Northgate High School and Dereham Sixth Form staff and students have been inspired by a handwritten letter from Sir David Attenborough to do even more for the planet. In his letter he congratulates the school on ‘all [they] are doing to help deal with the problems that humanity has created on this planet’. He adds, ‘I think humanity is at last becoming aware of the damage we have been doing and there is a real chance we can change our ways’. As one of Northgate’s House figureheads, Sir David Attenborough has inspired so many people, along with our students, with his incredible documentaries and work in the environmental field and so it is a privilege to be recognised by him for all the work the school is doing.

Already being proud winners of the Norwich and Norfolk Eco Award for secondary schools in 2020 and receiving Eco Champion Status from Street Space UK, we were delighted to hear recently that Northgate has been shortlisted (for the second year running) for the Environmental Practice Award at the Education Business Awards 2021. We eagerly await the virtual awards ceremony, hosted by TV personality Jeff Brazier, which will be watched by a number of School Council members. Being recognised for educating, raising awareness and being proactive on eco matters is something we are incredibly proud of.

A small group of students from Northgate and Dereham Sixth Form will also be heading to Sweden in the autumn to join students from other schools in the UK, Sweden and USA at an Earth summit. They have already met each other virtually and have started putting together plans for various eco-themed projects. One of these projects will be a social media campaign to raise awareness and make people think about the small changes they can make themselves that will have a positive impact on the environment. A couple of litter picks have already taken place on the school site and at Neatherd Moor as part of the Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean campaign as well as a bake sale at Sixth Form for the WWF Great Nature Picnic event.

Other plans in the pipeline include making planters for various areas of the school, planting more trees, reducing paper use and continuing the two Terracycle recycling schemes  already in place. Over 156Kg of writing instruments and 194Kg of crisp packets have now been prevented from going to landfill and have been recycled into new plastic items. The school is really excited that members of the Dereham community can now also get involved and do their bit by taking their crisp packets to Northgate’s collection box in Morrisons, Dereham. A big thank you to Morrisons for their support.

Heads of Northgate, Mrs Galley and Dr Hone, said ‘We are very proud of the work our school community is doing in the fight for a greener future’.