The Hinchley Wood School Sustainability Group (HWSSG) is a student led group whose key focus is to encourage the whole school community to be a more environmentally friendly organisation.
Its aim is for all students to be more aware of the impact their actions, and those around them, have on the planet; what we can do as individuals and as a school team to reduce damage to the environment; and improve the school and the local community.
The school was awarded the prestigious Green Flag award in 2015 for a second time as part of the Eco Schools scheme; this is accomplished through a number of initiatives:
- Throughout the school, we encourage recycling, re-using items and reducing waste.
- In corridors and classrooms there are recycling litter bins for items such as paper, plastic bottles, paper and glass.
- We are currently collecting two litre plastic drinks bottles and plan to build a greenhouse for the school’s growing projects.
- The playground contains a clothes recycling bin which allows students and their families to both recycle clothes, whilst at the same time raising funds for sustainability projects in school.
- Years 7 and 8 take part in annual enrichment days that focus on recycled clothing for fashion design and environmental sustainability - even the school blazers are manufactured from recycled plastic bottles!
Energy usage is monitored throughout the school using EcoDriver software, with new building projects such as the Cullum Centre being built to the highest standards of energy efficiency. We also:
- encourage all school community members to turn off lights in empty rooms;
- use photovoltaic cells on the roof to generate electricity and have LED movement activated lights in corridors to prevent energy waste;
- encourage students to walk to school wherever possible - even it is just part of the way - and take part in the National Walk to School Week/Living Streets initiative in March.
- the installation of bicycle sheds means more students can easily use non-car based transport to school.
Our HWS Farm includes four school 'house' beds, where students in the HWSSG grow produce such as new potatoes, strawberries and radishes, the sale of which pays for seeds and equipment. The farm area also includes a pond which is used to educate students in science lessons on bio-diversity and habitats.