The school is situated in the heart of Somerset overlooking Glastonbury Tor, and we try to utilise our rural environment by bringing learning outside the classroom to life. We are one of only 27 schools in the country, and the only one in the South West, to hold the Eco-Schools Ambassador Award, with green issues and sustainability firmly embedded in the ethos of our school. Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.
Our unique Nature Reserve enables us to offer an Eco-activities programme with Forest School and John Muir Trust activities in the Prep School and Bushcraft for the older girls. A programme of conservation has been agreed with Somerset Wildlife Trust and the girls are able to take part in ‘hands on’ conservation for the species that have been identified in the reserve. The site is also used regularly by the boarding community as an idyllic educational setting for evening activities.
We have excellent links with environmental organisations and have created an Eco-Squad of girls who champion ‘green’ issues in the school. The girls have introduced recycling schemes and they are able to produce and harvest their own herbs, fruit and vegetables. The club allows the girls to pioneer schemes to achieve various outcomes to establish BSG as a more sustainable community, such as reducing our food miles and carbon footprint.
Every year in the Autumn term, girls are immersed in a ‘Girls Go Green’ week, where they take part in a range of activities, lessons, talks and visits all focussing on ‘green’ issues. These have included trips to the Eden Project and to a Mock Earth Summit where participants consider global environmental questions and take the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills.
One of our local environmental business links, Countrylore, delivers Bushcraft and Eco-Awareness sessions for our girls, focussing on outdoor skills, ethos and the environment. The workshops in ‘Girls Go Green’ week are completely subsidised by the school and the aim is to encourage the interest of young people in our environment. The week ends with a Green Mufti Day where for a donation of £1 girls are able to wear their own ‘green’ clothes. Donations are given to an eco- charity chosen by the Eco-Squad.
As an Eco-School we are constantly looking at ways to change behaviour ensuring everyone is on board with our eco-values, changing the culture of the school to make it a greener place. We truly believe that the pupils have the greatest potential for educating those around them about how to live sustainably, and the girls here are passionate about the message that they take away.
One planet, one experiment,’ Edward O. Wilson