Two Ashden Award-winning schools have won further plaudits for their work to transform their schools’ energy culture in an EU-wide school energy efficiency competition.
In the first round of the EU’s U4Energy competition, Okehampton college in Devon won the UK prize for its efficiency measures, while Ashley Primary School in Surrey won the UK prize for its work to raise awareness about energy efficiency among pupils.
Says Richard Dunne, Head of Ashley Primary School: “We are delighted to have won this U4Energy award. Since winning an Ashden Award we have continued to give sustainable energy and energy conservation matters high priority in the school. It is very much part of the children’s learning as we believe that giving them the skills and the language to understand energy and interpret energy data is key to helping them grow up as energy literate young people.”
Says Keith Webber, Community Energy Manager of Okehampton College: "It’s great to receive further recognition for our work to increase energy efficiency in our school. We are now planning to add wind power and biomass heating to further reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Okehampton is well its way to becoming an energy efficiency showcase, demonstrating all kinds of technologies and measures."
The U4Energy competition was created by the European Commission in 2010 to encourage European-wide competition on energy education. Schools from all over Europe compete for prizes across a range of categories, with the results shared across national boundaries.
From the pool of national winners just announced, threeEuropean winners and three runners-up will be unveiled at a ceremony in Brussels on 26 November.
Says Simon Brammer, Ashden UK Programme Manager: “It’s fantastic to see our award-winning schools getting even more recognition for their pioneering work. At this critical time for our planet, Both Ashley and Okehampton college are inspiring a new generation of people to take action on tackling climate change. Let’s see many others follow.”
Ashley School, which won an Ashden Award in 2009, has also just won the UK Primary School Catering Team of the Year award for its work growing food on-site, serving seasonal lunches in a traditional ‘family service’ setting, with children serving each other at the table, and recycling all its food waste.
Two weekends ago, 2010 Ashden Award winner Okehampton College accommodated 800 people riding across Britain - an event that raises funding for the paralympics. The school’s NVQ catering students provided all the meals, with a large proportion of the electricity came from its solar PV. Said Keith Webber: “The food was high energy but the school was not.”
Applications are now open for the 2013 Ashden School Awards. As well as a cash prize of up to £5,000 each, two winners will gain a national platform to promote their work, tailored support to improve even further as well as marketing materials and professional photographs of their work.
The deadline for applications is 23 November.