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Flying the Eco Flag
Monday 7th April 2014 @ 17:30 by Max Wieland
WE'VE DONE IT AGAIN: Gorse Hall pupils and staff celebrate their sixth win.

WE’VE DONE IT AGAIN: Gorse Hall pupils and staff celebrate their sixth win.

A Stalybridge primary school became only the second school to be awarded their sixth ECO flag last week, leaving their contemporaries green with envy.
Pupils at Gorse Hall proudly waved their newest addition in front of the Regional Director for OFSTED, who was on hand to present the school their ECO award.
Since 2002 the Forester Drive School has driven up their interest in reducing their carbon footprint, and have successfully retained their green status every two years that an ECO flag has been available.
Unlike bronze and silver awards, the Green Flag is not self-assessed and means an Eco-School’s voluntary assessor has to visit schools to make sure certain criteria are met.
These include, among others, having your own Eco-Committee that meet up at least once every half term, agree, adopt and display an Eco-Code and involve the whole school and wider community in the Eco-School activities.
“I am so proud because it really is a huge achievement for the school,” said Gorse Hall’s Headteacher Amanda Stringer.
“We’re only the second school in Tameside to be awarded a sixth flag and if that wasn’t enough praise, the assessor said they were impressed that we have maintained our enthusiasm of being an ECO school as that can sometimes disappear.
“They were very impressed with what we have done.”
As part of their duties as an ECO school, Gorse Hall have been helping fellow primary school Broadbent Fold on Tennyson Avenue in Dukinfield as part of their bid to become an ECO school.
In the coming months they will also be monitoring their electricity usage as well as hosting a ‘Walk to school Week’ to discourage driving.
“It’s all about making our pupils understand how they can make a big improvement in not just their lives, but in everybody’s,” said Mrs Stringer.
“We do lots of activities in school and it just allows the children to be more aware of their carbon footprint.
“I just want to say thank-you to our fantastic ECO co-ordinator Mrs Hughes and also our governor and former teacher Mrs Ashton, who before her retirement set the whole school off on our ECO drive.”
Mrs Stringer added: “Also a big thank-you the Regional Director of OFSTED for coming down to present it, we were very lucky and obviously delighted to receive such a visit.”