Green Thinking at St Benedict's
Students in Year 11 have come up with a set of proposals to help make St Benedict’s as eco-friendly as possible, and have presented their ideas to the Headmaster and his Senior Team.
Two students gave presentations on how St Benedict’s expansive roof space could be exploited to protect the environment: Jem proposed the installation of solar panels, to generate clean, renewable energy and to reduce carbon emissions. And Alessandro suggested creating a roof garden, to reduce air pollution, seize carbon and increase urban biodiversity, as well as providing an oasis of calm: each class would look after their own raised bed, or garden area, so that the work would be shared throughout the school.
A similarly green-fingered suggestion came from Tallulah, who would like to see each form growing and nurturing a plant, with an annual St Benedict’s plant show to introduce an element of competition.
Ben focused on the menace of plastic, with his proposal of reusable water bottles for every pupil, and more water refill stations throughout the school. Caitlin wants to make St Benedict’s a paper-free school, by using Firefly for online homework, Office 365 (already being piloted by several academic departments, as the Headmaster explained) and by using laptops.
Finally, Ellen is keen to find ways in which groups of pupils can actively improve the environment in Ealing’s parks, by simply picking up litter and recycling it: not a pleasant job, but someone has to do it!
The Headmaster thanked the students for their excellent presentations and ideas, which he and his Senior Team are now considering. Mr Johnson said: “Concern for the environment must be at the heart of the school; Catholic social teaching includes stewardship of the world in which we live.”
This initiative follows the recent establishment of a new eco-society at St Benedict's - Ecocentric - and an Environment Day planned around 3 activities:
- Research activity
- Group work – sustainability project planning
- Upcycling – eg, making bird feeders and plant pots, etc, out of single use plastics
Sixth form students also took part in a climate change rally at the Houses of Parliament last term, and led a Walk-to-school-day for pupils and staff.