Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.
The Director of Community and Children’s Services invited pupils from the City of London Academy Highbury Grove and City of London School to present to the Board their recent involvement in environmental initiatives.
Two Year 12 students from the City of London Academy Highbury Grove (CoLAHG) began by presenting to the Board a report they had written reflecting on a weekend trip to Wytham Woods in July 2021, as part of the Leadership in Global Change Climate and Nature summer school. They recounted their environmental and nature discoveries during their visit to the University of Oxford’s research woods at Wytham as well as highlighting a variety of lectures and experiences they had the opportunity to partake in, led by expert researchers.
This was followed by a presentation from two pupils (Year 6 and 8) from the City of London School (CLS) informing the Board of the work of the School’s Eco-Schools Committee, a group of 30 pupils (led by the faculty Eco-Schools Coordinator) who met weekly to increase awareness of environmental issues and reduce the negative environmental impact of the school. The group were aiming to gain the Green Flag Award for their efforts across ten areas: biodiversity, energy, global citizenship, healthy living, litter, marine, school grounds, transport, waste and water. Members heard about their 2021-22 initiatives so far including leading educational assemblies, writing informational articles in the School’s paper, holding a pupil-led mock COP conference, providing updates on social media, completing an environmental review of the School to measure its current environmental impact, and partaking in the Lord Mayor’s Show with an environmental focused float. Future plans included tree planting at the School’s sports ground, repurposing plants from the Lord Mayor’s Show on the School site and holding discussions with architects.
A Member asked the pupils of CLS what the most upsetting or surprising findings of their environmental review of the School were, to which it was confirmed that the pupils found that the School was currently unable to produce its own energy which prompted them to make this one of their goals.
The Deputy Chair suggested that their presentations and updates be uploaded to the Livery Committee website in the hope that this may prompt greater Livery support of their initiatives. It was agreed that this would be arranged outside of the meeting.
The Chair asked the students of CoLHG if, before attending the summer school, they were aware of the potential damage that animals themselves could have on their environment, of which it was clarified that they were surprised to learn this.
Students of CoLHG were asked by officers whether they had had the opportunity to discuss their experiences with other students and if so, whether they thought there was further interest amongst the student body. The students explained that the report had been shared on the school website and that they had informally shared their thoughts with others. They highlighted that the Academy had a pupil-led climate change focused group ‘Footprint’ and that they felt several of these pupils would be interested in becoming involved in future opportunities.
The Deputy Chair enquired as to how the pupils of CoLHG found out about the opportunity to attend the summer school. It was confirmed that their teacher had been alerted to its existence due to the Academy’s previous work in environmental initiatives and applied for funding from the City for five students to attend. The Deputy Chair enquired as to how further opportunities could be arranged, to which officers confirmed that it was initially planned to trial these initiatives in the schools and, depending on their success, expand these to others within the Family of Schools in due course.
The Eco-Schools Coordinator of CLS added that the City’s partnership forum was very helpful in allowing these opportunities to be shared with teachers who were then able to look at implementation.
RESOLVED, that the presentations be received.