Thursday 28th March saw members of Northgate High School’s Council attend the Norwich and Norfolk Eco Awards held at St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich. They were supported by Mr Mason, Head of School, Mrs Galley, Deputy Head of School, Mr MacDonald, Miss Theobald and Dereham Mayor, Hilary Bushell.
The Norwich and Norfolk Eco Awards recognises unsung environmental individuals, projects and schemes with a strong ecological or envrionmentally-friendly ethos. Northgate has always been an eco-friendly school, however in the past couple of years a number of projects have highlighted this further.
Northgate was shortlisted for an award in the Eco-Secondary School category from the many entries received. They were pipped at the post by an established allotment project however were delighted to accept the prestigious Highly Commended award from the judges.
The judges were impressed with the school’s application which more than met the criteria given. Current environmental projects at the school include a pen recycling scheme, regular litter picks, plants in classrooms, and a School Council green classroom initiative, encouraging lights and electrical items to be switched off, recycling of paper and more. Students are also involved in a fantastic external learning facility, with opportunities to look after animals, appreciate the woodland area and learn about horticulture. In 2016 the school was awarded the RHS 5 star gardening school award as well as a gold medal for their dementia friendly garden at the Royal Norfolk Show in 2019.
The school keeps the community informed of projects through their social media, website and monthly bulletin. Dereham’s Mayor commented, ‘I am delighted that Northgate has become so involved in keeping the whole community informed of the wonderful work that they carry out, be it for the immediate community or for sport, charity and in the interests of their further education. I am very proud to support them in any way that I can. At the end of the day, the students are a great bunch!’
The host of the evening, Professor Ben Garron, a biologist and conservationist who has worked with Sir David Attenborough, spent a great deal of time with Northgate’s students. He said of our students, ‘I’m so incredibly proud of them all. They’ve achieved so much and will go on to do even greater things, I’m sure.’ They are certainly determined to develop eco-projects around the school, involving staff, students and the community.
The whole evening was a real celebration of people’s efforts embracing an ethos of sustainability. Professor Garrod also said, ‘I was thrilled to have the honour of hosting this event, which is a real celebration of the effort people are making to do their bit for the planet. It’s particularly inspiring to see the younger participants, who are not just tomorrow’s conservationists but already proving that you’re never too young to make a difference.’
Tom McCabe, interim head of paid service at Norfolk County Council, said, ‘Each year the Norwich and Norfolk Eco Awards recognises the people, businesses, community groups and schools that embrace an ethos of environmental sustainability. This year we have been overwhelmed with entries across all six categories and tonight we get to celebrate the best of the best. It is everyone’s responsibility to prioritise sustainability and I believe that these environmental champions will inspire the next generation of exciting eco projects.’
A fantastic evening for all attending, the venue was magnificent. Guests were also treated to a buffet made from locally sourced produce.
Katy Burton, Head Girl, said, ‘I was extremely proud to represent Northgate in collecting the Highly Commended award at such a prestigious event and hope this amazing acheivement will encourage us to achieve even greater things in the coming year.’
Andy Mason, Head of School said, ‘I am so proud of ll the staff and students, and their fantastic partnerships, which have enabled Northgate High School to be shortlisted and to receive the Highly Commended Norfolk and Norwich Eco Award. The focus and work of our staff and students on caring for the environment in noew and innovative ways to make a difference is inspiring. Their deteemination is outstanding.’
Northgate students are now looking forward to next year’s competition and looking at further envrionmental projects they can get involved in at the school.
You can find the link to the Dereham Times article here.
Receiving our Highly Commended Certificate sponsored by Veolia.