Eastchurch Primary School serves three villages on the Isle of Sheppey. Since 1998, the school has improved the efficiency of its buildings and equipment, including changing to energy-efficient lights and kitchen appliances, and installing covered areas to cut heat loss from doors. And with Council support and local fundraising, Eastchurch managed to install a 3 kWp solar photovoltaic array in 2005 and a 6 kW wind turbine in 2009.
Sustainable energy is integrated into many aspects of the Eastchurch curriculum. But equally importantly, the school has an ethos of sustainability. Each class has an Energy Monitor to make sure that lights and appliances are switched off, and there are pupil-made posters and notices around the school. And for the oldest pupils, it’s a privilege not a chore to be selected to join the E-team. The team has a lot of responsibility. It checks daily that everything is switched off in classrooms, and awards a certificate to the best-performing class each week. It records the output of the PV array and wind turbine, and reads the utility meters, keeping the pupils, staff and governors informed. E-team members also give presentations to other schools.
Commissioning your own wind turbine is a huge achievement, and well deserving of a visit from the local steel band to celebrate. But it’s the energy saving culture that really sets Eastchurch apart.