Farlington School actively encourages its students to pursue a number of environmental initiatives through sustainable development.
We have the Eco-Schools Silver Award status and are actively pursuing environmentally-friendly policies and activities in order to gain the coveted Green Flag status.
We have recently relaunched our textiles recycling scheme through Bags of Support, a local company which collects re-useable clothes, shoes, belts, handbags, bedding and soft toys from the school’s recycling collection container.
High quality items are sent directly to the Glodeni Orphanage in Romania; other items are sold and distributed in Romania to people who cannot afford to buy new clothing.
To date the school has collected over 2.5 tonnes of clothing and has raised in excess of £1,000 from this scheme alone.
As well as raising money for good causes and the school’s environmental projects, the scheme also helps reduce landfill waste.
Paper and milk bottle tops are also recycled at Farlington, as are writing instruments, biscuit wrappers and yoghurt pots through the TerraCycle scheme. Each form has an Eco-representative who has responsibility for ensuring the items are collected and Farlington’s eco-policies are implemented.
To raise awareness of our energy usage, Farlington took part in Switch-Off Fortnight 2013 last November.
The whole school was involved – learning about and taking action to save energy. It was an excellent way to teach students about the energy issues and the importance of using this valuable resource efficiently.
It is deliberately timed for the start of the darker, colder months when we all start to use more heating and lighting. Eco representatives monitored electricity in the Senior School to compare usage year-on-year.
In March the School participated in Waste Week 2014 which focussed on the issues around plastics recycling and the importance of reducing plastic in landfill waste.
In terms of conservation, girls in Year 7 have constructed a bug mansion from hay, bamboo, guttering, flower pots, sticks and bricks by the School lake.
Bee and butterfly-friendly flowers have been planted to encourage wildlife. The Prep School will have its own bug mansion soon.
The Forest Schools initiative which started last year is ensuring that the extensive 33 acres of beautiful parkland are fully utilised and the girls build an awareness of sustainable development and encouraging eco-diversity.
Farlington’s Governing Council has set an ambitious target of reducing fossil fuel consumption by 20% over the next five years.
A survey of potential renewable energy projects has been commissioned and as a result the School will have a new biomass boiler system from September 2014.
Chris Snewin, Physics teacher and Staff Eco representative, said: “The benefits of sustaining our eco-standards extend beyond the improvement of the environmental quality of the school.
“It gives the pupils a sense of responsibility and pride in what they have achieved. With this comes the hope that the pupils will continue this behaviour in the wider community.”
Report and pictures contributed by Farlington School.