On 1 October, the pupils of St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School in Milton Keynes were presented with a LiveSimply award from the charity CAFOD for their efforts to live more simply, sustainably and in solidarity with others in need.
For the past twelve months, the whole school, including teachers and parents, have committed to reduce, reuse and recycle, while also thinking of ways to care for communities, both close to home and around the world.
This has included everything from setting up an eco-club, who organised local litter picking, to linking with a specialist recycling service and partnering with Waitrose and local garden centre Dobbies who donated seeds for the pupils to grow.
The LiveSimply award assessor from CAFOD, Peter Haddon, said: "The way all of these aspects of the school's commitment to living simply is deeply embedded with the children is truly commendable. Displays in the foyer and beyond present a very attractive face of a community that cares greatly for its environment."
In preparation for the award, the school also held a 'Switch it Off' fortnight to raise awareness of energy usage, organised collections for the local food bank and the school choir held a concert at a care home.
"The manner in which St Bernadette's have ensured that their children are acutely aware of the needs of the poor and disadvantaged both near and far is amazing," continued fellow LiveSimply accessor Graham Ryan.
"They have given help to everyone, from those living at the care home to those with insufficient food and more. The children were highly articulate on every element and were able to talk at length and depth about the wide range of activities they had undertaken."
For many at St Bernadette's, the LiveSimply award is only the beginning of their journey to live more sustainable lifestyles.
The school is now looking forward to planning more initiatives including developing a forest garden, which will grow plants from all around the world, and an onsite allotment area.
Local CAFOD representative for Milton Keynes, Deborah Purfield, said: "What an amazing achievement - St Bernadette's are one of the few LiveSimply schools in the country and the first in Northampton Diocese. We are delighted! The work of the pupils, teachers and parents over the past twelve months has really made a difference both here at home and around the world."
Find education resources: https://cafod.org.uk/schools
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