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20 October 2014
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Great Barr Science College - Birmingham

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About the school

Great Barr is the largest school in the UK and the second largest in Europe and in 2005 celebrated gaining specialist Science College status. It has 2,450 students and 160 teachers!

Where’s the school up to in the Eco-Schools programme?

The inner city college became an Eco-School in 1997 and is working towards its fourth and final Green Flag, which it hopes to secure this summer.

Who’s involved?

Around 60 students are involved in the Action Team on a regular basis. Throughout a school year around 500 students join in with Eco-School's projects.

Andrew Williams, Biology and Environmental Science Teacher, and Helen Davies, Assistant Manager of the Science and Maths Learning Centre are Eco-Schools Co-ordinators.

What environmental topics are they focusing on?

Great Barr’s Action Team is looking at all eight environmental topics in the Eco-Schools programme: litter, transport, water, energy, waste, school grounds, biodiversity, global perspective and healthy living.

Students also learn about issues such as climate change and renewable energy in their Science and Geography lessons.

What green projects have they been working on?

  • Getting the whole school involved in recycling – installed bins, raised awareness of the importance of recycling cans, paper and glass.
  • Reducing litter in and around school grounds – raised awareness of negative impact of litter, display posters around school reminding students to bin their litter.
  • Improving school grounds – planting and landscaping.
  • Improving transport policy – carried out survey of how pupils travelled to school and as a result of the findings, a new bike shed was built.
  • Helping the wider community – pupils are going to be working at nearby Queslett Nature Reserve, helping to clear weeds and rubbish.

Teacher’s comments regarding the benefits of the Eco-Schools programme

“We are facilitating the next generation of people to look after and care for the environment.”

“The youngsters have been overwhelmingly supportive of the programme. They feel they can make a real difference to the environment which is very motivating for them.”

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