Green School

GREEN CATS AND GREEN KITTENS ECO-COMMITTEE

St Catherine’s School is highly committed to reducing its environmental footprint. We are members of Eco-Schools England and have so far achieved our Silver Award. The main drive of our environmental initiative is centred around our student eco-committee, the Green Cats and Green Kittens, representing the Senior School and the Prep School respectively. 

In Autumn 2017, our Green Cats and Kittens carried out an environmental review of the school, researching and assessing such issues as our waste policy and systems, transport to and from school, energy use, litter collecting, biodiversity in our grounds and our outreach to global sustainability projects. From this data, the Cats and Kittens were able to identify three topics which they chose to tackle over the coming two years.

These are:

  • Waste: concentrating on reducing, re-using and recycling. 

To this end, we now have collection points for spent batteries and pens and have begun recycling plastics in the dining room. The collection boxes were made by the girls from waste products and distributed around the school. In the Spring term we collected 768 batteries and 465 pens. The bins in the dining room collect around 300 – 400 plastic cups per day. We also run a campaign to reduce printing and photocopying. Paper use is digitally collected and this data is displayed on our eco-board so that the whole school can see the trends in paper use over time.

  • Biodiversity: increasing flora and fauna diversity across our site

We have beautiful grounds at St Catherine’s but were able to identify an excellent site for a wildlife garden. The land was prepared and the garden sown in May 2018 (delayed due to highly inclement weather!) and we are looking forward to watching it grow and flourish. Once established the garden will offer not only a place of tranquillity, but also a perfect environment for developing our biodiversity tracking and sampling skills. We have invited nearby Gosden House Special Needs School to use this facility too and hope that other schools will make use of it as it becomes established. 

  • Global Citizenship: to raise funds for environmentally sustainable projects in developing countries

While reducing our own environmental footprint is critical, outreach to other communities has always been part of the St Catherine’s ethos. We have long-established partners in other countries, particularly Chisyabulungu School in Zambia, destination of a biannual sixth form expedition. It seemed appropriate to target our first fundraising endeavour at a project which could help promote sustainability at the same time as improving lives at a school that many students have visited over the years. In partnership with the Sixth Form Philanthropy Board, we have raised £3700 towards a solar pump, pipes and storage tanks that mean Chisyabulungu School has running water for toilet facilities and for irrigating its organic vegetable garden. 

The Green Cats and Kittens work as a team to instigate these projects. This requires them to meet at least twice a term, to take and publish their minutes, carry out environmental assessments and develop their plans. Being a member of our eco-committee offers valuable experience for life beyond school:

Being a chair of Green Cats is a really rewarding process which allows me to get involved with the whole school to promote and develop my own green ideas”.
Phoebe (U6), Green Cats Co-Chair 2017 – 2018

I am delighted that we could make our school a greener place by initiating new ideas, such as the pen and battery recycling stations. Being a Green Cat has been an amazing experience.”
Nicole (U6), Green Cats Co-Chair 2017 – 2018