Schools from across the borough were recognised today for their exceptional commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation in the annual Greener Solihull School Awards. The awards were presented at the Solihull Sustainable Schools Conference, which included a range of speakers from Councillor Andy Mackiewicz to representatives from the West Midlands Combined Authority and Severn Trent.
Open to all schools in the borough, the awards challenge pupils and teachers to learn more about the environment both locally and globally, and strive to make their school more eco-friendly. Presented by local business champions, the awards help to develop a sense of pride in each school’s sustainability activities.
The awards showcased the continually impressive scale of climate action taking place in Solihull classrooms. Students were praised for a range of initiatives including litter picking, involvement in the borough’s fair trade art trail and recycling schemes. The awards were broken down into different categories which covered pupil led initiatives, linking in with wider environmental campaigns and embedding sustainability into the curriculum.
In addition to the certificates, several winners also received handmade wooden plaques from Newlands Bishops Farm, a centre for work-based learning for people with learning disabilities in Solihull. On site there is a woodworking unit where project workers can make items out of wood and practice their carpentry skills.
The list of schools that received awards along with their business sponsor is as follows:
- Balsall Common Primary School (Solihull Chamber of Commerce)
- Damson Wood Infant School (Birmingham Business Park)
- George Fentham Primary School (Birmingham Business Park)
- Langley Primary School (Touchwood)
- Langley Secondary School (John Lewis)
- Merstone School (Birmingham Airport)
- Monkspath Junior & Infant School (Prologis)
- Peterbrook Primary School (Prologis)
- St Anne’s Catholic Primary School (Birmingham Airport)
- St George and Teresa Catholic Primary School (Touchwood)
- St Patrick’s Primary Academy (Fieldfisher)
- St Peter’s Catholic Secondary School (Birmingham Airport)
- St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School (John Lewis)
The awards come at a busy time in the year for engagement with schools on climate issues with the Model COP27 Summit taking place in the Council chamber last week.
Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said:
“Congratulations to all of the winners this year. Every time these awards come round, I can’t help but be inspired by just how much our schools do for the environment. Attending the school climate conferences these past few weeks, it’s astonishing how knowledgeable and articulate our students are about climate change and I’m pleased that it’s becoming deeply embedded across the curriculum. This focus will ensure the future of Solihull is in safe hands when it comes to strong climate leadership.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Newlands Bishops Farm for the wonderfully intricate award plaques, made by the members of the woodwork team. Their hard work really helped to make the awards presentation extra special this year. A lot of credit must also go towards the dedicated council officers who do so much work behind the scenes to make these events so successful. Our sustainability engagement team play a huge role in shining a light on the brilliant environmental work that students undertake throughout the year.”
Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, Planning and Housing, said:
“With over 40 school representatives attending, it’s our biggest Sustainable Schools Conference yet. Such high levels of attendance and engagement are testament to how important sustainability best practice is for schools. The eco-teams deserve enormous credit for their contributions and awareness raising.
“I’d also like to thank the businesses who kindly supported the Greener Solihull School Awards. As a council our influence only extends so far, with council operations making up approximately just 1% of the borough’s emissions. That’s why it’s so encouraging to see collaboration between local businesses and tomorrow’s generation in tackling climate change and bringing about meaningful sustainable behavioural change.”
To learn more about what the Council is doing to combat climate change and create a more sustainable borough, listen to the ‘Courts on Climate Change’ podcast, available on the Council website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube. Residents may also be interested in subscribing to the Your Future Solihull newsletter.