At King Edward School we are committed to empowering future generations to live sustainably and make positive changes. Our goal is for our students to understand that we are taking the challenges that the world is facing seriously and that we are acting to make a change. Becoming carbon neutral is our longer term sustainability ambition and we are striving to do this by considering the wider implications of our decision making and actions.
Sustainability means meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The needs of our School as well as the wider community are vast and our mission is to focus on two main areas: education and community.
Education is not limited to a classroom environment. Opportunities for environmental awareness and sustainable education include co-curricular clubs, trips, speakers from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, teaching and learning resources as well as in academic lessons and the wider curriculum through PSHE, Foundation Studies and Extended Studies.
The Sustainability Action Group is a dedicated pupil-led forum for action and initiative. Students from any year group are welcome and the group has grown over the past two years. We have engaged the school community through the assembly programme and campaigns to pupils and staff about key environmental issues and by doing so, encouraged them to take an active role in environmental projects. Events take place each term including opportunities for community benefit and awareness raising such as: slow fashion sales, electric car show, Christmas card repurposing, food waste collection, sustainable period campaign, encouraging OBNO (King Edward School second hand uniform shop run by KESPTA) for uniform reuse, gardening in the King Edward's School allotment and more.
"Being committed to sustainability enables our students to make positive decisions and embed clean living and resource conservation initiatives into our everyday lives. In Sustainability Action Group, we promote an understanding of the dependence between humans and the environment where they live" - Mrs Penfold.
Food waste awareness and sustainability of school trips are areas that we are working on together as well as reducing waste and researching and promoting sustainability tips to help us all live more sustainably.
Image: Students' Slow Fashion Show, 2022
Community, buildings and environmental needs are key areas of focus. Whilst we are ambitiously aiming for a carbon neutral future for the school, it is the journey of how we are going to get there that is important. We are committed to encouraging and promoting sustainable forms of construction that limit the negative impact on the environment. Thermal modelling of the main school building to plan for low energy use and waste, and plans for PVs to line the school roof are projects underway. Water management, food waste reduction, travel and transport are areas for improvement and are being addressed and monitored. By using performance indicators, we can work to offset energy use and develop strategic and effective improvements across these areas of our community.
We are constantly combining the decision making about improvements and modernisation of our school buildings with the education of our students, allowing interested parties to interact and have their say in the decision-making processes. Enabling our students to be inquisitive and challenge issues they feel passionate about is part of their growth into our future change makers.
"Sustainability is becoming core to our school community and having the ability to voice opinions and action change is vital for students at KES. Our students constantly question the decisions being made in school and beyond and value being involved in decision making for a better quality of life and healthier environment" - Mrs Penfold.
We hope that our student body continues to engage with sustainability matters and welcome anyone interested to come along and join Sustainability Action Group with Mrs Penfold.
Sustainability Action Group
Our group has been active in informing and raising awareness of key issues regarding the planet. From fashion to electric vehicles, food waste and the creative arts, the students involved have been instrumental in educating and engaging the school community in thinking about their own impact. All students are welcome and we have seen a spread of young people from all year groups.
During the school year of 2021-2022, the Sustainability Action Group held a Slow Fashion Sale, with pre-loved clothes flying off the rails for bargain prices. The money raised went to the charity ‘No Sweat’ to help fight the battle against sweatshop conditions for workers and the environment.
We invited the Peter Cooper group in with a selection of electric vehicles, as well as some of our own in the first ever KES Electric Car Show.
Students researched the food waste problem and highlighted the problem in a series of assemblies to the different sections of the school. Food waste was collected up after a lunch service and photographed to highlight the current problem with wasting school lunches. Students from all year groups were invited to consider their own choices and actions and help to make a difference.
Jess Dugdale, an OE, came in to display products and information about alternative sustainable period products as part of out period sustainability and period poverty week.
Image: Jess Dugdale's display for period poverty week.
During the Arts Festival, students were invited to create a giant Art Attack out of recyclables on the field.
Image: Art Attack creations during the Arts Festival.