September 19, 2023

Lionheart staff and students play their part in Recycling Awareness Week

Every September, a special effort is made to raise awareness about the important environmental issues facing our planet; especially recycling.

As a multi-academy Trust, with 14 schools situated around Leicester and Leicestershire, we understand that we have a responsibility to consider our impact on the environment and frequently ensure that we take the necessary steps to reduce our carbon footprint.  

Last year, our schools: 

  • Recycled 46,000kg of waste produced 
  • Diverted over 200,000kg of waste 
  • Saved 15,000kg of CO2e (Carbon Dioxide equivalent) 

Additionally, we ensure that food waste at our schools is absolutely minimal and, where possible, make a conscious effort to reuse usable food the following day. Many staff have also started driving electric cars and some cycle to work, with both car and cycle schemes offered as employee benefits to support this. 

It is equally important that the young people in our schools also understand the responsibility they also share in protecting their planet. 

To support this, our schools run dedicated Eco-Clubs, where students are educated further about the need to promote biodiversity. These clubs have undertaken a wide range of activities to further promote the importance of recycling and wider environmental issues. 

Four of these clubs also have Eco-Schools status and, in collaboration with Eco-Schools, have worked on projects that include: 

  • A whole-school recycling scheme 
  • Working with local charities to recycle and raise money 
  • Catering teams reusing the amount of single use plastic 
  • Installing more efficient infrastructure e.g. halogen lighting. 

Furthermore, the Beauchamp College Eco-Club, who were recently awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag with distinction, regularly collect plastic bottles, which they plan to recycle and turn into a greenhouse. They also recycle old Christmas cards and sell reusable water bottles, in a bid to reduce the number of plastic bottles being sold. 

At Martin High School, in Anstey, students recently created a willow archway for a local festival – BlossomFest. The archway was constructed by recycling old plastic bottles. Additionally, the kitchen has removed all plastic cutlery, straws are now no longer provided, the use of cling film is being reduced and disposable cups are no longer used in the canteen; students are being encouraged to refill their bottles by using the new water filling station. 

In Knighton, the Sir Jonathan North Girls’ College Eco-Club have worked hard to ensure the school’s surrounding grounds remain areas of stunning natural beauty. They have planted an array of trees, have cleaned and improved the pond and have created an orchard within the school. A concentrated effort has also been made to combat air pollution by encouraging students to either walk or cycle to school. 

In 2022, Humphrey Perkins School, located in Barrow-upon-Soar, also won an East Midlands Airport bid to develop a biodiverse eco garden to help promote sustainability. 

These are only a few examples of the incredible work schools across our Trust are doing to increase awareness of key environmental issues. 

Mrs White, teacher and Eco-Club lead for Sir Jonathan North Girls’ College concludes: “We need to make them [students] active citizens to inspire them to make a positive difference. It gives them a way of doing their bit for the environment.”