A school in Wirral has won big at the 2023 Chester Zoo Conservation School Awards.
The ceremony celebrates conservation projects created during the academic year and the innovation that schools have displayed when educating students about the subject.
St John Plessington Catholic College, based in Bebington, was awarded the prestigious 2023 Outstanding Conservation School – Secondary School.
This achievement is the result of how the school embeds conservation throughout its curriculum, with various educational projects exploring and conveying the importance of conservation and sustainability.
In particular, St John Plessington was recognised by Chester Zoo for the clear voice that students hold.
Members of the school’s Junior Leadership Team work with students from the Eco Club and SJP Farm Club to raise awareness of environmental issues. Together, they have demonstrated natural leadership and public speaking skills through speaking at an array of events and ensured that their voice is heard, especially regarding conservation.
Extracurricular clubs at the school get involved with a variety of campaigns, including the Chester Schools Sustainability Network and Chester Zoo’s School Takeover events.
Students’ involvement with Youth Symposium sees them discussing topics like fast fashion, the ocean, and conservation as a whole.
The groups also support the development and upkeep of St John Plessington’s very own polytunnel which grows fresh produce, creating areas to promote biodiversity on school grounds.
Headteacher of St John Plessington Catholic College, Peadar McLoughlin, said, “We are thrilled to have been honoured with the 2023 Outstanding Conservation School – Secondary School award in recognition of our curriculum and the efforts of our fantastic students.
“Their passion for conservation and the work they have done to raise awareness about this at school and within the local community is inspiring. A positive impact has been created on St John Plessington, and we are looking forward to working together as a school to continue conservation work in the new academic year.”
Also at the Conservation School Awards was St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School, which received Highly Commended for Conservation Initiative – Primary.
Both part of the Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust, St John Plessington and St Bernard’s attend Chester Zoo’s Takeover events, including its most recent one which was featured on ITV News Granada Reports.
Students from the schools were shown at Chester Zoo, educating visitors about issues such as plastic pollution and fast fashion, sharing key statistics and the effects that these have on the wider environment.
Andy Moor, CEO of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust, commented, “As a Trust, we are dedicated to inspiring and transforming the lives of our students. As environmental issues unfortunately impact our planet at an alarming rate, we recognise that this will play a role in our students’ lives, and we are committed to educating students on how this can be tackled.
“We are so proud of the commitment that has already been shown by our schools. Congratulations to St John Plessington Catholic College for winning 2023 Outstanding Conservation School – Secondary School.”