This is Jon's sustainable policy

A Sustainable School

What does Sustainable mean?

To be sustainable very simple means ‘avoiding using up natural resources’.

When asked what concerns children about the way people treat the world one child said, “I do not like how people think that everything will last forever”. (Age 5-8, DfES 2006)

The truth is that it won’t and we at The Bumble Bee centre firmly believe in working with the community to create a sustainable lifestyle that ensures a good quality of life for our generation without being detrimental to the lives of future generations.

So what does this mean for our centre?

The steps we can take towards a more sustainable lifestyle are relatively easy. The first and hardest thing we need to do is have a change of attitude towards what we do in our day to day lives. This can include how we travel, what we eat, the paper we use, our recycling and the conservation of energy and water amongst other things. They are often obvious changes we can make and ones that we have heard people talk about many times before but it is now time to actually start acting on the advice we are given.

The importance of sustainable lifestyle is one that we approach as a centre collectively but also one that we must approach on a personal level. We all contribute in our own ways from conserving water when cleaning paint pots to turning lights off when we leave the room. For both the children and adults who work with us we would like to instil an understanding of the importance of conservation, using renewable energy, recycling, managing our world wisely, investing in preserving the natural environment and taking responsibility for our actions.

The government has recently published a document called ‘Sustainable Schools for Pupils, Communities and the Environment’ (DfES, 2006). This details the government’s schools plan for sustainability based on eight underlying principles. These include;

• Food and drink • Buildings and Grounds • Energy and water • Inclusion and Participation • Travel and Traffic • Local well-being • Purchasing and Waste • Global Dimension

Challenges are made towards effective management of these areas of the curriculum, the campus and the community and how each area can become more environmentally friendly.

We are committed to developing a sustainable curriculum, campus and community and this will be very evident in all that we do. This is a very exciting prospect put before us.

And how will we do this?

A sustainable approach to our centre and personal lifestyle incorporates so many facets.

It can be very evident in all that we do but where do we start?

• Every fundamental, managerial, structural and operational decision made regarding the functioning of The Bumble Bee centre will be considered from a stand point of ‘is this sustainable and environmentally friendly?’

• What do our children perceive to be important for the environment? We will have a very real focus on listening to what our children think about the surrounds of the centre and how they would like to improve it.

• Wherever possible we will encourage the children to share a responsibility for caring for the environment. For example, planting and watering flowers, maintaining the compost heap, conserving water when washing hands, recycling paper, helping with the vegetable patch to name a few.

• Communicating to all staff, parents and others who work with us how to take a new approach towards a sustainable lifestyle. This will be in their journey to school, the food they buy, what they can bring to school to recycle, suggestions for conserving energy in their home and any advice we can offer.

• We would like to invite companies to bring plans of innovation and development for schools in the changes that are taking place towards sustainability.

• Waste will be kept to an absolute minimum with strict targets to keep to for all staff. These targets will be monitored and reviewed every six months.

• We want to involve all parents and the community as a whole in this process. The reviews will be held with parents and representatives from the community present in order to maximise the impact we can have on sustainable development in the area in which we live.

Next review: June 2007

I especially like the bit at the end with how we will do this. I think the ideas are good, but perhaps needs some bits cut as it seems quite long and involved. is there any detail that could be summarised or cut - I don't know much about sustainable development, it has to be said - Naomi

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