School first to receive award

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GREEN-MINDED pupils are celebrating after a school became the first in the local area to receive a prestigious award.

St Helen’s Primary School, in Hartlepool, has been granted Ambassador status through the International Eco-Schools Programme.

The school, in Durham Street, on the Headland, is the first in Teesside to receive the accolade, which is the highest level that can be achieved in the environmentally friendly scheme.

Pupils and staff have been rewarded for a number of initiatives undertaken in school including recycling of certain materials.

Gardens and a seating area have also been set up in the school, along with the installation of bird and bat boxes and feeders to encourage wildlife into the school grounds.

Hilary Squire, the school’s Eco-Schools co-ordinator, said: “The whole school community – pupils, staff, parents and governors – has put a lot of effort into promoting and adopting sustainable practices wherever possible.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this accolade.”

Joanne Taylor, Hartlepool Borough Council’s environment projects officer, has worked closely with the school on a number of initiatives.

Joanne said: “The school always leads by example, with everyone showing great enthusiasm and commitment to the principles of sustainability.”

St Helen’s Primary School received its first Green Flag back in 2003 and has since received four more, as well as the recent Ambassador status.

Andrew Suter, manager of the Eco-Schools Programme, which is administered by Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Ambassador schools are shining examples of what Eco-Schools is all about.

“They exemplify the programme and show how Eco-Schools can develop a truly sustainable approach.

“We are immensely proud of our Ambassador schools. They are the best of the best as far as green schools go.”