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Meltham C of E Primary are our Super Hero Feature this term.

We chose Meltham C of E as our Super Hero School this term as they have been demonstrating fabulous energy saving and sustainable climate action efforts throughout the school. We visited them in November last year, and since then they have been carrying out their action plan targets and focussing on developing their Eco-Comittee to inspire the rest of the school.

Photo showing pupils in Energy Hero Tshirts standing in power poses.

When the Energy Heroes team visited Meltham, the audit group discovered that all of their lights were LED’s, fantastic! But there was no renewable energy source to the building.

For their action plan, they decided that they would investigate the possibility of solar, ask for more vegan and vegetarian options at lunchtime and find somewhere to plant trees.

Interview with Meltham C of E Primary Eco Coordinators, Adele Ingham and Caroline Pearson

Meltham C of E Eco Committee consists of 14 young people aged 5-11. They inspire the rest of the school to protect our beautiful world, through 3 eco topics each year. This year they have focused on litter, energy and school grounds. The Eco-Committee is fairly voted in by each class. The nominees present their ideas to the class. The children have become more passionate about the work in the last 3 years, they have their own ideas about what they would like to achieve.

Photo showing a group of pupils with litter pickers and bags of litter.

Some of Meltham C of E Primary’s inspiring Eco Committee celebrating meeting our Litter Heroes pledge.

Building Sustainability into the Curriculum and into Day to Day School Life

Last year we gained the Eco School Green Flag with Distinction and we are working towards this again this year. 

Photo of teachers and pupils holding certificates in recognition of achieving the Eco-Schools green flag award.

At Meltham CE Primary School we motivate and boost our children to ShoutOut their ideas and opinions. This is especially encouraged in our eco work. Work around deforestation, energy saving, animal preservation, planting, healthy eating and sustainability are becoming a recurring part of the curriculum that the children enjoy. We are lucky we have a beautiful outdoor space, with plenty of trees, insect habitats and a thriving vegetable garden we have focused on this year. We can’t wait to try what the children have grown!

Photo of teachers and pupils working on raised beds, sweeping the area and weeding.

This Earth Day, we celebrated as a whole school with an assembly about the small steps we can make towards sustainability, shared a whole school book about littering, took part in litter picking, made eco pledges, wrote newspaper articles about different eco topics, planted sunflowers for every class, wrote Earth Day poems and even incorporated maths into a litter investigation. We had a busy, busy week of green activities that gave the children insight into their environmental impact and how they can affect change.  

 

Every class has energy and waste monitors. These children make sure that food waste is decomposed, waste is separated into recyclables and electrical items are switched off when the classroom is not in use. We have found that the children who take on this responsibility enjoy their role, and are confident to remind the adults in the school about these topics. We award a Recycling and Energy Hero class every term, to celebrate those classes that are helping reduce our eco footprint, and to inspire the other classes. 

Image showing two pupils at the white board with a reminder to turn off lights and whiteboards at playtime.

We encourage our children and families to take part in environmental events at home too. Whether taking part in the RSPB Bird Garden Birdwatch, Eco School’s Cut Your Carbon November, Switch Off Fortnight or being inspired to join in a litter pick, the children are keen to share these ideas at home and with their families.

 

Looking ahead, we have some exciting plans. We are organising a school and community clothes swap, second hand book sale, litter pick with community groups and an assembly to educate everyone on the importance of sustainability and how they can help.

What is your motivation to do this work within school, can you describe your own personal journey to where you are now?

Caroline Pearson – I first became aware of the importance of teaching the children about looking after the environment after starting healthy cooking and gardening lessons within our school. This showed me how important it is that we grow and eat healthy food that also looks after the environment. I then wanted to show the children from an early age how everyone can make a difference to the future of our planet and have been so impressed by the passion and enthusiasm the children have shown. My journey is now coming to an end at Meltham CE Primary, as I will be retiring at the end of this academic year, I know that I am leaving in the capable hands of others who will continue our Eco school’s journey.

Adele Ingham – I was initially drawn to being a member of the schools Eco Committee from the work Caroline started. Seeing the impact our eco work is making on the children is the most inspiring motivation for me. Not just the members of our eco committee, but school wide. The children are inspired and comfortable to approach me about their ideas and actions. I like to foster the idea of our children being the leaders of tomorrow, those that can make changes happen.

What advice do you have for other schools wanting to improve sustainability in the school and curriculum?

Caroline Pearson – Having connection with organisations and community groups such as Fairtrade, RHS Gardening for Schools and the Eco schools award.  These are all programmes that have given a structure to teaching about the environment and an award that the children can aim for. If I could give any advice it would be to take small steps at a time and choosing targets that can be achieved by the children and ensuring your committees are child led and meet regularly. 

 

Adele Ingham – Our Eco Committee is fairly voted in by each class. The nominees present their ideas to the class. The children have become more passionate about our work in the last 3 years, they have their own ideas about what they would like to achieve. We have found that the children will engage best when they are passionate about the topic, we have especially found this with our litter topic this year. The children and staff are all proud of the work we do.

Well done to Caroline, Adele and all of the Energy Heroes at Meltham C of E Primary. You are climate Super Heroes!

 Click here to follow Meltham C of E Primary Eco page on twitter (https://x.com/MelthamceEco).

The success of a schools sustainability education, projects and progress depends wholly on passionate and hardworking staff, such as Caroline Pearson and Adele Ingham who are the Eco-leads at Meltham C of E and contributed to this feature. Huge congratulations and thanks to you both, and to the whole of Meltham Primary for all of the steps you are taking on this journey.

We hope you are as inspired as we are, and have lots of ideas for your school! 

Has your school or MAT been making moves in energy saving and sustainability?

If so, we would love to hear about it and you could be our next Super Hero feature!

You can email us at hello@energyheroes.org.uk or complete this online form: We are a Super Hero School!