Ken presents London Schools Environment Awards

St Stephen's Church of England and Sulivan primary schools win £3,000 in cash.

Left to right: St Stephen's Primary School pupils Opeyemi Adebiyi and Jenicka Nicholas, both ten, Sulivan Primary pupil Mohamad Chahine, ten,
Sulivan teacher Mandy Wilson, London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Sulivan Primary pupil Ava Crawford
and St Stephen's Primary learning
mentor Natasha Joahill.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone presented on Thursday, April 22, Sulivan Primary School and St Stephen's Church of England
Primary School with cash prizes for their work for the local environment in the London Schools Environment Awards.

Sulivan Primary School won a distinction award of £2000 and St Stephen's Church of England Primary School won a highly commended award of £1000. Wildlife presenter Bill Oddie hosted the awards ceremony and the winners were entertained with a performance by Eurovision and Fame
academy star James Fox.

Mandy Wilson, year five teacher at Sulivan Primary, said: "We collect waste paper and card in recycling bins provided by the council and have written an action plan for waste and recycling in the school. Children have been reducing the amount of packaging in their packed lunches and taking part in regular litter picking sessions in the playground and the school building. We have also organised a paper making session, where the children did their own pulping and recycling, with the help of parents and relatives."

In partnership with Capital Standards and sponsored by Cleanaway and EDF Energy, the awards have been developed to foster children's sense of responsibility for their environment and the categories which the
schools focused on were - litter, waste and recycling, energy, transport and biodiversity. The children learned about the need to reduce, re-use and recycle waste and to save energy at home and at school. They were taught about biodiversity and learnt about a variety of plants, animals and habitats.

Two schools from each of the participating boroughs received the awards. 570 schools and 210,000 children in London took part in the scheme.

Ken Livingstone said: ''These awards have really put the environment on the agenda in London's schools and this is the first time for many years that London children are learning about the real problem of litter and about keeping their environment clean. Children have got involved in a whole manner of ways -by carrying out litter surveys and involving their parents by getting them to sign anti-litter pledges and by improving recycling rates in their schools by poster campaigns and recycling collections. They have been planning and building wildlife, vegetable and herb gardens to better understand ecosystems and different habitats and they have shown a sound knowledge of conservation and the problem of climate change.'

Pupils at Sulivan Primary School were also visited last Thursday, April 29, by Waste Watch's Cycler,
the rapping robot.

Supported by Biffaward and in co-operation with the Rethink Rubbish Western Riverside campaign, Cycler taught children how they can tackle rubbish through reducing, reusing and recycling their rubbish.

The school sessions feature the robot dancing and rapping about recycling. Accompanied by an Education Officer from Waste Watch, Cycler's highly interactive show was fun and full of facts. It forms part of a national environmental education programme run by Waste Watch. An activity book full of puzzles is provided for follow-up exercises after the show to maximise the show's educational impact.

Vicki Stevens, Education Officer for Waste Watch, said, "Every household in the UK throws away just over one tonne of rubbish per year, of which around 75% could be reused or recycled to avoid wasting valuable resources. Cycler raps and talks to the children about this. They quickly learn the message and soon join in - it's a message they'll also enjoy taking home!"


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