Girvan Academy Scoop Top Prize in Provost's School Footprint Challenge
Provost Iain Campbell recently welcomed pupils from Girvan Academy to County Buildings to celebrate winning this year's Provost's School Footprint Challenge.
The Provost's School Footprint Challenge is an annual event that encourages secondary school pupils in South Ayrshire to develop and present local solutions for reducing their own schools carbon footprint.
Each school undertakes their own projects to tackle climate change; ranging from reducing energy use, increasing recycling and litter picking, and improving biodiversity; whilst raising awareness about these important issues.
The event was held online earlier this year, where each school had the chance to show a panel of judges the great work they'd been carrying out over the course of the school term. The judging panel included Provost Iain Campbell; George Tarvit, Director of Sustainable Scotland Network; Liz Marquis, Director of the Energy Agency; and Lyndsay McRoberts, Director of Education for South Ayrshire Council
Girvan Academy were crowned winners this year for their fantastic efforts, including becoming the first secondary school in South Ayrshire to receive 'Biosphere accreditation' from the Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere; displaying different walks and cycle routes within the local Biosphere to encourage people to explore the area; and completing carbon literacy training and encouraging the whole school to be involved in a carbon footprint calculation.
Pupils also worked to improve biodiversity in their school grounds with projects such as bee and bug hotels, with help from the council's Ranger Service. They set challenges for all classes and staff to bring reusable items to school, such as drinking bottles, and to remember to switch off computers and other electrical appliances when not in use.
They didn't stop there, as they arranged a number of litter picks to help tackle litter problems in the area; were heavily involved in 'The Big Tidy' in Girvan; and raised awareness about litter within their school to encourage behaviour change.
Carrick Academy were close runners up, and Marr College took third place in the challenge this year.
Provost Iain Campbell said: "The Provost's School Footprint Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for our secondary schools in South Ayrshire to develop and share their take on climate action, with young people leading the way, inspiring each other and developing local solutions for their own school communities.
"The standard of work being carried out is incredible. I'd like to congratulate our winners, Girvan Academy, and all of the schools that participated. You should all be very proud of what you've achieved this year."
You can view Girvan Academy's winning entry along with those from all our South Ayrshire secondary schools on our YouTube channel. Climate Change matters to everyone so why not find out what's happening in your local school or community and get involved!