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Green Futures Eco-Schools Newsletter is out now – read all about the latest Craven Eco-Schools news in the Craven Development Education Centre's e-newsletter.  Subscribe by emailing

Welcome to the first edition of the Green Futures Eco-Schools Newsletter. The Craven Development Education Centre (Craven DEC) aims to develop understanding of global issues and to encourage action for a more just society. 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.

Empty Classroom Day 

Spend a lesson learning outside the classroom on Friday 17th June 2016!

Join schools and organisations from across the UK this summer and celebrate outdoor learning & play on Empty Classroom Day.  Sign up your school here to be a part of it and to hear about news, resources and offers in the run up to the day.

Getting started  -  Establishing an Eco-Committee

The Eco-Committee is the driving force behind the Eco-Schools work, its role is to: 

  • Ensure that the whole school is aware of the Eco-Schools programme
  • Lead in carrying out the Environmental Review
  • Ensure that everyone in the school community is represented in the decision-making process (as far as possible)
  • Provide a link between pupils, teachers, senior management team, governors and the whole school community
  • Lead in delivering the Eco-Schools Action Plan

The Eco-committee should include:

  • Pupils chosen or elected to represent different year groups and the whole school
  • A member of staff to support but not lead the committee

If possible, the Eco-Committee could also include:

  • Headteacher or a member of the senior management team
  • School bursar
  • Other teacher(s)
  • Governor(s)
  • Parent(s)
  • Non-teaching staff member(s)
  • Caretaker or site manager
  • Representative(s) from local authorities
  • Member of the local community

The Eco-Schools programme is designed to be flexible. You should think about how it will work best in your school – for example, the Eco-Committee could be linked to an existing school council or it could be attached to an existing school club.

It is important to decide how the Eco-Committee will keep the rest of the school informed about decisions and involved in the projects that will take place. Using the school newsletter, school website or assembly presentations can help. 

You don't even have to call yourself an Eco-Committee if you don't want to. You are free to be as imaginative and creative as you like in naming your action team.

The size of the Eco-Committee and where and how often it will meet is decided by each school, although it is  recommended that the team meets at least every half-term. The Eco-Committee must keep a record of their decisions and the minutes of their meetings should be reported back to the senior school management team and governor meetings. 

Upcoming campaigns 

A week of activities can be a great way to kick start action relating to a particular area of sustainability. Why not plan a school activity week to coincide with a national campaign? Follow the links to find resources for upcoming international and environmental days and weeks. 

International Compost Awareness Week 1st-7th May

National School Grounds Week, 6th-10th May 

World Environment Day - 05 June 

Recycle Week, 20th-26th June

Oxfam Water Week, 4th-8th July 

Eco-Schools Yorkshire Roadshow - 24th May

Join Keep Britain Tidy's Eco-Schools team on the 24th May. This is your chance to spend the day at the brand new waste and recycling education centre operated by Shanks, working in partnership with Wakefield Council, in South Kirkby. 

You will learn everything that you need to know about the Eco Schools programme and the benefits that it can bring to schools and pupils as well as having the unique experience of visiting a brand new recycling education centre. 

You will hear from inspirational speakers, attend fun and informative workshops and spend the day with a real Eco-Committee. 

The event will bring together teachers, sustainability education professionals and the Eco-Schools England team. Together we will explore the learning benefits that Eco-Schools can generate and devise strategies for working together to achieve them. 

Please click here for further information about the event and to download the flyer. 

Monitoring and Evaluation 

Measuring your schools carbon footprint at the start of your Eco-Schools journey is one way to benchmark where you have started from, and show improvements over time.  Use the BP simple calculator to estimate how much carbon dioxide your school is responsible for each year.  You will need to gather some data for this activity, such as school energy bills and information on how students travel to school.  This could be done as part of the Environmental review. 

Free Sunflower seeds

The Big Sunflower Project wants to get as many people as possible growing sunflowers to learn about and raise awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy. Seed distribution for The Big Sunflower Project 2016 is now underway and will continue until around mid June or until seed donations run out. The project welcomes participation from anyone. The only criteria for taking part, is that you are willing to have have a go and to share your photos with the project.  

To receive your seeds send an email with the subject line ‘The Big Sunflower Project’ to with the number of seeds you would like and your postal address. 

School News

Students from Settle College's Eco team planted fruit trees as part of their Earth Day celebration on April 22nd.   The event raised awareness of how trees can help combat climate change, as well as letting other students know about the school gardening club, and their plans to improve the garden, and increase the quantity of fruit and vegetables grown in the school grounds by students.    

Please let us know if you've information about a project, event  or an idea you'd like to share with other schools locally. Email
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