Exmouth Community College is committed to contributing to developing a more sustainable future for our young people and the world. Beyond content delivered within the curriculum, two of our key drivers for contributing towards the sustainability agenda, are through the on-going work of our Exmouth Eco-Group and through our Year 10 'Grand Challenge' Activity Days.
Exmouth Ecos formed in 2019 and currently consists of a Team of students who are all extremely passionate about protecting the environment and looking after our town, beach and wider community.
Our mission is to proactively inspire the young people in our community to think about their part in reducing the damage to the environment.
In 2022 we completed the rigorous application process to become a Plastic Free School as part of Surfers Against Sewage. For this we had to complete 5 objectives:
- Understanding the problem Pupils from a Plastic Free Action Group and conduct a single-use plastic investigation across the school, recording the results.
- Campaign launch- The Plastic Free Action Group share the investigation results and further research into the issues of single-use plastic in an assembly and school news article.
- Stemming the flow- At least three single-use plastic items identified in the investigation are eliminated from the school, for good.
- Challenging Government - Pupils write and send letters to the local politician outlining their campaign, their findings in the school and asking the politician for help to tackle the issue. Students emailed and then met with local MP Simon Jupp to discuss plastic pollution. We asked him some questions about plastic pollution, the environment, water pollution and recycling. The students took it in turns to ask questions which they had generated themselves. Mr Jupp was very encouraging of the work being done by the Eco Group and answered all of our questions.
- Challenging industry- A 'School Clean' is held and a tally is made of the worst offending brands. The Plastic Free Action Group take pictures and contact the brands to call for change.
Beyond our 'Plastic Free School' status, the Eco Group have engaged in, supported and hosted a range of events and activities including;
- Host visits from Devon Schools
- East Devon Together Month-an EDDC initiative to bring together a range of brilliant ‘eco’ activities across East Devon.
- Reusable period product campaign
- Assemblies to all year groups
- Visit to the Energy from Waste power station in Marsh Barton
- Sideshore Eco Festival - Exmouth (Sunday 9th July 2023)
- Sideshore tour -Exmouth Ecos visited Sideshore, the new development on Exmouth seafront. Simon, the manager, gave the group a tour of the site to show us all the sustainable things they have implemented. This includes a #2minutebeachclean station, a water refill stand, a reusable beach item Treasure Chest, the plant room where there is a ground source heat pump, the solar panels, the electric car charging points and the range of sustainable businesses on-site, where single use plastics are banned and sustainability is at the core of their ethos.
- Low Carbon Lent
- Plastic Free Advent Calendar
- Visit from Lucy Mottram the waste management officer at Devon County Council.
- Supporting The Great Big Green Week
- Supporting Plastic Free July
- World Ocean Day beach clean
- Poster campaign to stop students dropping litter
Please do follow our Exmouth Community College Facebook Page to keep up to date to the amazing work of the College and this very impressive Team of Students, led by Mrs Oakes-Ash and Miss Dugdale.
Grand Challenge Days
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals which provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. They are at the heart of 'The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', which was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.
The University of Exeter, are a world leading educational establishment, right on our doorstep, who are embedding aspects of sustainability and SDGs across their organisation and education programmes, to equip their students with the knowledge and skills for a 'greener' economy and with the imagination to provide solutions for a sustainable society.
Having been inspired by this commitment and contribution, and it being obviously the greatest challenge the world faces - we wanted our young people, here at Exmouth Community College, to learn about the SDGs, associate them to their learning from across their education and qualifications, and then put their own skills, knowledge and creativity to the test.
In partnership with colleagues from the University of Exeter, we created our 'Grand Challenge'. A two-day enterprise programme, modelled upon aspects of the Universities 'Grand Challenges Week'.
Our inaugural event in 2022, saw our students draw upon existing knowledge and skills, from across the curriculum, alongside their developed awareness of the SDGs, to create actions that could be undertaken by themselves and also within our College community.
The hashtag #bethechange helped us consider actions being taken literally from across the world, and we are proud to showcase the application of our core values within this activity.
Associated to this challenge, we introduced our ECC SDG Pledge to;
Identify and take individual actions. Personal adoption of the SDGs moves us closer to achieving them.
Make small changes that can make big differences. Living sustainably leads to better personal health, greater prosperity in our communities and a healthier environment.
'Be the Change' as a great way of doing good for your household, school, local community and the world.
Live sustainably as it is easier than we might think!
Stick to your changes and make these actions your new routine around the house, school and community.
We look forward to seeing how our students embrace the 'Grand Challenge', and then work as teams to create solutions/actions, that could be put into place here at Exmouth Community College. As part of the challenge, the students present their ideas within their own Tutor Group. Each Tutor Group then votes / recommends one team to go forward, to present to a Judging Panel, made up of colleagues from the University, Exmouth Town Council, Local Business and members of the Greater Exeter Skills Partnership, who were mightily impressed last year - so good luck to this year's Year 10's!
It is important to note that the criteria for winning was not solely for 'hitting the brief', but also associated to 'how' students contribute through the process, work well as part of a team, communicate, lead others, apply business/enterprising knowledge and of course, showcase their vision and creativity. Here we see the clear association between education, creating solutions to world challenges around sustainability and with respect to future careers and employability.