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Suffolk school goes solar - after push from eco-minded pupils

Gorseland Primary School's Eco Warriors with one of the new solar panels  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Gorseland Primary School's Eco Warriors with one of the new solar panels Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A Suffolk primary school has installed dozens of solar panels in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint - following a push by eco-minded pupils.

Noah , Sana and Fynn enjoyed their healthy eating workshop   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNoah , Sana and Fynn enjoyed their healthy eating workshop Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Gorseland Primary School, in Martlesham, has had 106 panels installed after an elected committee of pupils – nicknamed ‘The Eco Warriors’ – suggested the school could do more to be green.

Spurred on by the committee, pupils conducted an eco-review of the entire school and chose three areas they wanted to work on - electricity, paper towel waste and recycling.

The school has now designated 90% of its bins for recycling only, replaced paper towels with cloth towels in the toilets and created a team to monitor the use of electricity at the school.

It has created a compost area for food waste and will be keeping a close eye on its IT equipment - making sure all computers are switched off completely over night.

Caroline Wilson and Jamie White held a healthy eating workshop with pupils at Gorseland Primary School   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCaroline Wilson and Jamie White held a healthy eating workshop with pupils at Gorseland Primary School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Headteacher Darren Jackson said the school will follow up the eco-drive with a visit to a recycling centre later in the year, so the children can see how recycled waste is transformed into new products.

He said: “This has all come from the children, I’m being harangued left, right and centre.

“Their view is we should be doing more to be green and to create out own electricity, so that is what we have done.”

The school has already earned a Keep Britain Tidy Bronze Eco School Award and is well on the way to a silver.

Millie and and Sam enjoyed learning about all the healthy food they can eat   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMillie and and Sam enjoyed learning about all the healthy food they can eat Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It aims to earn a gold award within the next 12 months.

As well as nurturing a green ethos in the children, the school is also keen to teach them the importance of health and nutrition.

On Tuesday, the pupils had a special visit by chef Jamie White, from Caterlink, who spoke to the pupils about the different types of fruit and vegetables and the importance of eating 10 a day.

He then held a bread baking workshop with Year 3 pupils, inviting their parents to come in and join the fun.

Stella and Harry enjoyed the healthy eating afternoon   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNStella and Harry enjoyed the healthy eating afternoon Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Jackson said it was about giving the pupils a chance learn through experience.

He said: “We are looking at real purposes for reading, writing and communication, so the children take a more investigative approach to learning.

“I think that’s a far more interesting way for them to learn.”

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