Watch a video of what the 2011 winners got up to ‘Outward Bound’ in the Lake District:

We asked our winning Climate Cops SOS schools to tell us a bit more about their green projects and why they wanted to improve their school and local environment. Here’s what they said...

Badminton School, Bristol

Badminton's 'Go Green Committee' raises environmental and green issues throughout the year. Over the past two years, the committee has achieved the eco-schools Bronze and Silver awards and is working towards the green flag award. We have focused on the 3Rs, Fair trade, Sustainable travel options and Food waste.

The Climate Cops brainstormed a range of environmental issues and finally decided to focus on water. The group had been studying a poem called 'Blessing' by Imitaz Dharker in English, and had discussed the water crisis in LEDCs. In the first Climate Cops meetings we discussed the risks of water stresses in the UK, and from there the group decided to choose saving water as their project.

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George Stephenson High School, Killingworth, Tyne & Wear

George Stephenson has launched its Climate Cops points system this year after successfully trialling it last term. The media club students are working alongside the geography department and guidance managers to ensure that the message gets out to all students and especially our new year 7’s. We have put together an assembly on ‘being a climate cop’ and are encouraging students to recycle, switch off electricity and pick up their rubbish and they will be given Climate Cop points that will earn them rewards. Rewards range from school pens to shopping vouchers depending on how many points are collected. It’s really popular and is going well!!

After speaking to our caretaker we realised that many students were not using school bins and disposing of their rubbish carefully. As a result the school grounds were starting to look really messy and the local wildlife was being put in danger from some of the cans and glass that was dropped. The media group decided that in order to combat the problem they had to encourage students to pick up after themselves and if they did, keeping the school environment clean and safe, they could be rewarded. As well as picking up rubbish, it was decided that to be truly eco-tastic they would also reward students for turning off lights when they left rooms and recycling.

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Ilkley Grammar School, Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Our team chose the tasks that we did because we believed we would get good results from them. With the energy survey it was a big issue that a lot of teachers left the lights and projectors on at lunchtime but we managed to get the number of unused classrooms with them left on down by a lot. With the vegetable plot we’ve been able to take the produce home to share with our families. When we find a recycling company we still plan to recycle all our plastic and cans from the dinner hall.

The school up until recently has had little environmental awareness and so the Climate Cops competition was a good opportunity to raise the profile of this. The Climate Cops team researched the EcoSchools project and we are now part of that scheme as well so I am hoping that environmental issues and practices will have a much higher priority in school life. Environmental education should be a central part of education for all young people because it helps them to look after their home; the planet, and there can’t be anything much more important than that.

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Ivybridge College, Ivybridge, Devon

Ivybridge Community College has a number of projects running that focus on improving the environment of the College and the local area. All classrooms have a green recycle bin for recycling all waste paper and card. The dining areas have separate bins for food waste and general waste. All of the food waste is then put in ‘Big Hanna’ the composter and mixed with wood pellets. The resulting compost mix is then used in the schools gardens and polytunnel. The polytunnel is used for the growing of fruit and vegetable which are then used by the pupils in cookery lessons.

Ivybridge Climate Cops (ICC) wanted to choose an event that wasn’t too daunting and something that the whole school, pupils, teachers and support staff, could get involved with. After some very careful planning and organisation, the Climate Cops decided to run a Power Down and/or Paper Free Hour. It was felt that one hour without the use of paper and/or power would be something everyone could get involved with, and something that would quickly remind everyone of how reliant we are on the resources that the school provide and how guilty we all are at taking them for granted.

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Lord Williams’s School, Thame, Oxfordshire

Why is Lord Williams's School committed to keeping the school environmentally friendly?

We at Lord Williams's school are totally committed to recycling and maintaining the natural beauty of the site. Students are all expected to tidy up - putting rubbish in relevant recycle bins, composting waste food, maintaining the school fruit and vegetable plot, turning off computers and lights; generally ensuring we are considerate to environmental issues.

School information is sent via email to parents - over 80% of our parents now receive the information in this way. This has meant saving postage and paper. It's not hard to be a GREEN school it just takes teamwork and the commitment of teachers, parents and students.

