Resources for Seven Steps

Resources for the Seven Steps

You’ll find all the free templates and resources you need to help you with each Eco-Schools Step here, some of which will need to be submitted when applying for our renewing your Green Flag

Please remember your school should not need to pay for additional support from third parties in order to work through each of the Seven Steps
If you need any help please contact the Eco-Schools team directly.

1. Eco-Committee

An Eco-Committee is made up of pupils and adults who work together to drive your Eco-Schools work

The Eco-Committee must include:

  • Pupils who are chosen or elected to represent different year groups and the whole school
  • A member of staff (the Eco-Coordinator) to support but not lead the committee

The Eco-Committee should also include the following where possible:

  • Head teacher or a member of the senior management team
  • School bursar
  • Other teacher(s)
  • Governor(s)
  • Parent(s)
  • Non-teaching staff member(s)
  • Caretaker or site manager
  • Representative(s) from local authorities
  • Member of the local community

What will the Eco-Committee be doing?

  • It will ensure that the whole school is aware of the Eco-Schools programme
  • Take the lead in carrying out the Environmental Review
  • Ensure that everyone in the school community is represented in the decision-making process (as far as possible)
  • Provide a link between pupils, teachers, senior management team, governors and the whole school community
  • Take the lead in delivering the Eco-Schools Action Plan

We recommend that the Eco-Committee meet at least every half-term. The committee must keep a record of their decisions and the minutes of their meetings which should then be reported back to the senior school management team and governor meetings.

Eco-Committee Meeting Minutes template

Order your Eco-Schools Committee pin badges here

2. Environmental Review

An Environmental Review is an audit of your school which will cover the nine Eco-Schools topics which are covered in more in the next section.

Your Environmental Review must be completed by your Eco-Committees and is designed to give a realistic picture of your school’s current environmental performance in all nine topics. The results of your Environmental Review  will help your Eco-Committee develop their Action Plan.

A review must be completed at least once every two years, but ideally should be completed every school year.

A copy of your Environmental Review must be submitted when applying for or renewing your Green Flag.

Environmental Review Templates

Environmental Review template

Early Years Environmental Review template

Primary Pupil Environmental Review template

3. Action Plan

Your action should be developed using the results of your Environmental Review. Whether your school is at Bronze, Silver or Green Flag level, your Action Plan must be shared with the whole school community.

 

The Action Plan is a working document; therefore it should be reviewed, revised and amended regularly by your Eco-Committee

At Silver your Action Plan must cover one of the Eco-School Topics, for your first Green Flag application it must cover 3 Eco-Schools Topics and for all Green Flag renewals it must cover 5 Eco-Schools topics. With each subsequent  Green Flag renewal two topics must be swapped.

We will never ask our Eco-Schools to work on more than 5 topics at any one time

 

How to develop your Action Plan:

How are you going to measure success?

Make sure the Action Plan contains something you can measure. For example, if you decide to tackle energy, your measure could be looking for a reduction in the school energy bills.

When do you want to achieve your actions? In the next few weeks, by the end of the term/year, or is it longer term?

Who is taking responsibility for each action? Assign people to be responsible for each task, this could be pupils, staff or anyone else within the school community.

A copy of your most recent Action Plan must be submitted when applying for or renewing your Green Flag.

Action Plan template

4. Involving the whole school and wider community

One of the key aims of Eco-Schools is to see the whole school participate in environmental activity. This helps pupils to really engage with Eco-Schools and they can feel proud of their achievements.

 

Whilst the Eco-Committee will take the lead on planning and developing the Action Plan, it is very important that as many pupils, teachers and staff participate in the projects as possible.

Here are just a few ways you could involve the whole school and wider community:

  • Involve the whole school in the election of pupils for the Eco-Committee
  • Ask the wider community about the topics that your school could focus on
  • Regularly review and up date your Eco-Board
  • Provide regular feedback to pupils and staff through assemblies/ newsletters
  • Contact other local schools.

How to write a press release

Ideas for involving the whole school and wider community

5. Linking to the curriculum

Linking Eco-Schools to the curriculum helps the whole school to get involved in the programme, raising their understanding and knowledge of local, national and international environmental issues.

You could for example, use real data when presenting numbers in a maths or computer lesson.

You could use real data relating to your energy consumption collected as part of your work on the energy topic.

Eco-Schools has developed a set of lesson ideas and plans to help you link sustainability into your everyday lessons.

Linking to the curriculum – Primary

Linking to the curriculum – Secondary

Linking to the curriculum – Additional links

6. Monitoring and evaluation

To find out whether you’re successfully achieving the targets laid out in your Action Plan, you should monitor and evaluate your progress.

As well as allowing you to judge the success of your activities and plan any necessary changes, a continuous monitoring process will help you to sustain interest in the programme throughout your school.

Your methods of monitoring will depend on the targets and measurement criteria set out in your Action Plan, as well as the age and ability of pupils, staff and helpers. You may wish to consider the following forms of monitoring:

  • Meter readings to show the effects of energy/water saving activities
  • Litter/waste audits to show the effects of litter/recycling initiatives
  • Calculating financial savings from bills to show the effects of energy/water saving initiatives (where meters are not accessible)
  • Gaining personal impressions of the changes that have taken place from pupils, staff, residents, local community. Carrying out this type of measuring complements whole school involvement
  • Before, during and after photographs as visual evidence to support your Green Flag application/assessment
  • Listing evidence of wildlife/species to show the effects of school grounds development

Monitoring and evaluation ideas

How to complete a ‘hands up’ class survey

7. Eco-Code

Once you have worked on several projects your Eco-Committee will be able to develop an Eco-Code which is bespoke to your Eco-School.

How does our school go about developing our Eco-Code?

The whole school should be involved with deciding the Eco-Code, although the Eco-Committee will take the lead. The Eco-Code can take any form that suits your school, simple phrases, a poem or even a song.

Citizenship and personal social health education classes provide a good opportunity to discuss the Eco-Code’s meaning and values.

What is the best way for us to share our Eco-Code?

Your Eco-Code should be displayed throughout the school on notice boards, in classrooms, staffrooms and along corridors.

Your Eco-Code must be easy to understand, otherwise pupils and staff won’t feel engaged with its aims and it will fail without their commitment and passion to make a difference.

The key to a successful Eco-Code is not just to write it, display it and do nothing else with. Your Eco-Committee needs to engage with other pupils and communicate the improvements as you go along. The Eco-Code should evolve and we encourage that.

Some example Eco-Codes from our Eco-Schools

Our Lady’s RC Primary – Eco-Code
Meadows First School – Eco-Code
Gove Street Primary School -Eco-Code
Fairfield First School – Eco-Code
Eastchurch Primary School – Eco-Code
Dorothy Stringer School – Eco-Code
Cardinal Allen High School -Eco-Code
Violet Way Academy – Eco-Code
Warren Road Academy – Eco-Code
St Mary’s RC Primary School – Eco-Code
Perdiswell Primary School -Eco-Code
Oxton St Saviours Primary School – Eco-Code

Interactive Eco-School

You can find a greener version of pretty much everything your school uses; pencils, carpets, uniforms, energy. Here you can investigate how you can ‘green’ your school

Interactive Eco-School