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Mellis Primary School earns Eco-Schools Silver Award

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An active eco-club has earned a primary school in Mellis the Eco-Schools Silver Award.

Mellis Primary School pupils are celebrating achieving the Eco-Schools Silver Award. Picture by Mark Bullimore.
Mellis Primary School pupils are celebrating achieving the Eco-Schools Silver Award. Picture by Mark Bullimore.

Set up last year, the club at Mellis Primary School consists of about a dozen pupils aged seven to 11.

The Eco-Schools programme, which is pupil-led, aims to improve the environment in both the school and the local community by having a life-long positive impact on the lives of young people and their families.

Consisting of three structural elements, the programme encourages pupils of all ages and abilities to work together to develop their knowledge and environmental awareness.

Year 4 teacher Megan Frost said: “I noticed this award and thought we could do it as it’s really important.

“Environmental issues are in the news a lot at the minute. These things will impact the children’s future and I think it’s important for them to be aware of them.”

Among other environmental activities, the eco-club has created a battery recycling facility and collected 400 spent batteries as part of the programme.

To complete the initiative, the school can choose from 10 topics, such as marine, waste or transport, to include into their curriculum.

“We are looking at things to do in lessons and covering the bigger issues, such as plastic,” said Ms Frost. “A couple of children are designing machines that would collect plastic in the ocean.

“In the future, we are thinking of ways to increase the biodiversity in our school.”

The next and final step in the programme is to work towards receiving the Eco-Schools Green Flag, which is an internationally recognised award for excellence in environmental action and learning.

“I enjoy working on this project because I think you can get lots of ideas on how to improve and make yourself eco-friendly as well,” said Ms Frost.

Set up in 1994 in response to the 1992 UN Rio Earth Summit, Eco-Schools is operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education and is managed in England by Keep Britain Tidy.

There are currently more than 19,000 registered Eco-Schools in England, 63 in south Norfolk and 89 in Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

Among them are Harleston CofE Primary School and Wortham Primary School.

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