Bright sparks switched on to environment at Sheringham school

Sheringham Primary School Eco Club members celebrate after winning a £250 Total Green School award f

Sheringham Primary School Eco Club members celebrate after winning a £250 Total Green School award for their energy-saving efforts. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Environmentally-aware youngsters at Sheringham Primary School have bagged a £250 award, after coming up with a scheme to save cash and energy by switching from conventional to LED lighting.

Ten-year-old Sheringham Primary School Eco Club member Holly, who came up with the idea of saving en

Ten-year-old Sheringham Primary School Eco Club member Holly, who came up with the idea of saving energy by changing the hall and canteen lighting to LED. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

After the school underwent an energy audit showing its main expense - of £70 a day - was lighting, ten-year-old Eco Club member Holly hit on the idea of changing the way the hall and canteen were lit.

'I spoke to my dad and, because we have got LED lighting at home, I thought putting it in the most used rooms in the school would really help,' she explained.

With the help of Year 4 teacher Bee Duke, who set up the Eco Club three years ago, Holly and her fellow club members made a video showing the progress of the project, which was funded by a £2,000 grant.

After writing letters requesting quotes from local electricians, the group oversaw the scheme, which was completed last term.

Sheringham Primary School Eco Club members, who have received a £250 Total Green School award for th

Sheringham Primary School Eco Club members, who have received a £250 Total Green School award for their energy-saving efforts. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant


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They then submitted their video to the Total Green School Awards, which aim to encourage environmental education for children aged from five to 11.

Set up ten years ago by international oil and gas company Total, the awards are run by the Young People's Trust for the Environment, which hands out £18,000 in prizes to schools all over the country each year.

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Although Sheringham Primary missed out on the top regional prize of £1,000, Mrs Duke said club members were thrilled to be named the only prize-winning school in Norfolk, and to receive a £250 highly commended award, which will go towards the school's £30,000 climbing frame fund.

The Eco Club, which meets on Wednesdays to litter pick and collect composting materials, had 'transformed' the efficiency of the school, she added, with the amount of waste going to landfill cut by 30 per cent.

She said: 'The children have made a real difference and I think this award has enabled them see that, so I think they are quite proud to be part of it.'

Club members are now busy thinking up more environmentally friendly ideas, including installing compost bins in every class and making animal habitats for the school field and garden.

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