Pupils at Kibble’s Goudie Academy have been awarded the Green Flag Eco Schools Award, recognising their outstanding contributions in protecting the planet for future generations.
The Green Flag is one of the most prestigious Eco-Schools awards, where pupils follow a Seven Step Framework to complete the programme. Despite the challenges set by the pandemic, pupils received high praise for their commitment to sustainable Development and climate action, as well as having learned and actively participated in litter prevention, reducing environmental pollution, waste minimisation, waste management, health and wellbeing and local environments throughout their journey.
The award recognises the achievements of the whole school community who took part in a wide range of activities, events and community projects alongside local charities to make a real impact.
The commendation was awarded just days prior to the COP27 World Conference; with pupils also taking the opportunity to hold a round-table discussion closer to home. The Kibble COP27 Conference brought together young people and staff to celebrate the incredible accolade whilst addressing issues around: recycling, energy, food waste reduction and sustainable travel. The Eco-schools project was initiated at the COP26 conference the previous year, with young people also taking part in a number of classroom activities, workshops and marches aligned to the world events.
Litter Picking and Recycling
Litter picking groups were set up to collect and recycle plastic bottles and other items found around our campus. To make a difference in our community, we volunteered with the Darkwood Crew in Ferguslie Park to collect and recycle litter. Afterwards, we visited the Community Market at the Tannahill Centre in Paisley to see the difference that Kibble’s weekly collection and donation of food parcels and Christmas food drive was making. We have a close partnership with the Darkwood Crew, where young people also donated £3000 through the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) and have plans to volunteer in future to support young people’s Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
“We picked all the rubbish up outside Ferguslie Park with the Darkwood Crew. We found lots of rubbish that was lying about including a trolley. We put the rubbish in the trolley and the council picked up all the rubbish bags. After we went to the Tannahill Centre and learnt about how they help people who can’t afford food.” Young Person, Kibble
Outdoor Classroom and Gardens
Among the other activities and events to help us achieve our Green Flag status included the creation of an outdoor classroom which was co-designed and developed by young people, planting of fruit, vegetables and flowers to promote pollination, the design of a new school logo promoting our core values and making beautiful bird boxes and benches in our craft and design class. As well as an outdoor classroom, our green-fingered pupils and staff have been creating a new garden outside our Technical department complete with a beautiful willow arch, colourful plants and seating banks with planters which are filled with fruit trees and bushes.
“A space for outdoor learning would help us by being in different scenery and creating a calm space to learn. It would let us have more options in how we want to learn. School isn’t just about the classroom and young people can struggle in the classroom so getting outside would help them by being able to explore learning in a new environment. It is about experiencing new things and learning skills that will help us in the long run.” Young Person, Kibble
As part of the curriculum, pupils in Craft and Design worked alongside local artist Kevin Cantwell to complete a stunning mixed-media mural that sits pride of place within our school building. The entire piece is made from recycled materials and shows a concrete cityscape surrounded by sprawling sea, mountains and blue skies. In the distance you can see wind turbines generating natural power and aeroplanes circling overhead as modern living meets the natural world. The artwork is incredibly beautiful and young people thoroughly enjoyed being part of this.
Reducing Food Waste
As part of the award, young people have been growing and selling ‘mix vegetable boxes’ to staff across Kibble, with monies raised going towards the Dog Trust charity. In addition, the apples harvested in Home Economics class have helped to enhance young people’s basic food preparation and cooking skills, with an understanding of which foods contribute to healthy lifestyles.
Health and Wellbeing
There has been a flurry of activity to promote active, healthy lifestyles with young people taking part in regular yoga and mindfulness sessions, promoting key calendar events such as Purple Friday with cycling and walking challenges, Forest Schools activities and Sailing Voyages with Ocean Youth Trust. These opportunities have allowed young people to experience the great outdoors, supporting their mental and physical health.
To have achieved the Green Flag Eco-Schools Award is an incredible accolade and is testament to the hard work, commitment and compassion of young people in making our world a better place. This is only just the beginning and with ambitious plans in the pipeline to introduce an electric vehicle fleet, electric charge points, widen food recycling activities and strengthen our overall Zero Carbon campaign, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
“Keep up the outstanding work and a big congratulations again to Goudie Academy from everyone at Eco-Schools Scotland!”