19 November 2019
Students raised awareness about local and global issues regarding sustainability through a series of student-led initiatives.
Sevenoaks School’s Green Weeks aim to inspire students, staff and members of the local community to adopt more sustainable ways of life by showcasing student-led sustainability initiatives and raising awareness of local and global issues regarding sustainability.
Over 1000 students participated in our green non-uniform day revealed the school community’s wholehearted support of the initiative. Each student’s contribution of £1 was donated to the Rainforest Alliance charity, chosen by the school’s Eco-Committee for their crucial work in protecting the world’s forests throughout over 60 countries.
Impressive student-led events were very much the highlight of the week. Gabby Tan, Kieran Kiggell and Ellie-Gilbert-Bair hosted a remarkable after-school climate action panel discussion entitled ‘Strikes – What next?’ which included engaging speakers from a range of sectors, including Lower Sixth Sevenoaks student Serena Murdoch, as a representative of UKSCN. Meanwhile, some students worked in the Art Department to give scrap paper a new lease of life in the form of beautiful origami structures whilst others hosted a ‘recycling race’ to help their peers learn more about how best to dispose of waste.
Sevenoaks staff were fully on board, giving their time at lunch or after school to deliver thought-provoking activities such as a talk exploring the psychology of climate change denial or debating whether acts of civil disobedience, like those carried out by Extinction Rebellion, do more harm than good. Additionally, students were given the opportunity to produce their own eco-friendly household products via our lunchtime eco-workshops.
Gaining support from the wider community, we enjoyed a Skype discussion with Old Sennockian, Paolo Bray, founder of Friend of the Sea, to find out more about the sustainable use of our oceans.
Environmental sustainability is, without a doubt, a clear concern for our young people and a pressing challenge for future generations. As part of the Institute of Service and Social Impact, we aim to help students be interested, informed and empowered with regards to environmental sustainability. All students are welcome to join the school’s Eco-Committee, which uses the international Eco-Schools framework to help students embark on a meaningful path towards improving the environment in both the school and the local community.
Mrs Hélène Bonsall