pm on 6 October. It will close at 2 pm on 3 November 2021. Read more —>
Sign up to the Let’s Go Zero schools campaign like St Andrew’s and also Miserden CofE Primary School and St Mark’s CofE Junior School in Cheltenham. Let’s Go Zero is the national campaign uniting teachers, pupils, parents and their schools as they all work together to be carbon zero by 2030.