South Ayrshire schools rise to the Provost's Footprint Challenge

 24 June 2016  |  

Kyle Academy celebrate after winning the inaugural Provost's School Footprint Challenge

Kyle Academy celebrate after winning the inaugural Provost's School Footprint Challenge

Pupils from Kyle Academy have been crowned the inaugural winners of an environmental award designed to make their schools more environmentally friendly. The winners of the Provost's School Footprint Challenge were announced at a special ceremony at the University of the West of Scotland, Ayr Campus.

South Ayrshire Provost, Helen Moonie, launched the Schools Ecological Footprint Challenge last year. It aims to celebrate and reward schools work, while focusing efforts on driving down ecological footprints, reducing carbon emissions, and saving money.

The very first Gold Award went to Kyle Academy in Ayr. The school organised a wide-range of activities throughout the year including: weekly tuck shops that sold Fairtrade products and goods, children visited classrooms and emailed teachers before every holiday to remind them to switch off all computers and sockets, greater recycling, and a walk/cycle to school week that saw a 24% drop in vehicles in the car park.

Southcraig Campus in Ayr was named the Silver winners, while Carrick Academy in Maybole took the Bronze Award.

South Ayrshire Provost, Helen Moonie, said that every entry showed a clear understanding of the problem at hand, "Climate change is both a global and a local challenge that will affect us all for generations to come and I'm pleased that all of our schools really ran with the challenge and came back with some great ideas.

"I'd like to congratulate Kyle Academy for winning the Gold Award after putting so much effort into a year of activity which clearly understood the challenge and which has made a real difference to the way the school works.

"Everyone who took part in the competition submitted entries to a very high standard, which made it hard to single out a single winner. I can only hope that next year's submissions can match their enthusiasm as we look for new ideas in 2017."

The projects that were submitted for 2016 ranged from growing seeds that have been in outer space, recycling more of our waste, cycling to school, making greenhouses from plastic bottles, and gardening.

Lara Seville (17) from Kyle Academy said it was an honour to take home the Gold, "Winning the award has made me realise how much of an impact our work has had on the school. It's clear to me now that lots of small changes can make a big impact, and will continue to have a lasting effect.

"Every school put so much effort in the competition and after seeing all the presentations it was clear that winning was going to be very tough.

"We already have new ideas in mind for next year's challenge, and hope to build on this incredible achievement."