Do Not Underestimate the Power of Your Voice
Our first long term environmentally friendly pledge started in 2012, when two wood pellet biomass boilers plated at 270kW and associated buffer tanks were installed at Stover School. The system feeds both the Senior School, Preparatory School and Boarding House, providing heating and hot water to the entire School estate.
Stover School is located in the foothills of Dartmoor yet in the heart of Devon’s glorious countryside, just a few miles from the sea. Pupils are taught about the value of moral standards and good standards of behaviour, as well as receiving a broad and balanced curriculum that recognises natural talents and nurtures the individual. The current School roll is 450 pupils, with 120 teaching and support staff. It is a focal point for the community and is used for a wide range of sporting and local activities. Both fuel and heating supply security is a major consideration for the School which, unlike most schools, is unable to send pupils home if the heating fails.
Stover school has been approved by Ofgem, for the production of heat under the renewable heat incentive scheme. Ofgem is responsible for implementing and administering the scheme on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and under this scheme the school will be paid for every KWh that its biomass boilers produce. Stover School committed to playing its part to encourage all energy consumers to be more energy efficient and believe in the huge range of benefits – environmental, social and economic – that energy saving can bring in the future.
Pupils in both the Senior and Preparatory School have been working hard to encourage the Stover community to think ‘Green’. The Eco Club explores environmental issues and encourages children, and in turn, parents and other adults to be responsible citizens in their use of the world’s resources.
Our ‘Single Use Plastic Free’ site started in 2018 when our Eco Club acted on publicity about the dangers discarded items have on oceans and wildlife. The Eco Committee asked the school to try and stop using single-use plastics, such as plastic water cups, in favour of sustainable alternatives. Thanks to the efforts of everyone at Stover School, just this one change prevents the wasteful use of over 1500 plastic cups per week!
In 2020, scientists have stated that if 1 trillion trees are planted in the next few years, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere would reduce by 25%. So, Stover School decided to do their bit to help. During the global pandemic, Headmaster, Mr Notman, said “our pupils care deeply about the issues of climate change and we busy Eco and Environmental Committees within the school. We were delighted to launch the ‘ Tree for Each Pupil” programme and I enjoyed planting the trees in our glorious grounds.
At Sover School, we are dedicated to educate our pupils on Plant2Plate which focuses on what can be done to produce and consume food in a sustainable way that is less harmful to our shared planet and healthier for us. Pupils in Gardening Club plant vegetables including radishes and peas and have also created their own composting area for the children to explore the role of the wormery in breaking down unwanted kitchen waste. By introducing our pupils to the issues of food and sustainability it encourages then to reflect on the active role that they can play in both our local and global community.
Stover Preparatory School is presently working towards their Green Blue Peter Badge. With this in mind, a working party and pupil committee has been formed to put into practise Eco-initiatives. Pupils have pledged to do their part for plants, power and plastic prevention as well as a class pledge to turn off the lights when they leave the room. This will help Stover School reach its target of being even more ‘eco-friendly’.
Our Catering Department are also involved in the initiative and are challenging everyone to understand the true value of food and minimise their waste. The food we eat has an impact on our environment and contributes to climate change – from the land, fertilisers and water that was used for growing it to the greenhouse gases created from its production and transportation. To mitigate our food miles, our Catering Manager, Mr Milward, works hard to reduce our food miles and waste produced. “Climate friendly” school meals go beyond school food standards to ensure meals are freshly prepared from largely unprocessed, seasonal, locally sourced and preferably organic ingredients. Buying local, seasonal and environmentally friendly food such as organic from local farms. This benefits wildlife and the countryside, minimises the energy used in food production, transport and storage, and helps protect the local economy. On top of this, Stover School produce our own eggs and honey through Stover hens and bees and we are hoping to increase our produce in the years to come.
Finally, Stover School uses Devon Contract Waste, a commercial waste management and recycling centre specialising in the recycling and disposal of waste for organisations in Devon. They were the first waste management company in the South West to offer a Zero to Landfill solution which means that all materials that can be recycled, are. Their Zero to Landfill solution, which ensures that no waste goes to landfill and they are the only Zero to Landfill operator in the region to process waste for recycling, rather than sending it all to Energy from Waste plants for incineration. Their sustainable solution provides materials to the manufacturing industry, creating jobs at all stages of the processing journey. Zero to Landfill saves resources and energy, reduces our region’s carbon footprint, and promotes a sustainable business community.