Simon Brammer and Carla Jones travelled to Cornwall last Thursday for a conference on sustainable schools, organised by Ashden award-winner Gill Harper from St Columb Minor School and partly funded using Ashden Awards prize money. Carla Jones reports:
There were over 100 delegates representing schools throughout Cornwall for the conference ‘Developing Sustainable Schools in Cornwall’. It was also good to see representatives from past Ashden winners - Community Energy Plus and Solarcentury - among the exhibitors.
Rachel Delourme from Cornwall Learning introduced the opening speeches from Simon Brammer and Sharon Longden, Head of Cornwall Learning, which laid out the challenges and opportunities for schools (see the Ashden's learning resource for schools).
The explorer Anthony Jinman told us how achieved his dream of reaching the North Pole by the age of 29. Now, as founder of Education Through Expeditions, he reports on the dramatic climatic changes he sees in the polar regions through an interactive learning website.
Ben Margolis, acting director at 10:10, emphasised that real change won’t be driven by delegates at Copenhagen and Cancun, but will instead come from sustained engagement with local communities, starting with schools. It is at this grassroots level that people get a sense of agency and push for change.
The conference shared best practice in schools. We heard about the new pupil-led teaching approach at Ashley Primary School, the wide-ranging sustainability measures that have been introduced at St Columb Minor, and the fresh adventurous attitude to cooking at Penair School, where last week octopus risotto was on the menu.
Finally, we had a lot of interest in the next LESS CO2 programme that will support schools across the Southwest to reduce their carbon emissions.
(pic: Pupils taking wind speed readings at St Columb Minor School)