10 January 2020
At a star studded awards ceremony, Head of Geography and Eco-Schools Coordinator, Mrs Sarah Wilding was announced as Eco-Coordinator of the Year by Steve Backshall MBE at the Eco Schools Awards 2019 held at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester!
From achieving an Eco-Schools Bronze award in February 2007 to our sixth and current Eco-Schools Green Flag Award in March 2018, Mrs Wilding has been the driving force behind embedding environmental consciousness into the heart of St Mary’s School. Never sitting back, content with the school’s achievements, Mrs Wilding has constantly driven the eco-agenda at school with passion and positivity. Mrs Wilding’s leadership approach always focuses on what can be done, rather than despairing about current problems – this means that our students, from Kindergarten to Year 11, all have the belief that no one is too small to have a positive impact on climate change.
Over the last twelve years, the Eco-Schools work has had a noticeable influence on St Mary’s; from lowering our energy and water consumption to reducing food waste from the school’s Dining Hall. Mrs Wilding’s work has also impacted student attitude within the school. The girls feel empowered to take ownership of the Eco-Schools programme by thinking of their own solutions to the environmental problems they face both in school and beyond. Across the academic year, Mrs Wilding’s work constantly reminds both students and staff about the Eco-Schools ethos. All members of the school community look forward to the next eco-event, be it an Eco-week or recycled Halloween costume competition. Mrs Wilding’s eco-message shines in her teaching – lessons are infused with recycling ideas and consideration of environmental impacts. Mrs Wilding has also worked hard to build significant links with different subject departments to deliver an eco-message that permeates the whole of St Mary’s curriculum.
Recently, Mrs Wilding’s message has spread beyond school, encouraging environmental education in her local area by working with Colchester Borough Council to support and advise other schools on their own Eco-Schools journeys. She even writes a fortnightly eco-column for a regional newspaper. Mrs Wilding; has had the opportunity to deliver her message globally as she has begun to work with young people around the world to find solutions for a more sustainable future-this work, excitingly, leading to an international video conference in 2019.