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Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire

We strongly support the ethos of reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible. Every classroom has a white paper recycling bin, and we have bins for drinks cans and plastic bottles. We have an eco-warriors club which leaves us memos to turn off our lights, OHP screens and go out into the community to do beach clean ups. Every form picks up litter around the school on a rota in the afternoon to keep our own environment tidy.

Rain water is used in our greenhouse to water the plants we grow for use in the canteen and tech classes. We are building a greenhouse made of recycled plastic bottles. We hold the ESDGC Sustainable Schools award and we are the only secondary school currently to hold the Pembrokeshire Green Flag Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

The team decided that they wanted to try and show as much as they could of all the reducing, reusing and recycling that went on inside the school buildings, outside the school and in the canteen. They tried to make it a whole school focus but soon realised that they were not going to be able to include everything in the time allowed for the film. So the team focussed on what they felt was most important and had the biggest impact on their lives at STP; which became the car sharing, our greenhouse and garden plants, our white paper recycling, outdoor garden area, litter picking, canteen and toilets. As a welsh school we couldn’t not include music and a song was written and produced by the group too.

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St Edmund’s Girls’ School, Salisbury, Wiltshire

At St Edmund’s Girls’ School we are at the start of our journey to becoming more sustainable. During the last academic year we made great progress with reducing our waste and increasing biodiversity around our school site. We now have a zero waste policy in the canteen, at least 75% of our rubbish is recycled or composted. We have a newly created wildlife garden and a thriving vegetable patch which even exhibits a scarecrow made from old uniform and shredded paper.

We chose to focus our project on the improvements we’ve made as we’re really proud of what we have achieved. We realise there is a long way for us to go before we can really say our school ethos embraces sustainability whole heartedly, but we have made an excellent start as a whole school and are looking forward to continuing our journey in the years to come.

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Stonehill High School, Leicester

Our school is becoming more environmentally friendly all the time. For example, at this very minute we are double glazing an entire façade of the school using funds from an eco-project we applied to. We are also in the process of trying to secure £125,000 worth of solar panels from an industrial carbon off-setting scheme. We would also love to have a wind turbine one day. We recycle paper in every classroom, we have a bio-pond and nature area, a farm where we produce our own eggs and vegetables and we recently built a bicycle shed and our travel plan actively encourages travelling by foot, bike or bus and discourages single occupancy car travel.

By Joe Lewin (student, 8ELB) - we chose to make a video about the farm because not only is the farm good for the environment: producing vegetables and eggs with the minimum of ‘food miles’; teaching us about how to ‘grow your own’ and how to recycle by composting, but the students at Stonehill (including us!) also really love the animals and many of us are actively involved every day with the farm. The farm would not even be able to run without the students – it relies on their help with feeding, watering and cleaning.

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Wisdom School, London

Wisdom school proudly represents London in the npower Climate Cops competition. We overcame stiff competition from other schools to win a trip to the Lake District in November. Our children decided to “educate” their local community on issues regarding climate change and recycling. We also produced information leaflets, organised collections for clothes, which raised £290, and also produced our very own solar powered cooker! Also produced by the pupils was a very heart filled, passionate short video regarding the above issues. Our motto, “though we are a small school, we have big hearts...”

The reason the students decided to chose the above project is due to them learning about the problems facing our environment and natural resources. Therefore, even though we are quite a small school, their determination drove them to ensure that their project was successful. They felt that, as they gain an education from their teachers, then they could try to educate their local community, family and friends.

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Ysgol Clywedog, Wrexham

Our school has always shown an interest in environmental issues in our area. We had an Eco Committee of staff and pupils who set up a recycling scheme with our council. Every class has recycling bins. We hold regular Eco Education days where external agencies come in to talk to our pupils and involve them in projects. We are twinned with a Polish school and do eco projects which we share through visits and video. Our end of school activity day even involved a trip to a local chicken farm to see local business and free range farming.

I recently bought chickens to farm in my garden, and fell in love with them. I now have 10 and regularly supply neighbours and family with fresh free range eggs. The pupils love hearing about the hens and how they have recovered from factory farming. We decided to show our parents how much nicer the eggs are, and how easy the hens are to keep. We felt that a small rural town like Wrexham had no need to be selling factory eggs when they can be produced for a village by local farmers or by ourselves in a more environmentally sustainable way.

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