Eco-friendly schools in Kent and Medway were celebrating big wins at the Green School Awards on Thursday (February 13).
The event, now in its fifth year, is a KM Charity Team initiative to honour schools giving youngsters the knowledge and motivation to help protect the planet.
Teachers and pupils were praised at a ceremony at Ashford International Hotel where stunning artificial trees supplied by Blessing by Blé set the stage – and the tables – for the green festivities.
Kmfm newsreader Nicola Everett shared hosting duties with KM Charity Team founder Simon Dolby of Streetspace. And James Williams, Director of Public Health for Medway Council, gave a rousing congratulatory speech to the winners.
Altogether 27 schools received district awards while just seven achieved the additional accolade of being named county champion.
These were Wye School in Ashford, named Health and Wellbeing Champion; Sutton Valence Primary in Maidstone, awarded Energy Conservation Champion; and Goudhurst and Kilndown CE Primary in Tunbridge Wells, recipient of the Green Travel Champion Award.
Chiddingstone CE Primary in Sevenoaks was awarded the Nature Conservation Champion accolade and Dover College was named Green Champion. Two Chatham schools won top titles with St Mary’s Island CE Primary receiving the Clean Air for Schools Champion Award and Chatham Grammar being named Recycling Champion.
Presenting winners with trophies and framed certificates were representatives from the awards’ supporters Loop CR, NCS Technology, Golding Homes, East Kent Recycling, Ethical Earth Company, Medway Council, SGS Energy, and Streetspace.
Also joining in the celebrations were green travel supporters Volker Highways, Specsavers, Buckland Media, Countrystyle Recycling, Kent County Council, and Ashford Borough Council.
Youngsters from Amherst School in Sevenoaks provided the entertainment with a 40-strong choir singing their winning entry – Walking on Sunshine – for the 2019 KM Walk to School Song Contest.
Added to this photographs and videos illustrating the schools’ green activities were screened during the ceremony.
Details of the winning schools’ projects have been compiled into a best practice brochure and are available for free download from the KM Charity Team’s website to inspire others to follow their lead.
Cllr Phil Filmer, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Frontline Services, said: “I am very proud of all the hard work and dedication our local schools have put into their projects. I am pleased that their work has been recognised and celebrated at the awards. It is incredibly important that we all do our part to help make Medway a greener and safer place to live.”
Schools can join in green initiatives such as the KM Charity Team’s walk to school scheme Active Wow at www.KmCharityTeam.co.uk/wow
Other initiatives by the KM Charity Team to promote excellence in schools include the Kent, London, and Sussex Teacher of the Year Awards events – all of which are open to nominations until March 1 at www.KmCharityTeam.co.uk/teacher-of-the-year
Overall Health and Wellbeing Champion: Wye School, Ashford
Overall Energy Conservation Champion: Sutton Valence Primary School, Maidstone
Overall Green Travel Champion: Goudhurst and Kilndown Church of England Primary School, Tunbridge Wells
Overall Recycling Champion: Chatham Grammar, Medway
Overall Nature Conservation Champion: Chiddingstone Church of England Primary School, Sevenoaks
Overall Clean Air for Schools Champion: St Mary’s Island Church of England Primary School, Chatham
Overall Green Champion: Dover College
Ashford and Folkestone: Best Green Travel Award – Mundella Primary School, Folkestone; Best Recycling School Award – Hamstreet Primary Academy, Ashford; Best Health and Wellbeing Award – Wye School, Ashford.
Canterbury: Best Health and Wellbeing Award – Petham Primary School, Canterbury; Best Green Champion Award for Whitstable – St Alphege Church of England Infant School: Best Green Champion for Canterbury – Barham Primary School.
Dartford and Gravesham: Best Recycling School Award – Stone Lodge School, Dartford: Best Health and Wellbeing Award – Shorne Church of England Primary School, Gravesend.
Maidstone: Best Green Champion Award – Boughton Monchelsea Primary School; Best Energy Conservation School Award – Sutton Valence Primary School; Best Recycling School Award – Sandling Primary School; Best Green Champion Award – Platts Heath Primary School.
Medway: Best Green Travel Award – Greenacre Academy, Chatham; Best Recycling School Award – Chatham Grammar; Best Clean Air for Schools Award – St Mary’s Island Church of England Primary School, Chatham; Best Walking Bus – Walderslade Primary School; Best Recycling School Award – Kingfisher Primary School, Chatham; Best Green Champion Award – Bradfields Academy Fortis Trust, Chatham.
Swale: Best Nature Conservation School Award – Rose Street Primary School, Sheerness; Best Clean Air for Schools Award – Newington Church of England Primary School, Sittingbourne; Best Nature Conservation School Award for Sheerness – St Edward’s Catholic Primary School.
Thanet and Dover: Best Green Champion Award – Dover College; Best Nature Conservation School Award – Bromstone Primary School, Broadstairs; Best Green Travel Award – Birchington Church of England Primary School.
West Kent: Best Walking Bus Award – Goudhurst and Kilndown Church of England Primary School, Tunbridge Wells; Best Nature Conservation School Award – Chiddingstone Church of England Primary School, Sevenoaks.
Road Crossing Patrol Officer Winners
Medway Award: Jean Loynes – Burnt Oak Primary School, Gillingham.
Kent Award: Denise Bartholomew – Ditton Church of England Junior School, Aylesford.