Environmental Education at Stringer
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Dorothy Stringer has been an Eco School since the late 1990's and held Green Flag status since 2000. The school has been involved in a number of schemes which have helped the local and school environments as well as having an impact in the classroom.
The Eco Schools process is holistic. It works by involving the whole school (students, teachers, non-teaching staff and governors) together with members of the local community (parents, the local authority, the media and local businesses). It encourages teamwork and helps to create a shared understanding of what it takes to run a school in a way that respects and enhances the environment.
Eco Schools is much more than an environmental management system for schools. It is a programme for promoting environmental awareness in a way that links to many curriculum subjects, including citizenship, personal, social and health education (PSHE) and education for sustainable development.
Every 2 years the eco-committee consult the wider school community on what should be included in the Eco-code. Once the new code is agree there is a competition to design the best poster for the code. This has led to some great designs and difficult judging sessions. Our present code poster was designed by Camilla Hein. Both students and staff liked the symbolism of the plant breaking through the tarmac and how Camilla linked this with a great title. We hope this eye-catching poster encourages pupils to think about what is written and follow the code.
Dorothy Stringer Environmental Partnership and Big Nature
In 2000 DSEP began when a small group of us got together to conserve the woodland on our campus and because we started talking to a range of interested parties beyond the school community, we decided to call ourselves the Dorothy Stringer Woodland Partnership. However, it soon became clear that the areas of our interest were expanding and so the school and broader community formed the Dorothy Stringer Environmental Partnership (DSEP).
The DSEP acted as an umbrella organisation that represented and coordinated the activities of the Eco-School Committee (ESC) and the Environment and Ecology Club (EEC) and it dealt with local and national organizations (e.g. the Sussex Wildlife Trust, South Downs National Park, Brighton and Lewes Downs UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, National Trust).
The ESC is composed of students, teachers, governors and caretaking staff and is primarily responsible for the discussion and decision making process concerning the schools different environmental projects.
The EEC encourages enthusiasm and an interest in Natural History, Ecological and Environmental issues amongst the students. It is through this group that the majority of practical work is done, e.g. fund raising, recycling, woodland management and research activities.
We held regular woodland working days where students, parents, staff and members of the wider community help manage our school woodland, identify species, share ideas and enjoy the outdoors. These continue today, check the Events Diary to find out when the next one is on.
Over time, this group changed and developed, people moved on and priorities changed. With the development of a programme of activities for the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010, the formation of Big Nature came about - the full story can be found at www.bignature.co.uk