Sustainable Schools

New waste education programme for schools

Are you interested in finding out what happens to your rubbish and how you can do more to recycle?
As part of the new waste partnership between Isle of Wight Council and Amey, we are developing a programme of community activities to help residents understand how they can reduce, reuse and recycle the waste they produce.
The programme will include a dedicated schools outreach service, which will be run by local educational charity The Footprint Trust.
Primary and special needs school on the Island will be able to book a FREE waste workshop with the Trust’s experienced team. Each school will be entitled to at least one visit every two years.
The practical workshops will be tailored to school requirements and will have creative curricular links at KS1 and KS2 (Science, Geography, PSHE, D&T, Art). As well as hands on activities for pupils, information will also be available for parents/carers and advice can be given to schools about improving their own recycling processes.

All resources and lesson plans will be provided FREE by The Footprint Trust and will highlight the need to:

  • REDUCE – reducing our waste and the environmental impact on the Isle of Wight if we don’t
  • REUSE – at home and through Amey’s own reuse partnership with Storeroom 2010, as well as local charity shops
  • RECYCLE – what should go in which bin, helping us to recycle more across the Island

The schools outreach service is available from January 2016.
Interested schools can find out more and book a place by calling 01983 822282 or emailing
The Footprint Trust will also be taking part in visits to community groups – as well as attending local events with a mobile education trailer – as part of its work for Amey and Isle of Wight Council.

Sustainable Schools

We encourage Isle of Wight schools to get involved in the international ecoschools initiative.

Other school support

Tailored Workshops: We can also work with you to create tailored workshops and other activities linked to greening your school – please contact us to discuss your ideas. A charge is made for this service.

Out of school activities; The Footprint Trust staff can run a number of activities for children of all ages. Woodland walks, pond dipping, mini-beast safaris, homes for wildlife etc. A charge is made for this service.

Pond Care; Free training for school staff and school volunteers to gain the knowledge of caring for a wildlife pond and how to use its resources effectively. Pond Warden training is free and run when we have enough interested people on the waiting list. Click here for more details of our Pond Warden Scheme.

Greening Schools

Because schools are usually huge buildings which occupying massive areas of land they are an ideal place to tackle waste of resources.

The Footprint Trust is able to offer a free ‘Life Cycle’ workshop for pupils of all ages.  The aim is to inform students and pupils about the lifecycle of materials in everyday use – such as glass, aluminium, paper and plastic, and get the pupils thinking about the benefits and disadvantages of using them.  This 50-minute workshop called ‘Life Cycle’ challenges them to look at materials from ‘cradle to grave’ and to think a little about the global issues such as pollution, waste and resources.  A maximum of 30 children can take part in this activity at a time.  A minimum age of 8 years is suggested, but we can adapt this for younger pupils with a shorter friendly chat.

We also involve pupils and staff in carrying out an Eco Audit of their school and grounds.  This will highlight good practice and give guidance on how to help the environment through more efficient use of energy and water.  Our Eco Audits could save your school £1,000 per year in wasted energy and water!  We look at waste and recycling, water and energy efficiency, grounds and wildlife. This work is linked to the international EcoSchools scheme, which compliments our work.

Over 30 Island schools are now members of EcoSchools including, Newport CE Primary, Barton Primary, Northwood Primary & Nodehill Middle School

As a guide, we like to book a couple of months in advance.

School Tips – make a difference now!

We are frequently get asked questions about what schools can do to be ‘greener’. Without visiting each and every school, it is very difficult to give advice, but these following points should help you to make a start saving energy, and money, right away.

The amount of energy used to switch on a fluorescent light is now so low, if you are planning to be out of the room for more than 10 seconds, you’ll save energy by switching it off. This research was conducted by a number of bodies, including the US

Make sure that the urinals are switched off at night, and especially during the holidays. Many urinals are set to flush every 5 minutes or so, but there is absolutely no need for a toilet to be flushing at 3am, or on Sunday afternoon when no one has used the building for two days.

Before the children leave the classroom at the end of the day, get them to draw the curtains or blinds – especially important during the winter.

Get in touch with other schools to see if you can order recycled paper at the same time, this will give you more buying power and enable you to negotiate a bigger discount.

Use your environment! Schools are often blessed with large green spaces, so why not use it for every subject? Take a quadrate out during the maths lesson, look at the surroundings for art, study the natural landscape for English, investigate how development has changed the area for geography … and so the list goes on! Kids might be unruly to start with, so then you take them all in and they lose the privilege, they’ll soon learn that being outside is more fun than acting the fool and being sent indoors!

But … don’t create more than you can cope with!! Many schools are lucky to have a really enthusiastic teacher or too on the staff who undertake great projects, but for maximum effect, the entire school needs to get involved and stay involved – this includes everyone from the Headteacher to the new parents, caretaker, kitchen staff and external grounds maintenance team.

Finally, make sure everyone knows why you are trying to save energy. In larger schools it is easy for teaching staff to not even know who works in what department, so e mailing ‘’ won’t work as effectively as you being brave for a couple of days and shouting about your efforts in the middle of lunch break in the staff room to make sure that your message gets through!

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