Cassop Primary School serves three small villages, with a building that was contructed in 1912. Its sustainability journey started in 1995 with efficient lights, then cavity wall insulation. Work scaled up in 1998 when the school took up an invitation from Durham County Council to have a 50 kW wind turbine installed in its grounds. Then the old oil boiler was replaced with an automated wood-pellet boiler, which burns pellets produced locally from recycled waste wood, and a photovoltaic (PV) array was installed on a south-facing roof.
But the sustainability journey is part of the school ethos, not just the fabric of its building. Sustainable energy is integrated into all aspects of the curriculum, including art and literacy as well as maths and science. And a spare classroom has been made into a sustainability centre, for other schools as well as Cassop to use. Cassop pupils are confident ambassadors, making sure that electricity and heat are used widely, and able to give a presentation on sustainability to a full meeting of the County Council, or to take visitors around their school.