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Pupils from Pennar Community School with Gold Sustainable School Award.

Climate heroes making a difference in school and community

Arwyr hinsawdd yn gwneud gwahaniaeth yn yr ysgol a’r gymuned

A Pembrokeshire school has been recognised for inspiring the next generation of climate champions in the classroom and across the County.

Pennar Community School’s Green Team have won Climate Coalition’s Schools Green Heart Hero award having demonstrated that they take the climate crisis very seriously.

The school’s understanding that small changes within communities can make a big difference when tackling climate change led to it holding COP1 – Conference of Pennar 1 – in the shadow of the international COP26 held in Glasgow in 2021.

Pupils discussed ways to make the school more sustainable and reduce its impact on the environment before voting on which ideas to implement.

These included a one-hour power down for nature, a ban on all plastic pens in school, the introduction of a school vegetable patch, recycling centre, beehive, wild meadow and a permanent ban on glitter.

Conference of Pennar has become an annual event, with COP2 being held to coincide with COP27, resulting in further changes to be introduced to the school and wider community.

In November 2022 its success was emulated by other schools in a COPembs, a county-wide conference in partnership with Pennar Community School and Pembrokeshire Sustainable Schools.

Their hard work has also been recognised by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Sustainable Schools Award Scheme with Gold status achieved.

The Climate Coalition said: “The infectious enthusiasm and energy of the Pennar Community School Green Team has spread across the region, inspiring other young people to take control, share their ideas for a more sustainable, happier future.”

Eco School/Outdoor Learning Lead and leader of the Green Team Sian Taylor added: “I am super proud of the Green Team and delighted their hard work and dedication has been recoginsed.”

The team were also presented with a BBC Bitesize Regenerators Climate Champions award last year and recently came runner up in the Keep Wales Tidy awards.

Pennar Regenerators

Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language Cllr Guy Woodham said: “What Pennar Community School and the Green Team have been doing to help reduce their own carbon footprints and support their local environment is fantastic and an inspiration to all schools in Pembrokeshire.”

Pennar Green Team

Deputy Headteacher Joanne Hinds said: "As a school community we are extremely proud of the hard and work and efforts of the Green Team and Mrs Taylor. They work tirelessly to make our school and community a more sustainable and biodiverse environment fit for all.

“Their enthusiasm and energy is infectious and this was particularly noted during our recent ESTYN inspection where we were invited to prepare a case study on our work in relation to developing ethically informed learners.

“We look forward to their next venture as they go from strength to strength.”