Going Green at the Oak-Tree Group

Today, there is more emphasis than ever on the importance of looking after our environment and ‘Going Green’, and pupils at the Oak-Tree Group have been working hard to ensure they do their bit.

Braeside School in Buckhurst Hill has formed its own dedicated ‘Green Team’ who regularly meet to discuss how they could improve the environmental impact of the school. Many pupils are part of the Gardening Club and Forest Club, who are in charge of the upkeep of the school’s plants and trees. They have recently been awarded a Level 1 and 2 Gardening Award from the RHS. Breaside School is also the proud owner of the Eco Schools Bronze Award, awarded for their active eco-committee, for completing a school Environmental Review, and for producing and sharing an eco-action plan.

Headmistress of Braeside School, Chloe Moon, comments, “We are all aware of the need to make changes to protect our planet for generations to come, and many of our pupils have taken it upon themselves to run projects to help turn the school, and the world, into a better place.

Normanhurst School in North Chingford have set themselves the task of turning the school’s front garden into a lush, green oasis. Site manager, Mr Whyte, has already made a start with some help from the pupils, planting thousands of bulbs and 200 bedding plants, as part of the schools ‘Big Plant Project’.

Pupils at Normanhurst School have also taken part in ‘Chingford Fashion Week’. The theme for the week was ‘Saving our Planet’, therefore every item of clothing created for the finale fashion show was made purely out of recycled materials.

The Eco-council and School Council at Coopersale Hall School helped plant 30 wild cherry, rowan and silver birch saplings, which were donated by The Woodland Trust. Even the Deputy Mayor of Epping was there to lend a hand. The planting of these trees counted towards The Queen’s Green Canopy, a tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. The Queen’s Green Canopy will create a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands in honour of The Queen’s service and the legacy she has built.

The Eco- Council has also been proactive in encouraging other members of the school via a ‘Let’s Go Green Challenge’. The idea is that the pupils do as many eco-friendly activities as they can at home. So far, it is proving very successful, with pupils taking recycling seriously, planting in their garden, going a day with electricity, and collecting fruit from their garden.

Oaklands School in Loughton is currently taking part in the 3PR parking scheme, which encourages walking to school and parking considerately to help the environment. Children are encouraged to walk to school if possible, and earn tokens for their School Houses. The scheme is already proving to be very successful, with many children eager to walk to school of a morning.

Mrs Gretchen Copeman, Oaklands School Headmistress, comments “We are so pleased with how the scheme is going, and the pupils and I have lots of other green ideas to implement throughout the school year. The children understand that even the smallest change can collectively have a big impact.”