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Leighton Park Wins Green Senior School Of The Year!

Published by Leighton Park School on Thursday 15th of June 2023

Leighton Park School, Reading, is delighted to be awarded joint winners of the Green Senior School Award 2023 by Citykids magazine!

Sustainability is one of Leighton Park’s core Quaker values. The importance of environment is reflected in the curriculum, and particularly emphasised in the interdisciplinary, cross-curricular projects, and expansive co-curricular programme.

According to Melanie Sanderson, competition judge and The Good Schools Guide Managing Editor, the award celebrates Leighton Park for delivering “An extremely impressive firm commitment to change-making at a high level.”

Sustainability Co-ordinator and Head of Geography, Oliver Staines, commented: "Working in this school and environment, it is such a special privilege to witness and be involved in helping to facilitate the passionate work of so many students and members of staff committed to leaving the community in a more sustainable place than they found it. I am thrilled that the hard work of so many individuals and groups in our community can be rightly celebrated through this award!"

So far this year students from Year 8 through to the Lower Sixth have joined the University of Reading for a Climate Change Action Planning Workshop. Leighton Park students created a sustainability game ‘How Bad are Bananas’ which kept primary schools present engaged with sustainability issues. Pupils recorded the experience of the day to make a follow up documentary. “I love the idea of creating documentaries which enable students to share their experiences and learnings from quite remarkable access to key climate summits.” commented Victoria Evans, Editor of Citykids magazine.

In March 2023, two teams of Year 7 students from NEWTs (Nature, Environment and Wildlife Team) Club joined the President of COP26, Sir Alok Sharma, for a youth Climate Summit entitled ‘There is Only One Earth’ at Green Park Business Park. The event united local schools and brought together climate experts from the University of Reading, and an energy consultant from Reduce Energy Ltd. The aim was to come up with pupil-led pledges in teams and for the delegates to collaboratively choose one pledge to commit to as schools for a year – with the ambition to meet annually going forward.

The Eco Schools student-led groups have achieved the coveted Green Flag Award, and the school has planted over 1,200 trees on the park this year, with the community also sponsoring a project to re-wild an area of the ancient Caledonian Forest in Scotland.

The School has a long-term commitment to sustainability and a strong interest in green issues. In recognition of COP26, in November 2021, the school ran a series of events:

• Sixth formers making a documentary after attending COP26
• a whole school debate on the pros and cons of degrowth versus innovation across different economies
• each year group representing a continent, and each tutor group representing a country
• a giant jigsaw entitled ‘Together for our Planet’ curated through our Art Department which involved a dozen local primary schools
• and Year 9 and 10 Drama students visiting three KS2 schools to deliver a climate change play.

The Green Senior School Award was awarded jointly to Leighton Park School and to Putney High School.

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