22nd June 2011

TOTAL Green School Awards 2011

The Young People’s Trust for the Environment celebrated the fantastic environmental projects of school children from all across the UK at the biggest TOTAL Green School Awards yet.  Two simultaneous award ceremonies took place at London Zoo and Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Wednesday 15 June.

Now in their fifth year, the TOTAL Green School Awards were proud to announce this year’s UK Champions - Castle Park Primary School from Caldicot in Monmouthshire.  Castle Park Primary’s winning project ‘Madagascar’ focused on the country’s endangered rainforest and wildlife.  Using the knowledge they learnt pupils put together a beautiful folder of research, wrote and filmed TV reports in a real TV studio, produced a stunning patchwork Malagasy flag, and made a set of educational ‘habitat boxes’.  But the children didn’t want to stop at simply learning about the wildlife, they wanted to help preserve it too!  Together they raised over £1000 for a charity providing environmental education to Malagasy children living in the rainforest and adopted a hawksbill marine turtle and ‘Billy’ a ring-tailed lemur.  The school won a fantastic £5000 for their school which they will use to help build a new ‘learning zone’.

For the first time the Awards were honoured to welcome the UK Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Charles Hendry MP who was extremely impressed with the children’s projects - “I find it remarkable how much children know about the environment and where we get our energy from. These awards are a fantastic initiative, rewarding young people across the country for their passion for the environment.”

YPTE Presidents Dermot O’Leary and one half of the CBBC Live n’ Deadly team Naomi Wilkinson joined the celebrations in London alongside Doctor Who and Harry Potter stars Bill Patterson and Zoe Wanamaker - you can imagine the excitement!  Shadow Environment Minister Gavin Shuker and MPs Jessica Morden, Esther McVey, David Amess and David Davies also lent a welcome hand by presenting awards and delivering inspirational speeches to tomorrow’s environmentalists.  

Both Naomi and Dermot are long-time supporters of the Awards as Dermot explains, “This is an event I try to get to every year if I can.  It's so inspiring to see the fantastic enthusiasm that these young people have for learning more about taking care of our planet.  I'm amazed every time by the brilliant work they do."

Not forgetting the simultaneous Awards ceremony for Scottish schools in Edinburgh where YPTE was represented by Vanessa Adnitt, our Education Officer for the Southwest.  Scottish Champions this year were Salen Primary School for the huge range of environmental work the children had been involved with during the previous year.

Adding to the excitement were star guests Julie Wilson Nimmo (aka Miss Hooley of Balamory), Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter movies) and James Mackenzie, star of CBBC’s ‘Raven, as well as a group of MPs.

If only we had the space to talk about every school's environmental project.  There were hundreds of great entries this year and we'd like to say a massive thank you, on behalf of the YPTE, TOTAL and the planet to everyone who took part! 

Unfortunately Great Ormond Street Hospital School who won a Highly Commended prize could not make the event, but thank you to all the pupils for their vibrant and fuzzy 'Explore Outdoors' project.  Let's not forget all the other fantastic projects and schools who attended the ceremonies -

Middleton St Mary's C of E Primary
Woodlands Community Garden

Preston Park Primary School
Putting the 'Ark' in Preston Park

Normanton-On-Soar Primary School
Eco Art Enrichment Week

Salen Primary School
Food, Farming, Fishing, Forestry & Fun!

Luss Primary School
Save the Powan

Whitehills Primary School
Eco Superheroes

Knockbreck Primary School
Energy Saving Challenge

Kingspark Special School
Growing at Kingspark

St Fergus Primary School
Recycle Cycle to Africa

Echt Primary School
Eggcellent Echt, no Yolking!

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