Sidcot School is dedicated to exhibiting sustainability excellence in the independent education sector. Our strategy has the support of Sidcot’s Senior Leadership, our Peace & Global Studies department, and our Environmental Teams, which consist of student representatives and staff who jointly lead its implementation.
Environmental Activities within School
We have a range of environmental initiatives for students from Reception right through to Sixth Form. Our Junior School students are part of ‘Green Team’, with Senior School students joining ‘Eco-Sphere’, our student-led Environmental Team.
Junior School initiatives include:
- Green Team
- Students complete a badge system including: Garden, Tool, Nature, Plant and Sustainability based on skills learnt
- The team meets every lunchtime and all are invited. They are responsible for maintaining the JS Organic garden.
- Topics covered include crop rotation, water butt use, generating electricity from their own windmill, which powers path and shed lights
- Green Team ‘Plotters’
- This specialised group meets a couple of lunchtimes a week and covers the Eco-School agenda: transport, energy, food waste monitoring, litter and energy use. They also support Water Aid Week and Save the Animal days
- All students and staff are encouraged to recycle toys, tech, uniform, plastics, crisp packets and general recycling in bins provided
Engaging Students through Environmental Education
A key part of our Quaker heritage is educating our students to use their awareness of the need for climate action to effect change. Initiatives include:
- Communicating campaigns, such as Climate Justice: A Quaker view via our Peace & Global Studies
- Taking part in environmental marches or Interfaith cycling pilgrimage
- Sustainable fashion shows led by students
- Notice boards around School promoting environment in the news, e.g. COP26
- Auditing school energy – e.g. energy generated by the solar panels and biomass boiler
- Speakers for Let your Life Speak series – including talks on e.g. plastics in the ocean
- Writing to MPs, Royal Family and organisations like Tesla (Junior School)
- Running electric milk floats for on-site transportation
Senior School initiatives include:
- All Senior Students can take Conservation, Sustainable Crafts or Gardening as a PASS Activity, or join our Eco-Sphere Club
- Active members of the Somerset Schools Eco Conference Group
- Students run an in-School Clothes Swap and Sustainable Fashion events (including Oxfam Second-hand September)
- Active members of the Sandford and Winscombe Sustainability Group
- Activities for Fairtrade Fortnight
Generating on-School Energy
We have installed solar panels at Sidcot to generate on-site electricity. We have a biomass boiler that provides heating and hot water for the Main School. We also have an air source heat pump that provides under floor heating in the Art Centre.
A windmill generates electricity that powers the pathway lights to the Junior School. Campaigns to promote student awareness of these initiatives are designed to create changemakers for the future.
We encourage everyone in School to save energy by switching off lights, devices, screens and speakers when not in use. Our Junior School students partake in ‘Switch off Fortnight’, when they are encouraged to ‘spy’ on teachers to ensure that these measures are followed. We also make a significant investment each year upgrading to LED light bulbs throughout the School, and use sensor lighting wherever practical.
Traveling to/for School
At Sidcot, we run minibuses for our day students, reducing the number of cars. We have charging stations for electric cars and bike racks available for staff and students.
Recycling, water and waste
Both our Junior and Senior Schools have recycling facilities (clothes, shoes, mixed recycling, tech and toys). Sidcot is a 100% non-landfill school, with general waste converted to make electricity. All of our cooking oil is recycled, and our food waste is transported to an anaerobic sterilizing plant to be transferred back into energy.
Scrap metal, batteries, textiles, paint pots and lights are all separately recycled.
Re-useable cups are used in the Hub. We have water refill stations for student and staff use around the School site.
Our PTA runs regular second hand uniform sales.
The paper that we use in our marketing materials is Forest Stewardship Council certified and we are moving towards providing all of our literature digitally.
We use flow restrictors on sinks and timers on the showers in our Boarding Houses. Our swimming pool and other areas use chemical dosing systems.
Our School Site
Sidcot is an accredited organic site with the British Soil Association. The horses in our Equestrian Centre are fed on organic matter so that their waste – which is used across the 160 acre grounds – is also organic. The farmers on the School land also are required to farm organically.
Our garden waste is composted, and we conduct a rigorous tree planting scheme.
We use local contractors and suppliers wherever possible to reduce our carbon footprint.
For more information, please contact Barley Turner, Peace & Global Studies.