Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Clean and Green Awards 2015

The Clean and Green Schools programme started 14 years ago and is a campaign aimed at raising awareness in green issues and encouraging young people to look after their local environment. The programme has produced some truly wonderful work, from various schools across Lewisham.

This year, 8 schools took part in the programme and we were thrilled to see the efforts the schools went to, in order to make their school as Clean and Green as possible. When this programme is fully embraced, it can really cultivate school pride amongst teachers and pupils alike, as well as help schools create lasting relationships within their local communities.

The overall winner of the programme for 2015, winning the Distinction Gold Award and a cheque for £300 was awarded to All Saints Primary School, in Blackheath.

Pupils Isla Prosser and James Galbraith receiving their awards

Pupils Isla Prosser and James Galbraith receiving their awards

 This week, judges and organisers of the Clean and Green Schools programme visited All Saints Primary School to award them with their well-deserved prize, and to thank them for their participation and wonderful achievements that the whole school community were involved in.

The judges of the competition felt that All Saints really embraced all the categories the schools were judged on, including:

  • Pupil and community involvement
  • Communication
  • Effectiveness
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation

From regular audits, improvements to recycling facilities and clean ups, to Fairtrade cafes, cook-ups and fashion parades, All Saints involved not only the school, but the wider community.

Impressing the judges, All Saints went to great lengths to ensure that many of the activities were not one-off events but became part of the school’s sustained culture.

Isla and James with teachers Ms Pippa Williams and Miss De Souza with Kristina Binns from Lewisham Council (left)

Isla and James with teachers Ms Pippa Williams and Miss De Souza with Kristina Binns from Lewisham Council (left)

The judges were astounded to discover that All Saints researched Fairtrade clothing companies to then use this clothing as part of their school uniforms. This was very innovative and also showed a genuine desire to integrate sustainable practices into the school.

All Saints, have done an absolutely fantastic job! On behalf of Lewisham Council, we would like to thank you very much for taking part in the programme and for being such an inspiring school!


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Old Mother Earth helped out by Lewisham’s Clean & Green schools!

The last week in July saw another triumphant end to 2014 environmental programme for Lewisham’s schools, Clean & Green.  Each year, up to 25 schools in the borough sign up for the year long programme with the aim of increasing environmental awareness in their school through initiatives such as food growing, litter clean ups, recycling collection schemes.  The sky really is the limit as schools are awarded at the end of the academic year for the most original and ingenious ways that they have come up with to help improve the environment of the school and surrounding areas.

Schools work on the programme from October to June, concentrating on their chosen theme and at the end of the year, they submit an entry showing what they have managed to achieve.  Support is given along the way in the form of  visits and assemblies. And as recognition of their hard work an award ceremony takes place in the Civic Suite, Catford, attended by representatives from the school and Lewisham’s local dignitaries in late July.

This years awards were presented by Cllr Rachel Onikosi – Cabinet Member for Public Realm and Nigel Tyrell – Head of Environment at Lewisham.  The afternoon included a lunch for the children and teachers and an environmental performance called ‘Old Mother Earth’.

Actors Nichola and Barney from Caboodle Arts performing 'Old Mother Earth'

Actors Nichola and Barney from Caboodle Arts performing ‘Old Mother Earth’

This years programme saw more excellent work from all the schools who took part, but particularly, the schools who managed to achieve awards who were – Coopers Lane, Haseltine, Holbeach, Watergate, St Augustines, Edmund Waller & Good Shepherd Primary Schools.  St Winifreds Catholic and Stillness Infant Schools also managed to secure Gold awards.

All Saints Primary School was presented with the overall runner up award for their efforts to encourage the whole school and local neighbourhood to use more sustainable forms of transport.  However, the overall winner of this years programme was Horniman Primary School who won the Clean & Green Distinction Award and a cheque for £300 for their pedal powered radio station which children, parents and teachers built in their school playground!

Cleanest and Greenest!  Cllr Rachel Onikosi presents Horniman students Keir Holmes,  Marnie Paul, Jacob Waters with award and cheque for the school.

Cleanest and Greenest! Cllr Rachel Onikosi presents Horniman students Keir Holmes, Marnie Paul, Jacob Waters with award and cheque for the school.

If you are a child, teacher or parent at a Lewisham school and would like more information on taking part in next years programme, please email David.brinson@lewisham.gov.uk or visit http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/environment/Pages/Clean-and-Green-Schools.aspx http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/environment/Pages/Clean-and-Green-Schools.aspx for more information.


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Lewisham school’s environmental efforts celebrated at Clean Green awards 2013

Schools from across the borough gathered at the Civic Suite, Catford this week to mark the end of the 12th annual Clean & Green schools programme.  Thirty Lewisham schools took part in the year long programme whose aim is to support and encourage teachers and children to explore topics which impact the environment for example, transport, bio-diversity, waste and recycling.

In previous years, Clean & Green schools have set up initiatives which have been sustained in subsequent school years. Previous winners have set up food growing areas, worked with local businesses to collect and recycle tin cans and started a walking bus for children to get to school.

This years ceremony was a fun event, starting with lunch and then award  presentions by Cllr Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services.  Entertainment for the afternoon was provided by Ade from Bigfoot Arts (pictured below) who did a one man show about the effects of global warming. Extra help was provided by children in the audience and included Luna (also below) from St Savious RC Primary School who rose to the challenge for some impromptu acting, making it an extra special performance.

