Belfast Telegraph

Pupils secure green prize for switching off at school

Hazelwood Integrated Primary School has won a prize from The Pod, EDF Energy’s programme for Greener Schools, for its efforts to become more sustainable for Green Britain Day.

The project saw schools make savings in a number of areas like their use of energy and water, the amount of carbon they used and waste they produced and in conserving biodiversity.

Pupils and staff from the school took part in an activity called ‘Switch Off Fortnight’. They carried out an audit of the amount of energy the school was using, then started a campaign to encourage everyone to turn off lights and switch off electronic devices when they were not in use.

Hazelwood has been awarded prizes worth £100 from the Eden Project, including garden equipment, fruit, vegetables and herbs to plant in the school garden.

The school — ranked 116th nationally on The Pod’s medal leaderboard, out of more than 11,000 schools — has been awarded ‘virtual’ medals due to the amount of time and effort put into running activities from The Pod website — jointhepod.org.

Robyn Broughton, EDF Energy’s schools programme manager, said: “Schools like Hazelwood are real environmental ambassadors and show how important learning about sustainability is, and how children can be a real source of inspiration to parents, teachers and the wider community.”

Hazelwood school’s sustainable efforts are ongoing. There is a school eco-council, with members nominated each year by their classmates.

Each class has an energy monitor, who makes sure that lights, computers and taps are always turned off when not needed. The school also has an active gardening club, which helps to supply fruit and vegetables to the school kitchen for pupils’ lunches.

Rachael Agnew, eco-school’s coordinator at Hazelwood, said: “We’re delighted that EDF Energy has recognised our efforts.

“We work really hard to involve pupils not only in learning about sustainability but in our own efforts to become more sustainable as a school community. Through The Pod and the efforts of the children, we continue to bring sustainability right into the classroom.”

More than 11,000 schools are now using the Pod, which not only provides excellent teaching resources and a place for children to showcase their work, but also helps schools track and measure the savings they make when completing green projects.

Belfast Telegraph

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