Quality Education Through Sustainability
At Eaton House Schools, we equate a quality education with good health and wellbeing and we teach all of our children to have a respect for the world they live in and to adopt greener attitudes and a positive attitude to sustainability. This means that we have to demonstrate to our pupils that it is important to conserve as much as we can to help to protect the future of our planet. We routinely mark important days such as World Environment Day and World Ocean Day, and we bring in expert speakers to tell our pupils about the dangers of pollution and the environment on land and sea, encouraging them to write personal pledges to live their lives as mindfully as possible.
All of our schools have ‘green’ themes taught in the classroom, and some have a ‘Green Day’ in which many topics relating to sustainability are explored in class and in other ways, through music, drama, poetry and other media. To match our classroom teaching, we try to run our schools in a way that is sustainable to the environment, setting an example to the future generations that we teach.
Creating electricity through solar panels
Eaton House The Manor site produces 60 per cent of its own electricity through 142 solar panels, and more are planned in the future. In addition, across both sites at Eaton House Belgravia and Eaton House The Manor, some 90 per cent of the schools’ lighting is now low energy, with the remaining fittings due to be replaced soon. Classroom fittings are daylight LED fittings that produce as near to natural light as possible, and intelligent lighting systems ensure lights are not left on unnecessarily.
Producing Oxygen with Living Walls and Green Roofs
As you look out of various windows in the Manor buildings, you will see roofs that look like a carefully tended meadow, bright with greenery and small flowers. This is because the site has over 300 metres squared of Green Roofs, which help to reduce sulphur dioxide and nitrous acid levels in the atmosphere, providing enough oxygen for 210 people per year, as well as providing a diverse habitat for wildlife. It also has over 100 metres squared of Living Walls, producing 172.8kg of oxygen and removing 233.8kg of CO2 from the air every year, with more planned. To irrigate these wonderful habitats, the school contains grey water to irrigate the Living Walls, saving over 25,000 litres of fresh water every year. We are currently going through planning for some exciting plans at Belgravia. Watch this space!
Being careful about waste
All Eaton House pupils are taught that it is the correct thing to conserve resources where you can. The schools’ waste is zero to landfill, with at least 60 per cent being recycled each month. By recycling cardboard waste, the Manor site has helped to save 230 trees in the past 12 months.
Pupils are also taught that it is critical not to build up plastics in our oceans, or pollute our air with excessive emissions, and a number of experts have come to talk to them about that. All the schools have ‘green days’ and there are often unique events that turn the pupils’ minds to this critical issue. A good example, is the day that the Year 1 Belgravia boys spent with a company called Plogolution. Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter (Swedish: plocka upp). It started as an organised activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution. The boys took their ‘plogging sticks’ and ran about Belgravia picking up offending bits of rubbish and packets. Plogging is a clever, modern way of making pupils aware of their own urban environment while taking some exercise.
We are local schools, first and foremost. We encourage our pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to our two sites at Eaton House Belgravia at Eaton Gate close to Eaton Square and at Eaton House The Manor on Clapham Common Northside. The rows of scooters in front of our buildings are a testament to how popular this policy is.
Sourcing food locally and sustainably and being aware of eating well
All of our pupils are informed of the importance of eating healthily and well, with a good balanced diet and our food provider, Holroyd Howe, has been able to give them some very interesting talks on this, including the importance of food in the challenging sustainable development goals that the world faces. Lunch is always balanced, healthy using free range eggs and locally sourced ingredients where possible.
For example, on March 12, Eaton House The Manor celebrated science week with the theme “diversity,” and created a day/ lunch menu around this theme in the dining rooms focusing on “diversity within plant based foods.” A speaker from Holroyde Howe also hosted a talk about eating in a more sustainable way and how eating diverse plant foods not only benefits us, but also the planet we live on!
Sustainable information transfer
Much of the information that we produce is digital, but we do provide parent brochures and other information such as our magazine as printed products, because parents like to keep them for reference. It is important to us that our chosen printer is a winner of a number of green awards and is approved for sustainability as a carbon balanced printer for the World Land Trust, 2019. It is also Vegan approved by the Vegetarian Society for ethically friendly printing and has received the FSC approval mark as a company using responsible forestry.