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Environmental Hat-trick for Highland school

Issued: 5 Mar 2007

A Highland primary school has marked up a hat-trick of awards for their endeavours for the environment.

Stratherrick Primary School has recently been awarded runner up in the Scottish Executive's environmental competition 'It's Our Future'. This follows their success in the BBC Beechgrove Garden competition; and adding to their latest achievements the school has just been awarded their first ECO Schools Green Flag.

Head Teacher Angela Cryans said: "We entered under the ~waste~ category of the Scottish Executive's It's Our Future schools' competition and as runners ups received £1,000 for the school. The pupils were involved in an 18 month Eco project which included elements of recycling. The pupils helped to construct a recycled plastic bottle greenhouse which utilised plastic bottles from the local community. They also designed their own paper recycling bins and constructed them from recycled materials to be used within the school. The organic garden in the school is designed using recycled tyres which are planted each year. The judges recognised our efforts to improve the environment and raise awareness of environmental and sustainability issues."

The 'It's Our Future' competition aims to recognise and reward primary schools across Scotland who are currently involved in action projects aimed at improving the environment or raising awareness of environment and sustainability issues.

Through their attempts to make their school and local community a greener place to live and learn in, pupils at Stratherrick Primary School have gained the Green Flag award for their school.

The pupils wrote an Eco Action plan which covered the seven Eco School categories and undertook various activities in each category ranging from planning, designing and helping to construct a wildlife pond to monitoring how much energy efficient the school is. Pupils were involved in learning within a context and independently made decisions and solved problems working within a team.

Eco Schools is an award scheme, designed to fit into the curriculum that gets everyone in the school and local community involved in making their school environment better and aims to make sustainable development a part of the life and ethos of the school.

The scheme requires the full support of the head teacher and school board; a willingness to involve pupils in decision-making and action at every stage; active involvement of staff and the wider school community; and a willingness to take action to instigate long-term change.

The school was chosen as one of the ten finalists in the Beechgrove Budding Gardener Competition from schools across Scotland and was awarded in the Starter Gardens Category.

The competition involved Frieda Morrison and The Potting Shed team charting Stratherrick Primary's progress in the garden over the year. During this time the pupils helped to construct a living willow structure, a wildlife pond and a greenhouse. The school was also highly praised for the organic garden in which fruit and vegetables are grown by the pupils to be used in the school kitchen.

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