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Welcome to Craven DEC's 5th Green Futures Eco-Schools Newsletter.  We are working with secondary schools to help them on their journey to become Eco-Schools as part of the Green Futures project which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund through the Our Bright Future programme. Please do forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who may also be interested in environmental and Eco-Schools news, they can subscribe by emailing

Welcome back to all new and forming Eco-Committees, Green Futures Eco-School are looking forward to helping you achieve wonderful things this year.  

Eco-Schools have some exciting updates for 2017/18!

The Eco-Schools Bronze, Silver and Green Flag awards have had a refresh making them simpler, and more logical.

Bronze and Silver awards are still self-assessed online. These act as stepping stones, helping your students to progress through the seven step framework and stay motivated along the way.

For this reason, to gain a Bronze award, you will need to complete steps 1, 2 and 3 (Form an Eco-Committee, Carry out an Environmental Review and Create an Action Plan). 

To gain a Silver award, you will need to complete steps 4, 5 and 6 (Monitoring and Evaluation, Informing and Involving and Linking to the Curriculum). 

The Green Flag award has been slightly redesigned and sees a prominent role for your Eco-Boards forming the basis of your application. Check out guidance on Eco-Boards here as these are now key to a successful Green Flag application. 

Eco-School training  - How to Become a Successful Eco-School: Yorkshire on Sept 19th. Book here.


Litter is one of the easiest topics to do something about in the school setting, and a great first topic for schools to focus on.  All Eco-Schools need to do some work on the topic of litter as it is a requirement that schools be free from litter in order to achieve the Green Flag.

Litter facts 
  • Around 2.25m pieces of litter are dropped on the streets of the UK every day.
  • Thirty million tonnes of rubbish are collected from England’s streets each year and it costs councils more than £1bn a year to clean up. 
  • 7 out of 10 pieces of litter on our streets is food-related.
  • Rat, fox, pigeon and gull populations are all getting bigger because of fast-food waste.
  • RSPCA receives more than 7,000 phone calls each year about pets and wildlife that have been injured by litter.
  • Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.
  • 90%  of birds have plastic in their stomachs.
  • 80% of marine litter comes from the land.
  • There are over 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of the ocean.

Activity Ideas
 KS3 Design and Technology – from rubbish to innovation. Entrepreneurs with an artistic flare can use rubbish to make new and desirable objects. With this activity, students will change their perception of rubbish, from thinking it is something that needs to be disposed of, to seeing it as a source of affordable materials that they can use to make new items and objects.  Links into learning around circular economy, material and design, and recycling.

Litter picking  - support the wonderful Kids Against Plastic in their aim to pick up 100,000 plastic bottles, lids, cups, straws (and microplastics) from all around the globe. They are doing this as part of the UN Global Goals and The World’s Largest Lesson-inspired learning and ‘take action’ project 

Shouting  about Litter - collect a sample of litter from the school grounds – go into assembly and dump it onto the floor – explain how long the different items take to biodegrade and how old the students will be (or their children, or their children’s children, etc.) when each item has biodegraded.  Or  do a similar exercise, but spread the litter down one side of the hall, leaving the other side litter-free – which side do the students prefer ?

Eco-Schools have a new  partnership with Helping Hand Environmental. For every Eco-Schools equipment order Helping Hand will donate back to Keep Britain Tidy – just quote KBTGROUP when ordering online, or mention the code over the phone.  They also offer Eco-Schools branded equipment! 
Funding for projects

Youth Environment Action Fund (YEAF) - Our very own Green Futures fund for young people. Recent YEAF funding includes; gardening equipment and seeds, plastic recycling containers, bike racks and more gardening tools - what eco activities or campaigns could you do with extra funding?  Next deadline - Friday 10 November 2017 12 noon

Tesco Bags for Help Bags of Help is Tesco’s exciting local community grant scheme  where the money raised from the 5p bag charge is being used to fund thousands of local projects in communities and schools right across the UK.  

Local School Nature Grants: What do birdboxes, bee hotels, den making kits and nature experts all have in common?  They are all available free to schools. The grants provide an assortment of nature equipment up to the value of £500 and a two hour training session. The packages are customisable, enabling schools to choose from a menu of items which best suit their learners and their setting. 

Diary Dates!

World Food Day 16th October  - Linking to the World's Largest Lesson theme, check out this Geography resource from the Fairtrade Foundation focusing on sustainable food production. The accompanying film, 'My next Fairtrade Adventure' has been awarded Highly Commended Award at the Geographical Association awards 2017.  Teff: The next superfood: explores the impact of our reliance on grains, the growth of ‘superfoods’ and studies the role of the grain teff in Ethiopian farming

World Toilet Day: 19 November 2017, Did you know ... more people in the world have a mobile phone than a toilet?   In the least developed countries only 45% of schools have adequate toilets and 1 in 3 people worldwide do not have access to a toilet.  Email for a short quiz to raise awareness on Toilets (and check out these waste Popsicles!)

World Soil Day: 5 December 2017,  Soil is one of the world’s most precious natural resources. It is vital for plant survival and crop production. FACE has produced a new "Rocks and Soils" e-booklet which suggests a number of different hands-on activities suitable for Key Stages  3 which will help pupils to understand the importance of soil and its properties.

The Big Pedal: 23 April and the 4 May 2018: the UK’s largest inter-school cycling challenge. It inspires pupils, staff and parents to choose two wheels for their journey to school. On each day of the challenge schools compete to see who can record the greatest number of pupils, staff and parents cycling to school. During the Big Pedal 2017 schools recorded over one million journeys by bike and scooter.  

I do have some spare global wall planner for 2017/18, if you'd like one or further resources or activities for any of these days   email  

Your Eco-Committee can help:  

  • End extreme poverty.
  • Fight inequality and injustice.
  • Tackle climate change.

World’s Largest Lesson aims to introduce the Global Goals to children and young people everywhere, and help them take action.

World’s Largest Lesson 2017 begins on the 18th September, but can be done anytime, this year the focus is on food.  There are resources and lessons plans on  healthy eating to reducing wastage, eliminating plastic packaging, sourcing closer to home and checking on the practices of food producers, or Green Futures can help you plan your lesson, and you can join students around the world in taking action to make a positive difference. 

Who’s responsible for the Global Goals? is a 30 minute activity from Practical Action designed to get pupils discussing and debating who is responsible for ensuring the UN Global Goals are achieved by 2030 . It can be used in Citizenship, PSHE and as a starter activity for Practical Action’s STEM challenges and to compliment other resources focusing on the Global Goals. It is a good follow on activity from Practical Action’s Global Goals String activity, which focuses on how the Goals are connected.

Getting climate ready: a guide for schools on climate action – This guide provides case studies, ideas and monitoring techniques to support your school to adopt a whole school approach to climate action

School News

A big thank to Skipton Girls High School for hosting a fun, informative and inspirational Eco-School conference on Wednesday 12th July! I hope schools that came enjoyed it as much as I did!  Read all about it in their newsletter (p6), and the blog from guest speaker Rachelle Ngai   We look forward to staff and students from all our current and prospective Eco-Schools continuing to share ideas and information about the work they are doing as part of their Eco-Schools journey.   Please do share your photos, blogs and success stories with us. 

Photo credit: The Skipton Academy inspired by Kids against Plastic picked up over 800 pieces of litter.  

Copyright © 2017 Craven Development Education Centre, All rights reserved.

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