Rushcliffe Spencer Academy has won the prestigious Eco-School of the Year Award for 2023.
Rushcliffe is one of four schools nationally to be recognised for their commitment to sustainability by Eco-Schools England. In order to win the award, the school had to demonstrate its commitment to raising awareness and tackling environmental issues.
In their annual report, Eco-schools described the embedded culture in the school:
“For several years, Rushcliffe Spencer Academy has been at the forefront of school-based environmental action, and each year their engagement, enthusiasm, and impacts continue to grow.
“Rushcliffe Spencer Academy’s determination, teamwork, and positivity places them as a leader for change in their community and across their entire academy trust, allowing their impacts to stretch way beyond school boundaries!”
Last year, the school were awarded Green Flag status with distinction (the highest level of award available) but pupils and staff have continued to build on their great work.
From biodiversity work through planting hundreds of trees on site, to various recycling schemes around school and even work overseas with international partner schools, the eco-committee, and school as a whole, has shown a continued dedication to helping the planet.
Rushcliffe Principal, Damian Painton, said: “Care for people and planet is engrained in our school values.
“I’m pleased that the great work, led by our eco-committee and wholeheartedly supported across our community, has been recognised with this prestigious award. A huge well done to everyone involved.”
The Rushcliffe eco-committee, which is chaired by sixth form students, was established to provide everyone in the school community the opportunity to voice their concerns and share their ideas for change.
The committee are supported by several members of staff including Laura Lacey, Head of Geography and one of the first accredited UN Climate Change teachers, and Jack Lakin, the school’s current eco-lead.
In response to the award, Laura said “Our eco team has gone from strength to strength over the last few years with incredible engagement from students, staff, parents and the wider business community”.
Jack added: “To achieve this award is a huge honour and is testament to the hard work and dedication from our students and staff getting behind our enthusiastic and diligent eco team who have helped guide the school in being as sustainable as possible.”
Since its inception, the eco-committee has made fantastic progress across the school through raising awareness and leading a variety of events. Evie, a member of the eco-committee who has been involved with much of the work, said: “We’re so happy that we received this award. Helping in the eco-committee is really rewarding. We feel that we are really making a difference. My favourite activity was planting over 100 more trees on the school grounds and I know we’ve got some more to plant this year too!”