Pupils at Whyteleafe School could be forgiven for wondering if their school is going to change its name after receiving a gold award for its green activities.
The school has received the honour from leading outdoor conservation charity the Woodland Trust to recognise its work in promoting outdoor life, wildlife and green issues in classroom education.
More than 7000 schools across the country have signed up for the scheme since it was launched in 2008, and Whyteleafe has received the award for its sustained promotion of the Trust’s work and concerns.
“We place great emphasis on environmental issues at Whyteleafe, so for the school as a whole to be honoured like this is wonderful,” said higher level teaching assistant Lorna Smith, who is involved in running Whyteleafe’s Outdoor Learning project.
Whyteleafe, a member of the Surrey-based GLF schools multi-academy trust, has long given green issues a prominent place in its curriculum. There are regular outdoor learning classes in the school grounds, children have planted and grown their own organic vegetables, they have planted trees and studied local woodlands, and last year some Year Six children even completed a two-year British Beekeepers’ Association training course, as part of the school’s highly successful beekeeping and honey producing scheme.
The Woodlands Trust’s award scheme sees schools rewarded with bronze, silver and ultimately gold honours for the levels of devotion and expertise they put in to the work, and now Whyteleafe has achieved the highest level, which will be marked with a plaque to go up on the school wall.
“Seeing that plaque and knowing that they’ve all helped earn that honour for the school by doing something so positive will really send a positive message out to all the children,” said Ms Smith.
“This is something the school believes in, and we hope to inspire them to do the same.”
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