Gainsborough: Marton Primary School wins Ashden Sustainable School Award

Staff and pupils from Marton Primary School in Gainsborough at the Ashden Sustainable School Awards in London. Picture: Andrew Aitchison/Ashden
Staff and pupils from Marton Primary School in Gainsborough at the Ashden Sustainable School Awards in London. Picture: Andrew Aitchison/Ashden

Marton Primary School in Gainsborough has been named the winner of the 2015 Ashden Sustainable School Award.

In 2013, the school joined the county council’s SCoRE programme, a county-wide initiative to help schools become more sustainable and reduce their carbon emissions.

Activities began with the appointment of three pupil Carbon Ambassadors from Years Five and Six who carried out an energy audit to develop an action plan for reducing the school’s carbon footprint.

The school developed a culture for energy-saving with some impressive results, such as reducing its electricity consumption by 29% between 2011 and 2014 and saving 12 tonnes of CO2 per year by installing LED lighting throughout the site.

Their success has now been recognised by the Ashden Awards, a world-renowned measure for excellence in the field of green energy.

“Marton Primary School is an excellent role model for other small schools,” said a judging panel spokesman.

“The staff and pupils have adopted a very simple approach focusing on low cost or no cost actions such as behaviour change to really make a difference.”

“By weaving environmental education through our curriculum and by promoting our school values, our pupils are determined to ask challenging questions and find solutions so that we reach our mission to become carbon neutral as well as responsible custodians of our amazing planet,” added head teacher Ben Stephenson.

“Last year, pupils observed that school meals were being delivered at least half an hour before the lunch break and being kept warm by an electric food warmer.

“The solution was to change the time of the lunch break to reduce the warming time to just 10 minutes.

“This saves energy and the food tastes better too.

“That’s just one of many examples of how we’ve made a small change to make a big difference.

“I’m delighted that the efforts of staff and pupils have been recognised with such a prestigious award.”

“The work by the Carbon Ambassadors at Marton has been of such a high standard, that I would like to see them showcase their work to other schools in Lincolnshire,” commented Jonathan Parkin from the SCoRE programme.

The school has continued in its quest to become carbon neutral.

Last month, it installed solar panels on the roof of its reception classroom, and it now plans to replace its oil heating with a biomass system, using locally-sourced wood.