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Environmental Focus

Environmental Focus
Karen Smith

Awareness of our need to do all we can to protect the environment and the planet is a focus among pupils and staff at Canford.   We want to become a greener space in which to work and live.  The school appoints two Sixth Form ‘pupil leaders’ each year to spearhead initiatives and look for innovative ways to raise the profile of this important area.   Last year Tessa successfully gained a Silver Eco-Schools Award for the school - a national award granted to schools if they reduce the impacts on the natural environment.  Canford gained this for improvements in food waste, recycling and energy. This year Alice and Edward have taken on the role and hope to build on Tessa’s achievements. 

They presented their ideas to pupils and staff at a recent school assembly.  Among the proposals were:

-        A catering waste review:  Food waste to be sent to an anaerobic digester locally, and plastic waste to recycling, separated at the end of each meal, washed and placed in bins.

-        Qualification for an Eco Green Award through evaluation and monitoring of Canford’s waste, litter and energy.

-        Increase the number of waste bins in each lodge to include one general waste and one recyclable waste bin

-        The creation of an ‘eco-code’ which can be displayed around school with the key principles to follow.

-        Energy monitoring:  At present LED installation has halted due to Covid-19 but across the world we are currently keeping windows open and heating on to ventilate rooms and minimise the risk of infection.   We need to monitor our energy use to assess the potential effects of this.

The pupil leaders acknowledged that sometimes people need an incentive to recycle so proposed a house competition, where each house would accumulate points over the school year of how many crates or bags of recycling they fill with points contributing to a whole house cup award.

Speaking about their passion for the projects, Alice and Edward commented:

“It is easy to think that your individual actions will not make any difference, but every little helps and as a school community we really can achieve a great deal.  We need a cumulative global response to the environmental threats to our planet, and only by working together can we achieve our goal and hope to safeguard the world for ourselves and for future generations.   Through innovation and awareness raising we hope that this year we can inspire pupils and staff to recycle and conserve energy across the school.”

For more information about the Eco-Schools Awards, please visit


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