School's dedication to environment rewarded

KATE DAVIDSON
Last updated 13:00 28/11/2013

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Hard work and a commitment to sustainability have seen Clifton Terrace School become Nelson's only silver Enviroschool.

The school was a bronze Enviroschool but has been upgraded after the pupils showed their understanding of and dedication to the environment in theory and practice.

The children are excited about the award.

Ollie Grant, 10, said he "felt really, really happy" and enjoyed "just being able to decide and help out" with the school's sustainability vision.

The desire to become an Enviroschool started nearly four years ago. The longest-standing school council members, Jamie Foster, 11, and Maya Woodward, 11, have been involved since 2011.

Jamie was also pleased with the award.

"We thought it was really good and was one more step to improving the school," he said.

He thought it was important to learn about sustainability for the future.

"We need to look after our environment, otherwise there will be nothing to look after."

Environmental education teacher Rosemary Cooke said she was impressed with the children's work.

"It's just amazing to see these children coming through with these values that they want to live sustainably, and asking questions and making good decisions about the way they run things."

Enviroschools awards are given to schools where sustainability is integrated into the curriculum and is driven by pupils with the support of staff and parents.

Clifton Terrace achieved the silver grade after pupils presented the work they had been doing in class and led a tour to show the school's sustainability measures in action.

They also created a Boulder Bank display illustrating the school's progress from when it joined the programme in 2010.

The pupils and staff received a certificate and plaque at a special assembly last Friday.

The Enviroschools ethos teaches pupils that they have some control over their interactions with the environment and can make a difference through their behaviour.

"It's learning for sustainability. It's preparing them to be citizens who can live in a sustainable way," said Ms Cooke.

The school has undertaken several projects, including worm farming and composting food scraps, which are used on the school's vegetable garden and olive trees from which pupils pick the fruit to sell.

Each class is also working on a sustainability project - one has a strawberry patch, and another is working with butterflies.

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