From 7th-13th March, Oundle School and Laxton Junior School (LJS) once again ran their own version of Climate Week – hoping to inspire a new wave of action to create a sustainable future.
Geography teacher and event organiser, Philip Pitcher commented, “The week has stimulated much discussion on what we here at Oundle can do in the future to reduce our carbon footprint. The School, as a direct response, is reviewing where it is sourcing its food and considering low carbon menu changes too.
We were delighted to involve the local community with the week long programme of events. The talks from Mike Berners Lee and Ghillean Prance have provided a new sense of determination to link Oundle School with the town in promoting environmental responsibility.
It has been wonderful to see the pupils getting so heavily involved, working with local schools and community groups to broaden our understanding of both climate change and the need for sustainability in the future.”
The high points of the week revolved around the visits of Mike Berners-Lee and Sir Ghillean Prance, former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Mike delivered the annual Sir Peter Scott Memorial Lecture entitled How can Oundle help create a low carbon world? which was also open to the public. As well as running seminars and workshops with the pupils, Mike ran one with neighbouring Transition groups and community trusts including Peterborough, Stamford, Market Harborough and Kingscliffe. Ghillean Prance then talked on the evidence and ethics of climate change.
There were a series of workshops and assemblies at LJS and at Oundle School, pupils across all year groups studied various aspects of climate in the Biology, Chemistry and Physics; Geography, PSHE, Drama, the Languages and History. There were displays around the School as well as an energy conservation challenge and low carbon meals in the boarding and day houses.
Geography teacher, Philip Pitcher concluded, “I am excited about how this week has grown into an integral part of the School calendar. The opportunities presented should see staff and pupils alike fully immersed in climate change/environmental responsibility thinking. Next year will see an open workshop for neighbouring schools to get involved and a chance to continue the climate change story to gain an insight into the future and global warming scenarios.”
Oundle School already takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, with a robust boiler replacement programme in the pipeline; a policy of retrofitting LED lighting wherever possible and PIR/absence control; retrofitting new and often above spec insulation whenever possible (including staff hosing in the future); and the Buildings department is now leading the way with a “Zero to landfill” policy, which the Operations side of the School will hopefully follow soon. The School is also looking at replacing some vehicles with electric ones, and will keep considering new options as they arise.