Pixies Hill Climate change – Impact Statement

Graeme Snell

We the pupils, together with the staff, parent committee and governors of Pixies Hill School are committed to taking action to tackle climate change and reduce our carbon footprint to as close to net zero as possible by 2030.  This is an urgent priority for us as, if we don’t tackle it now, we will be leaving a damaging legacy that will affect our planet for future generations to come. 

We recognise that by working together, through changing habits and behaviour and embedding those changes, we can make a contribution which maybe small but when done in conjunction with others will make real change possible. By taking immediate action we can ensure our future will be safer, cleaner and greener, not only for us but for our children, and our children’s children!

The following are some examples of what will happen if we ignore this:  

  • more extreme weather events
  • poor air quality – pollution with contaminants and toxins
  • less water in our rivers and streams
  • increased plant and animal extinction 
  • diminished human health and life expectancy

What we have achieved so far:

  • New more energy efficient boiler in place
  • New window walling to improve insulation
  • New roof to improve insulation
  • Fully replaced old lighting with energy efficient led lighting in all areas of the building
  • Reduced our CO2 emissions display energy certificate (DEC) from 118 in 2017 to 63 in 2023
  • Introduce waste recycling for plastics, food and general in the staff room
  • Introduce paper recycling in all classrooms
  • Installed planters in the playground
  • Planted 30 trees at the end of a field in a horse shoe shape which we hope will grow into a calm shade area (unfortunately, most trees did not survive the winter)
  • Written a new PSHE curriculum which teaches children about the environment and went live in Sept 2021
  • Created a wildlife area on the school field to encourage bees and/or creepy craw lies and/or hedgehogs to be part of the school ecosystem
  • Worked with heating engineers to explore our boiler controls and avoid heating automatically turning on beyond frost protection measures (sometimes the controls switch on beyond 14C)
  • Banned non-sustainable (throw away plastic) glow sticks being sold at all events but look for environmentally friendly alternatives
  • Offset our entire carbon footprint for 2021-22 and 2022-23 by partnering with Ecologi who plant trees and develop biomass around the world https://ecologi.com/pixieshillschool?r=628621f82cbf1d44b9675e86
  • Proactive in our approach to encourage a reduction in traffic at drop off and pick up times and we have begun work on a travel award (Mode Shift)

What we plan to do by autumn 2024:

  • Investigate free solar panelling options and whether they can be installed to produce part of our electricity.
  • Begin our Food Education programme with healthy and sustainable habits in mind
  • Install a calm class sized seating area around a small fire pit to be enclosed by fencing so we can develop a woodland area and flowers.
  • Begin an Apple orchard through planting 3-6 different and usual types of apples.
  • Plant more bulbs on the school site
  • Plant new, more mature trees on site which are hardy and will survive in all weathers
  • Investigate bee keeping
  • Begin a number of clubs which will promote environmental awareness and sustainability (e.g. Forest School, Junior Duke of Edinburgh) 
  • Complete our Mode Shift Travel Award
  • Investigate the cost and viability of installing PIR sensors to replace all light switches. If this is not possible, we will educate staff and children in the importance of ‘switching off’ where we can.
  • Investigate and plan with a date an awareness session for parents on how we can improve sustainability in our own households?
  • Encourage parents to access free second hand uniform via the FOPHS team
  • Investigate further sustainability projects via sponsored means (Ecologi or alternative) 
  • Instigate a site survey to gain ideas on how we can improve efficiency in the school building (getfix.co.uk or alternative)

Our commitment:

  • Continue with our Eco Club
  • Speak out in school and encourage the children to do the same via lessons, assemblies and projects
  • Publish our actions and impact through newsletters and on school website
  • Educate and seek views from our community
  • Ensure our commitment is embedded and not ignored!