5Rs – reuse, recycle, reduce, refuse, rethink
Through the teachings in geography, science, RE, English and topics throughout the school, environmental awareness and responsibility is explored continuously. But beyond this, the girls take their environmental responsibility further via their Eco Team.
The Eco Team is driven by the girls themselves and runs as a thread throughout the school and its activities. From ages 4 to 11, representatives from every year group take their place within the team. The girls have embarked on a number of projects to drive change such as solar panels, a strong recycling and composting ethos, food waste reduction, litter picks, monitoring levels of CO2 and running electricity checks. These initiatives create an ingrained awareness of how they can make better choices and are habit forming – the Second Hand Uniform Sale (SHUS) is hugely popular and most families walk, cycle or scoot to school as the crowded scooter space demonstrates.
In 2019 the school was awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag – an internationally recognised award for excellence in environmental action and learning. It is very hard to accomplish and took several years, going through a whole range of criteria to achieve Bronze, then Silver and finally the Green Flag itself, which is proudly displayed at the front of the school. Recent whole school projects that helped us achieve this, include an exchange of artwork between The Village Prep and children in a refugee centre in Italy through the organisation LIGCA. Raising awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans through an Open Cultural Assembly and the ensuing campaign to eliminate the use of disposable plastics at school and raising awareness of air pollution and poor air quality in partnership with schools in the borough and in Delhi, India. Again, this was in partnership with LICGA. One activity involved creating artwork using actual air pollution (dust) collected from face masks. A selection of the art was then displayed in the Indian Embassy in London.