Eco Schools is at the centre of the life of our school. We want every child to leave Damers with a real awareness of the local, national and global environment and how each one can make a real difference to the quality of the environment for everyone. Eco work is integrated into our curriculum and there is a real enthusiasm across the school for all our eco work and also a recognition that it has financial rewards too.
The children drive the eco work through their eco reps from each class. They set the agenda, help to plan our activities and ensure that everyone really makes a difference. In reality every child at Damers is an eco rep. Working with our local community has been essential to our success, whether it is the community supporting us, like the community garden volunteers, local Garden Centre or us helping the community, for example through the recycling of ink cartridges across Poundbury or children, parents and staff planting crocuses with Poundbury Rotary to support their “Purple for Polio” work.
We have become national, even internationally, known for our eco work. Our “Refill Rap” was sent by Eco Schools to 55,000 schools across the globe. In 2017 we won the national “Fiver Challenge” award for the second year running with another eco product, Spick and Span. In July 2018 we won four awards at the national “Fiver Challenge” for the third year running with yet another eco product, Waxtastic No Plastic. Our Eco Crew appeared on BBC Newsround and BBC Radio Solent to explain our plastics refill project and last November 2017 Prince Charles visited the school particularly to look at our eco and sustainability work. In March 2018 we were awarded the prestigious Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots national gold award. We were one of twelve outstanding schools helping the community, animals and the environment chosen from two thousand to take part in a presentation day to demonstrate what we have achieved. We launched the Roots and Shoots Pledges where every class in the school makes a pledge for the term to help the environment, community or animals. Eco reps give classes tokens for the progress they are making with their pledges. The winners receive an environmental award based on the class that has made the biggest impact with their pledge. Pledges include ideas such as reducing litter locally, making the school a minibeast friendly place and keeping cloakrooms tidy.
We achieved Plastic Free School Status in May 2018. We are now leading on a campaign working with the Town Council, Litter Free Dorset, local businesses, schools and other organisations to help Dorchester achieve Plastic Free Community Status.
We cover a whole range of issues and topics including bio-diversity, energy, school grounds and gardening, reusable plastic, transport, healthy living and global citizenship. Ask any child about our eco work and they will talk excitedly about what we have achieved and what we want to achieve. The children are making a real difference but we are never complacent and are always looking for the next eco opportunity.
For our latest news, please visit our Eco News page by clicking here.