The Eco-Schools Programme
Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of school life. The aim is to help make every school in the country sustainable and to bring about behaviour change in young people and those connected to them so that good habits learned in schools are followed through into homes and communities. New College School has achieved the internationally-recognised Green Flag which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity, and is awarded after external assessment. Pupils are the driving force behind the projects and lead an Eco-Committee. They have carried out an audit to assess the environmental performance of our school. In conjunction with the rest of the school and the wider community, it is the pupils who decide the environmental themes they want to address and how they are going to do it.
- Fundraising for covered bike racks through plant sales (plants grown from seed by pupils)
- Eco Stationery shop - open every Wednesday and run by pupils
- Switch Off Fortnight - focusing on ways to save energy linked to climate science
- Waste Week- including ways to save water
All pupils who wish to can BLOG on the POD which provides a forum for discussion and photographs of what we have been doing at school, and allows pupils to see what other schools across the country have achieved. Please see http://jointhepod.org/home
We are fortunate at NCS to have our own Weather Station. The station has enhanced Geography lessons across the year groups and has provided a number of opportunities for cross-curricular work. The station is erected on top of the Gym and we have a live data stream flowing to the data logger via Raspberry Pi. Weather information is constantly sent wirelessly to a data logger that uploads to the internet 24/7. The AWS is powered by a solar panel during the day and a Lithium battery during the night. The logger records and calculates information such as: inside and outside air temperature, dew point, inside and outside humidity, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction and barometric air pressure. http://10.20.3.249/weewx/index.html for more weather information.
Our aim at NCS with our charity work is two-fold: we combine raising funds for our chosen charities with raising awareness of local, national and international communities who need our support. Our efforts centre round a Charity Week each term. Pupils are eager to offer help and offer ideas. There are a number of charity helpers who run cake stalls, devise and run the sporting events (such as pool, table tennis, basketball, chess, paper airplane competitions), and help choose the charities we support. There is a termly ‘Home Clothes Day’. Assemblies and talks add contextual understanding of the charity we are supporting. Staff get fully involved too: recently one member of staff shaved off his beard, while another ran the Amsterdam marathon. Movember is regularly supported by members of staff. Bigger raising events often occur during the Michaelmas term.
Of particular note has been the secret postcard sale where every boy in the school drew his own postcard and signed it on the back. This was also supported by over a hundred celebrities in all fields who sent us their postcards also secretly signed. All postcards were sold for £10 and the identity of the artist was not known until the moment of purchase! Each year, too, we support Young Art Oxford, in association with the Ashmolean: this is an art competition entered by every boy in school which raises considerable funds for Cancer Research and gives many boys a chance to see their work displayed in the Ashmolean Museum.
Charities supported over the last five years include: The Princess Royal Trust for Young Carers, Cancer Research UK, Sunfields Residential Home for severely autistic children, The Gatehouse, Sobell House, Wateraid, Macmillan Nurses, Red Nose Day Charities, Syrian Refugees, Music in Hospitals, Red Cross Philippines Typhoon Appeal, Sight Savers, Paralympian Sport, Bethel International School, and The Helen Clarke Fund.
We have a link with Bethel International School in Kwahu-Tafo, Ghana forged through the Friends of Tafo and by regular correspondence, video reports and exchange of gifts. Further details are found on our Ghana link page. http://www.newcollegeschool.org/africa-link