Thursday 5th March saw members of Northgate High School’s Environment Team and School Council, alongside Dr Hone and Mrs Galley, Heads of School, Miss Theobald, School Council Coordinator and Mr MacDonald, Alternative provisions Coordinator, head to St Andrew’s Hall for the Norwich and Norfolk Eco Awards 2020.
The Eco Awards recognises unsung environmental individuals, projects and schemes with a strong ecological or environmentally-friendly ethos, and groups and organisations which can show they adopt a sound eco approach to their business.
During the ceremony Northgate students were delighted to be presented with their special Eco Awards trophy and certificate. After receiving Highly Commended from the judges at the awards last year, they were determined to win and during the past year have put into place a number of initiatives at the school. The competition was tough but the judges said, ‘Northgate High School’s Environment Team display a fantastic commitment to environmental issues and are using their voice to spread the message as far as they can. Students are actively involved at every stage of projects and are gaining important skills in how to plan projects and convey their ideas at meetings with senior members of staff and governors. Plans are in place for them to attend the Earth Summit in Sweden this year, which will be a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals.’
Initiatives have included the pen and crisp packet recycling schemes, where over 245Kg of plastic has been prevented from going to landfill. Students have also worked closely with the school’s canteen to reduce the amount of plastic packaging and cutlery and have recently introduced a ‘bottle free Friday’ scheme where no bottles, cans or carton drinks are sold. Students are encouraged to bring their own reusable bottles to reduce the amount of single use plastic in the canteen. With other projects in the pipeline, the positive environmental impact the school is able to have and the awareness being raised, is going from strength to strength.
Miss Theobald, School Council Coordinator said, ‘To receive the Eco Award this year is a fantastic achievement for the school. It recognises the enthusiasm and passion of both students and staff in being more environmentally aware and the positive impact we can all have, however small. We are excited for the future which includes some of our students attending an earth summit in Lund, Sweden, at the end of the month.’
The awards evening was hosted by Richard Powell OBE. He spoke about how we can all contribute and do our bit to be more environmentally friendly, how companies and businesses are having to start doing differently and acting differently to have a positive impact. Young people are starting to have a bigger impact and that the environment was also high on the agenda in the recent election. He ended his talk with a slide about bees with a message for everyone to take away – ‘Bee positive, bee active, bee aware and bee different.’