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Ecstatic Energy Wednesday at XP Gateshead School - Green Schools Revolution update!

Gemma Sarigu
May 13, 2024

Students are driving climate action at XP Gateshead school! We’ve been working in close partnership with XP Gateshead school to help shape our Climate Action Plans (CAPs) pathfinder project and the school are leading the way in fostering a truly student-led and impactful CAP.

A school CAP is in development, being led by 10 passionate students in the Climate Action Group, with representatives from all year groups of the school. Each student in the group contributes a unique perspective to the CAP and brings knowledge from their workshops, also delivered by SOS-UK. These workshops provide the backbones to developing a CAP focusing on green careers, climate education, reducing carbon, adaptation and biodiversity.

Back in March we had an exciting in-person delivery day at the school, focusing on the theme of carbon reduction and explored all things carbon, energy and global warming – and what we can do about it!

In the morning, we delivered 2 workshops to Year 7 classes about carbon, carbon dioxide and how we can reduce our individual and school carbon footprints with simple changes in our daily lives. It was really interesting to see how much the students already knew about climate change and the impact it can have, while focusing on the changes we can make to reduce our carbon footprints. It was great to see the students really engaging with our carbon counting activities and taking guesses about the average carbon footprint split (and thinking about how it might differ for their lifestyle)! The ending quiz was by far the most enjoyed activity- with the students getting very competitive about who won the grand prize of ‘bragging rights’ for their carbon knowledge!

Continuing the energy theme, the school had a visit from an energy auditor, Matt from Inspired Efficiency who took the students on an exclusive energy tour of the school’s boilers, heat pumps and lighting. This was a great opportunity for the students to experience the life of an energy auditor and learn more about green jobs. The highlight of the day was using a thermal imaging camera to see how temperatures change across the school building, the students became excellent investigators at identifying areas of heat loss around the school!

Later, the Climate Action Group brought their newly learnt skills and knowledge to our regular brainstorming session. It was great to hear how their experience from day had fuelled all their ideas on how to reduce energy in school and discussed how to turn these ideas into tangible actions for their CAP!

Next up for the Climate Action Group are a few more brainstorming sessions to translate their ideas into SMART actions for their CAP. They’ll also receive their Teach the Teacher training, where they’ll then get the chance to share their knowledge with their schoolteachers to help it become more integrated into everyday learning! There will also be a visit from a climate scientist expert too!

By the end of this academic year the school will have a fully complete climate action plan designed and developed by students to help the whole school community to reduce their impact on the climate and be better prepared for the future.

Special thanks to XP Gateshead School for their commitment to helping us shape this project and to Gateshead Council for their advocacy and support of this work! 

The SOS-UK CAPs project and wider Green Schools Revolution programme is funded by the #will Fund and is proud to be part of the #iwillmovement – to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. 

Sounds like something your school would be interested in? Do you know of a school that might like to get involved in the CAPs project? 

We are looking for our next round of schools to take part; here’s the link to register your interest.

Photo credit: Gateshead Council