Luna from St Saviours RC Primary School rose to the challenge to act up with Ade from Bigfoot Arts theatre company

Luna from St Saviours RC Primary School rose to the challenge to act up with Ade from Bigfoot Arts theatre company

This year has seen more great work from the schools who participated.  Some of the achievements highlighted at the award ceremony included Haseltine School whose children, inspired by a trip to Brogdale Orchard in Kent, set about creating their own orchard using the fruit to make jams for their school breakfast club.  Another school- Horniman Primary grew vegetables in their growing area and made up veg boxes to sell to the wider community.  Both of these schools won gold awards for their effort.

Cllr Wise, who has shown continued support for the programme and judged many of this years entries, commented on the high standard of entries submitted again this year.  Holbeach School received the runners up award with judges congratulating the amount of work they did to encourage recycling in the whole school.

Maisee, William and Kennedy from this years winning school, Coopers Lane pictured with Cllr Susan Wise.

Maisee, William and Kennedy from this years winning school, Coopers Lane pictured with Cllr Susan Wise.

The winners were Coopers Lane School (pictured above) whose work throughout the year culminated in an environmental open evening attended by the school and local community. They displayed the work they had done over the Clean & Green year. The judges were very impressed with the amount of effort made by the whole school and the degree to which the wider  community were involved.

If you are a teacher of parent at a Lewisham school and would like more information on taking part in next years programme, please email Kate.parkinson@lewisham.gov.uk http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/environment/Pages/Clean-and-Green-Schools.aspx


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Local pupils rap about recycling with Recycler the robot

After a fantastic year last year, the Clean & Green team has been inundated with registrations for this year’s programme.  Thirty schools have applied and for many, it’s their first year of taking part.

School children will have the chance to meet Recycler the Robot

The Clean and Green programme offers schools support to address topics which really make a difference; waste and recycling, local environmental quality, love food, energy and climate change, transport, biodiversity, fair trade, water and animal welfare. Schools who sign up all receive visits from the team to help them set up a growing area, undertake a litter survey or a waste audit of their school. 

They also have a chance to get a visit from Recycler, enter competitions, get advice and help for the school and other support.  We are now oversubscribed for this year’s programme- but we will be running the programme again next year with applications being welcomed from July 2013! 

For more information and to download a pack, please visit: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/environment/Pages/Clean-and-Green-Schools.aspx


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Lewisham schools awarded in the 12th Annual Clean & Green awards

During the last twelve months, 25 schools from across Lewisham have been taking part in the Clean and Greens schools programme. Throughout the school year, the programme offers support to schools to address topics which make a difference to not only the school but the wider community and environment.

Cllr Susan Wise presenting the first prize award winners of this year C&G programme- St Winifred’s Infant School

At the start of each school year, we encourage schools to participate. Children and teachers come up with innovative ways to explore topics such as; waste and recycling, local environmental quality, love food, energy and climate change, transport , biodiversity, fair trade, water and animal welfare. Members from the Environment and Community Development team visit the schools and support activities which include group work, surveys and presentations.

This years entrants have maintained the very high standard received in previous years and a selection of topics were tackled in a creative way. This included; All Saints schools setting up a Fair trade tuck shop run by parents, Kelvin Grove school creating a growing area for crops which is maintained by a weekly gardening club and parents, John Stainer school setting up a ‘stride and ride’ scheme to encourage children and parents to at least travel some part of the journey without using the car.

Sade Christian- Imoreh from Adamsrill Primary School receiving her runners up award for her entry to the poetry section

At the end of the year, all the work undertaken by the school is presented to the judging panel who include Cllr Susan Wise- Executive Member for Customer Services. The overall winners this year were chosen for their high quality submissions, with the highly commended award going to Stillness Infant School whose activities included; reusing items found around the school to create a scarecrow ‘cyclist from team GB’ which was then entered into an RHS Scarecrow competition and also started up a scheme to reuse elastic bands which had been found around the school and started up a series of lunchtime activities to create alternative play equipment.

This years overall winners were St Winifred’s Infants school who submitted an exemplary entry. The school chose Transport as one of their topics, recruiting their own junior road safety officers who carried out road travels surveys. For their second topic of Waste and Recycling, the children successfully engaged with local businesses to arrange collection of their tin cans which they then sold for recycling. Other initiatives included a ‘big pedal’ to school and mobile phone collection box at school.

The Awards ceremony took place on July 4th at the Council Chambers where Stillness Infants School were presented with a £350 cheque and St Winifred’s Infants received £500. Prizes of book tokens were also given to entrants of poetry and poster competitions.

We will be sending information to all schools about how they can register to take part in the coming weeks. If you work in a school in the borough and do want more information about the Clean & Green programme you can visit the website at

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/getinvolved/environment/Pages/Clean-and-Green-Schools.aspx or contact Kate Parkinson or Beth Sowden on 020 8314 2245 or email Kate.parkinson@lewisham.gov.uk


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Junior Citizens learn all about recycling

The Council’s recycling team have again been involved in the annual Junior Citizen programme. This year it has been held at the Lee Green Fire Station on Eltham Road and aims to teach children about the dangers of drugs, safety on public transport and talking to strangers amongst many other subjects including recycling and waste.

 The recycling team do already run a successful Clean and Clean programme across the borough in Lewisham’s primary schools, however this gives us another opportunity to engage with children further and to talk to them about the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We also talk about what should and shouldn’t go into the recycling bins and finally give them some examples of what happens to the things they recycle and what they eventually end up being recycled into.

 Groups of children go from room to room in the fire station and spend around 12 minutes in each learning something new. It is hoped that what they learn about recycling can be taken home and taught to their parents. The two week event finishes on Friday.