At Queensmead we continuously educate our students and encourage living a more sustainable life. The whole school community at Queensmead are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to promote and practise sustainable development. As a school we have a special role to play in securing the future for young people; as a place of learning we can help students understand our impact on the planet and through ‘leading by example’ are well placed to demonstrate sustainable living and working to students and the wider community alike.
There is a team of students lead by Mrs Oakley that promote sustainable living to other students and the wider community alike. Starting with a Gardening club, the team have gone from strength to strength with some amazing successes listed below.
We are exceptionally proud of this achievement and believe it is an integral part of school life. Teaching the students good ‘sustainable’ habits and learning to live sustainably is vital in this day and age.
The Eco-Schools programme is focused on nine key topics. These are:
The Silver award criteria focuses on strengthening pupil leadership and whole school involvement while the school starts to work on at least one of the Eco-Schools topics in depth.
Each year, the committee decide which topics the school will focus on in order to raise awareness and build a more sustainable future.
Sustainable living is integrated into the curriculum and then topped up during tutor periods, school assemblies or external speakers coming in to talk to the students.
Queensmead staff and students visited the Town Hall for a Mayor of London Initiative in sustainable travel and were presented with a School of Excellence Walking Award in recognition of achievements in active and safer travel initiatives.
Queensmead was also invited to the Town Hall and were presented with a Silver level Accreditation award in recognition of achievements in active and safer travel initiatives.
A number of our students are part of the Youth Travel Ambassadors, and as part of this programme they have raised the issue of both safer and sustainable travel throughout the school community. Their hard work has gained them the prestigious Mode Shift award.
Modeshift STARS is the national schools awards scheme that has been established to recognise schools that have demonstrated excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel.
The scheme encourages schools across the country to join in a major effort to increase levels of sustainable and active travel in order to improve the health and well-being of children and young people.
This is what the judges said about Queensmead.
‘The Queensmead School Youth Travel Ambassadors’ integrated approach to addressing safe and sustainable travel has been especially successful. The team of students designed and delivered assemblies, inter-form competitions and created their own board game to tackle issues of pavement congestion, traffic congestion and a lack of active travel. The centre piece of the project was a 4 week inter-form Walking challenge in which students and teachers used a combination of pedometers, fitbits and Smartphone Apps to record their steps and compete with each other.’
Queensmead has a thriving gardening club where students plant herbs and learn how plants grow from seeds. They also look after a number of plants and shrubs around the school. The herbs are used in the dishes produced by canteen staff on a daily basis.