YOUNGSTERS at a Stalybridge Primary School has been presented with a Green Flag Award by MP Jonathan Reynolds, in recognition of their environmental credentials.
As an Eco School, teachers and pupils at Gorse Hall Primary School put sustainability at the heart of their community.
In and out of the classroom, the youngsters learn about their impact on the local and global environment, as well as the practical steps they can take towards sustainability.
Their ongoing success was recognisded today (Friday), when they were presented with their fifth Green Flag Award, as part of the Eco Schools initiative.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds, who presented the children with their award during a special school assembly on Friday, said: "Learning about the environment and our place in the world is really important – and clearly it’s a lesson that’s being taken very seriously at Gorse Hall.
"The children have already planted more than 100 trees in the school grounds. They recycle everything they can. And they never leave on computers if they are not being used or lights if they are not needed.
"In the grounds of the school they are engaged in butterfly and bird-watching – and they even have their own bug hotel too.
"But the lessons they are learning about the environment aren’t just focussed on Stalybridge – they extend to the other side of the world too.
"I understand the children have been learning about the production of tea in India and the principles of fair trade, as well as launching a project to raise funds for an orphanage in South Africa.
"The way we care for our local and global environments is more important than ever. Ensuring that the next generation understand these issues is really important.
"Gorse Hall have proved they are addressing some serious issues in a fun and rewarding way and I am delighted to be able to share in their success by presenting them with this Green Flag Award."
Green Flag Awards, which must be renewed every two years, are part of the Eco Schools initiative. Gorse Hall were awarded their first Green Flag in 2002 – and they have just been awarded their fifth.
Before an award is made schools have to submit information about the projects they are involved in and they are inspected by an assessor.
Among the eco initiatives at the school are projects to turn off lights, to recycle card and paper and to promote walking to school.
The school has its own team of eco co-ordinators and youngsters are encouraged to take an active part in the decision-making. There is even an Eco suggestion box in the corridor, where everyone is encouraged to post their suggestions.
The youngsters have set up and maintain a garden area – where members of the gardening club grow their own vegetables and they have planted more than 100 trees.
They have also looked at the importance of ‘fair trade’ by studying the journey of a tea bag – from the planting of the tea in India to the brewing of a cuppa in Stalybridge.
Published 9 December, 2011