St Mary’s shortlisted for prestigious national Independent School Award for Outstanding Community Initiative

St Mary’s School for Girls, Colchester has been shortlisted for a prestigious national Independent School Award, recognising the school’s commitment to promoting environmental sustainability in the local community.

St Mary’s School for Girls, Colchester has been shortlisted for a prestigious national Independent School Award, recognising the school’s commitment to promoting environmental sustainability in the local community.

St Mary’s School for Girls, Colchester has been shortlisted for the national Independent School Award for Outstanding Community Initiative. The nomination recognises the school’s commitment to raising awareness locally and in the education sector of the need to cherish our environment and to build a sustainable future.

The Independent School Awards™ (ISAs) celebrate excellence in the strategic and financial management of independent schools in the UK and are organised by the team behind Funding for Independent Schools magazine (www.fismagazine.co.uk).

Three schools from across the UK have been nominated in the Community Initiative category and the winner will be announced at a gala presentation at the Nottingham Belfry on November 14.

St Mary’s is one of only a handful of Ambassador Schools for the Eco-Schools programme, run by Keep Britain Tidy, which shares our vision. Ambassador status recognises St Mary’s ability to lead by example in the local community, inspiring others to work towards a more sustainable future.

Environmental awareness is fundamental to the St Mary’s ethos – the school’s successful eco efforts range from solar panels and recycling water on the school site, to making compost and collecting pens, jewellery and even bras to be recycled. However it also extends beyond the school – St Mary’s shares its knowledge and experience with local organisations, showing them the way to develop their own eco programmes and so spreading the sustainability message. The school takes part in eco initiatives, including Colchester in Bloom (last year winning two prizes) and East Anglia in Bloom, and are instrumental in the Colchester Sustainability Fair, demonstrating its eco policy to local businesses. Local schools and organisations are invited to the school to see its green initiatives in action and St Mary’s runs training workshops in conjunction with Colchester Council.

In February 2013 St Mary’s hosted an Eco Schools conference, welcoming delegates from schools, youth and community groups and local authorities across the East and South-East of England to network and learn how to follow St Mary’s lead in safeguarding the environment for the benefit of future generations.

‘Our school is not plastered with solar panels and does not have a wind turbine on the playing field,’ explains St Mary’s Eco Co-ordinator Mrs Sarah Wilding. ‘It is the small and achievable changes that can be implemented in a school that make a positive difference to local sustainability. This is the lesson that has emerged from our eco experience at St Mary’s – and the message that we are keen to communicate to the rest of our community.’

For more information, please contact Nicky Adams, Marketing Manager, St Mary’s School for Girls, communications@stmaryscolchester.org.uk, 01206 216418

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