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Red Kite Learning Trust

Our school

Final report

Eco-Schools-logo-289x300Senate 26th April 2021

We are almost in a position to apply for the Gold and Green Flag awards and want to take this opportunity to outline what has been achieved over the last 18 months.

Having carried out a detailed Environmental Review at the start 2019, we identified three improvement areas to work on with the aim of achieving the Green Flag Award by the end of 2020. Lockdown hampered our progress and several key members of the original committee left the school at the end of that year. In light of Covid-related restrictions and the challenge of mixed year group teams meeting together, we chose to integrate Eco-Schools into Senate whilst completing work on the three project areas. As our recent assembly on 12th April highlighted, we have now completed our work on each of the projects. We would like to take this opportunity to pick out the key achievements and set out our final steps.

Our first project was Energy

The aim was to reduce energy usage in the school. We have achieved this, although it has been hard to measure accurately due to the number of months of remote learning. Important changes have included, PCs now automatically being shut down at the end of the day, more teachers switching off PCs, TVs and projectors when not in use and the replacement of older lights with energy efficient LED lighting. The Site Manager, Mr Mungovin, has estimated that these changes have led to around 100kg less of carbon being released over the last year.

Our second project was Waste

The aim was to reduce waste and, in particular, the use of single-use plastics in school. We can report that the purchase of single-use plastic bottles has dropped by a third and is continuing to fall. We requested more water refill points and have achieved this with the help of PTA funding for the Hydration Hub. 100% of all our waste currently goes for recycling and whatever cannot be recycled is used as Refuse Derived Fuel. Sadly, Covid-restrictions has seen an increase in packaging of food in the Hub and G2, however all cutlery is recyclable and the food boxes and drinks cups are now fully compostable. Mrs Bulmer, the Catering Operations Manager, has calculated that by responding to requests from the Eco-Committee there was a reduction in food miles (54,000 less food miles), a reduction in water usage and less landfill (the equivalent of 95 tennis courts). In addition, we want to thank last year’s Charities Committee for persuading the school and governors to choose Waste Aid as the school charity. Over £11,000 was raised to support waste reduction and recycling projects in Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon.

Our third project was Healthy Living

The aim was to raise awareness of the impact of food choices on our health and the planet. As a result of our work, the Catering team have introduced a new plant based range from The Meatless Farm Company and improved menu options for vegans and vegetarians. This has resulted in a 20% increase in uptake of vegan dishes since September. Our survey also suggests that students have a good understanding of the health and environmental benefits, opting for more vegetarian/vegan options.

We have already achieved Eco-schools Bronze and Silver Award and we are now applying for Gold, which leads on to Green Flag. The final step is to produce an Eco-Code for the school that is shared with everyone and can be used to help remind us of our responsibilities in reducing energy and waste and making choices that support healthy living. The committee has produced an Eco-code, this has been approved by Senate and SLT. We wanted to finish by formally thanking Mr Mungovin and Mrs Bulmer for their support throughout and for the time they have given in helping us to achieve our priorities. Thanks also goes to the PTA for funding the Hydration Hub.


Harrogate Grammar School is part of Red Kite Learning Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 7523507, registered office address: Red Kite Office, Pannal Ash Road, Harrogate, HG2 9PH

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