Strandtown Primary School in East Belfast has been awarded a prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag by the environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

The Eco-Schools Programme is the world’s largest Environmental Education programme and aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and ethos of a school. Its participatory approach and combination of learning and action makes it an ideal way for schools to begin improving the environments of schools and their local communities.

Eco-Schools work through a simple seven-step process resulting in the programme becoming central to the school’s ethos. Schools can choose from ten eco-topics ranging from litter and waste to energy, biodiversity and transport to name a few. Eco-Schools work towards achieving awards – bronze, silver and the prestigious Green Flag.

In Strandtown, this year’s topics were Waste, Healthy Living and Outdoor Learning.

With our motto ‘Make a change and see it grow…’ we have continued our eco journey this year and been rewarded by gaining the Eco Schools’ Green Flag.

The initiatives the children were involved with included:

Adopt a Spot, Big Spring Clean, Community Action Days, No Single Use bottles in SPS, Waste reduction in use of landfill bins (with all fruit waste being composted and break and lunch waste and wrapping being taken home to recycle) Outdoor Classroom days, drama in assembly and year groups, weekly litter picks, to name but a few.

We look forward to new initiatives next year and invite all pupils to offer their creative ideas.

This could not have happened without the hard work of our school Eco Committee and all the dedicated staff and pupils of Strandtown. We’d also like to thank Mrs Hutchinson and the Board of Governors for all their support and encouragement.

The International Eco-Schools Programme is operated in Northern Ireland by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and is a free to enter programme. Please visit www.eco-schoolsni.org for further information.

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