Do you own or manage a nursery or pre-school? Register today for FREE!

Pupils at Middleton Nursery School Awarded Eco-Schools’ Green Flag

Have the little ones at Middleton Nursery School just saved the planet?

In a remarkable achievement, pupils at Middleton Nursery School have been awarded the prestigious Eco-Schools’ Green Flag, a testament to their commitment to sustainability and environmental education. This accolade marks them as the first nursery in the Borough of Rochdale to receive such recognition.

Eco-Schools, established in 1994, is a global programme currently active in over 70 countries. In the 2023-24 school year, more than 1.4 million pupils in England attended an Eco-School, learning the importance of environmental stewardship.

Middleton Nursery School

Middleton Nursery School has set a benchmark in environmental education by receiving the Eco-Schools’ Green Flag. Using the Eco-Schools’ seven-step framework, the pupils focused on biodiversity, global citizenship, and healthy living. Initiatives included meat-free Mondays, sourcing local and sustainable food, weekly dance and yoga sessions, and adopting a turtle named Seaweed. The award reflects the school’s diverse and engaging action plan, which has made a significant impact on both the local environment and the school community.

What does it take for a nursery to earn international acclaim for its environmental efforts? Middleton Nursery School has answered this question by becoming the first nursery in the Borough of Rochdale to be awarded the Eco-Schools’ Green Flag. This recognition is not just a feather in the cap for the school but also a beacon of hope for sustainable practices and environmental education in early childhood.

The Eco-Schools programme is a globally recognised initiative that encourages schools to engage students in sustainability through a structured seven-step framework. Middleton Nursery School has embraced this programme with enthusiasm and dedication, involving their young pupils in a variety of eco-friendly projects. The efforts of these little environmentalists have not only made their school greener but have also set a powerful example for other educational institutions in the region.

A Global Initiative with Local Impact

Eco-Schools is not just a badge of honour; it’s a movement that started in 1994 and now spans over 70 countries. In England alone, the 2023-24 academic year saw over 1.4 million pupils participating in Eco-Schools, learning invaluable lessons about sustainability and environmental care. Middleton Nursery School’s recent accolade places them at the forefront of this movement in their local community.

The Seven-Step Framework

At the heart of Middleton Nursery School’s success is the Eco-Schools’ seven-step framework. This methodical approach helps schools create an action plan that addresses key environmental issues while fostering a sense of responsibility and leadership among students. The framework includes:

  1. Forming an Eco-Committee
  2. Conducting an Environmental Review
  3. Developing an Action Plan
  4. Monitoring and Evaluating Progress
  5. Curriculum Links
  6. Informing and Involving the Community
  7. Creating an Eco-Code

Biodiversity, Global Citizenship, and Healthy Living

This year, Middleton Nursery School’s action plan zeroed in on three critical areas: biodiversity, global citizenship, and healthy living.

Biodiversity: The school grounds have been transformed into a haven for local wildlife. Children participated in planting native plants and creating habitats for insects and birds. The nursery also adopted a turtle through the World Wide Fund for Nature, affectionately named Seaweed by the pupils.

Global Citizenship: Understanding that environmental issues are global, the children engaged in activities that connected them with broader ecological concerns. They learned about different cultures and how communities around the world are affected by and respond to environmental challenges.

Healthy Living: Promoting a healthy lifestyle was another key focus. The nursery introduced meat-free Mondays, sourced local and sustainable food, and held weekly dance and yoga sessions. These activities not only improved the children’s physical health but also instilled a sense of well-being and mindfulness.

Creating Positive Change

The impact of these initiatives has been profound. Menus now feature regular meat-free Mondays, emphasising the benefits of plant-based diets for both health and the environment. Local sourcing of food has reduced the nursery’s carbon footprint, while dance and yoga sessions have fostered physical and mental well-being among the children.

The adoption of Seaweed the turtle has been a highlight, teaching the children about marine life and the importance of conservation. Each child’s involvement in naming and caring for Seaweed has created a personal connection to the cause, enhancing their understanding and commitment to environmental stewardship.

Recognition and Praise

Eco-Schools’ assessment of Middleton Nursery School’s efforts was glowing. The report highlighted the school’s diverse range of activities aimed at fostering positive behaviours, making an immediate difference to the local environment, and expanding initiatives into the community. The curriculum was praised for being fun, engaging, and perfectly pitched for young learners, integrating environmental issues seamlessly into their education.

Lee Mottershead, the nursery director, expressed immense pride in the achievements, stating, “I could not be prouder of the children and staff taking hold of such an important issue and making real positive changes that will contribute to making our planet a better, more sustainable place.”

Deborah Wood, the nursery manager, echoed this sentiment, acknowledging the dedication of the staff and the enthusiasm of the children. “Every member of staff has been 100% on board with this, undertaking training on delivering eco topics. The children understand the issues behind them and have taken a lead in making small changes in the nursery that will no doubt grow as the children grow. I am so proud of everyone here.”

Adam Flint, Eco-Schools England manager, added, “The Eco-Schools’ Green Flag is an international benchmark that demonstrates a commitment to fighting climate change and high standard of sustainable practice. Students and staff who earn this award deserve recognition for their dedication toward protecting our planet.”

Middleton Nursery School’s achievement of the Eco-Schools’ Green Flag is a testament to the power of early environmental education. By focusing on biodiversity, global citizenship, and healthy living, the nursery has created a model for other schools to follow. The initiatives undertaken have not only improved the school’s sustainability but have also enriched the children’s learning experiences. The recognition by Eco-Schools underscores the importance of these efforts and highlights the significant impact that even the youngest members of our society can have on the environment.

“The Eco-Schools’ Green Flag is an international benchmark that demonstrates a commitment to fighting climate change and high standard of sustainable practice.”

– Adam Flint, Eco-Schools England Manager

Join Middleton Nursery School and become a part of the global movement towards sustainability. Start small, think big, and make a difference today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *