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    Climate Change, Air Pollution and the School Environment

    The school is committed to reducing the amount of waste that it produces, increasing recycling and reducing the amount of energy it uses during the school day. We are also taking steps to improve the air quality, increasing areas for recreation and play and improving the food offered to the students during the school day. We would like to share with you the improvements and changes that have been made over the last few years towards these aims.

    Reducing waste

    • Every student in the main school has been given a reusable water bottle so that they do not have to purchase water or use disposable cups to take a drink. There are now 6 water fountains available on the school site to refill bottles and once the current stock of bottled water has sold through we will no longer sell bottled water in the school canteen.
    • Every student has also been given a reusable hessian bag that can be used instead of disposable plastic bags.
    • All food in the canteen is now sold in reusable, washable containers.
    • Disposable plastic and paper cups are no longer used for hospitality and staff events.
    • Unwanted school furniture has been sold via gumtree, or given away via freecycle or to charities. Obsolete IT equipment and computers are sent for recycling.
    • We have reupholstered the office, staff room and library furniture rather than buying new items.
    • The majority of the outside furniture used by the students at break and lunch time is made from recycled plastic bottles.

    Increasing recycling
    The school currently recycles paper and cardboard, glass bottles, plastic bottles and tin cans. From September we have started to recycle food waste and have increased the number of recycling bins we have on site.

    Improving air quality
    The school was awarded a grant of £8,400 towards the planting of green screens along Camden Road to reduce the levels of NO2 and Particulate Matter on the school site. The scheme was extended to the perimeter of Sandall Road and this work was completed in the summer break. The combination of ivy and jasmine will help to improve the air quality and also has the added benefit of making the school look more appealing and secure and encourages biodiversity.

    As part of the building works finished last year the school installed green roofs on the canteen and reception roofs. The roofs are planted with Sedum and have many benefits including purifying the air, reducing the ambient temperature, regulating the indoor temperature, saving energy and encouraging biodiversity.

    The car park at the front of the school has been converted into a cycle park for staff and pupils to use and we have increased the number of cycle parking spaces at the school. Parking in the staff car park at the rear of the school site is restricted during the school day and is not permitted for general lettings at the weekend. School visitors are encouraged to take public transport to the school.

    Lavender and perennial wallflowers have been planted around the site to improve air quality, encourage bees and other insects and to make the site more attractive.

    Outdoor plants boost health and wellbeing for both children and adults. Some of the main benefits include:

    • Reducing stress and anxiety levels
    • Boosting memory and concentration
    • Creating a healthier and more active environment
    • Encouraging creativity
    • Building a sense of community and awareness of sustainable living
    • Reducing sickness and absence levels

    Reducing energy usage
    The school has a number of solar panels on the roof of the Camden Building provided by donations from alumni, parents and friends of the school. This reduces the amount of energy we use from the grid and also provides a small income for the school.

    Four external doors were replaced over the summer holidays with more energy efficient doors. These doors swing closed after use and so reduce the heat that escapes from the building.

    The heating controls in the school will be updated in the October half term to improve temperature regulation and reduce energy usage.

    All radiators in the school were fitted with new thermostatic radiator valves over the summer holidays to improve temperature regulation and reduce energy usage.

    Improved recreation space and play
    A Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) was installed on the site of the old netball court in the first weeks of the Autumn term and will provide improved sports facilities for the students to use during the school day, after school and at break and lunchtime. This project was funded by The Camden School’s Community Association (CASCA).

    The students used part of their Jack Petchey award to purchase some of the Thomas Heatherwick Magis Spun chairs for the students to use at break and lunchtimes.

    We are currently fundraising to continue the program of upgrading outdoor spaces for use by the students.

    The School Canteen
    The school gained Healthy School Status in the Summer term as a result of its commitment to all round student health.

    The school canteen produces nutritious and tasty meals and snacks every day. The meals are made on site and are extremely good value for money as well as being nutritionally balanced. Students can purchase a ‘meal of the day’ and a dessert or piece of fruit for £2.45.

    The school follows the School Food Standards and no longer offers crisps and processed snacks at break time. Vegetarian options are always available and a selection of freshly produced salads have been added to the menu.