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Another major landmark

has been reached by

Prior's Court young people

in their ambition to

make a difference to the

environment.

Prior's Court reached silver status

in the Eco-Schools scheme at the

end of September, after earning

bronze status in March last year.

Only the top-rank Eco-Schools

Green Flag status now remains to

be achieved.

In recent months, despite the

challenges posed by coronavirus,

activities have continued as

part of the Eco-Schools scheme,

including a plastic-free picnic

during Plastic-Free July and a sitewide litter

pick in September.

While nine of our young

people are on our Eco-Schools

committee, the events in the past

year have featured dozens of our

young people taking part.

Nickie Dunphy, Prior's Court

Purchasing Manager who is

leading on the Eco-Schools

project, said: "Our aim with this

project has been to empower

our young people to make

a difference to the natural

environment around them

by allowing them to lead

on and participate

in direct, positive

action. It has been

brilliant to see

the creativity and

dedication which

has gone into our

projects.

"As part of the steps

towards the silver

award, the Eco-Schools

committee chose to focus on

the topics of water, marine and

litter which are being embedded

into learning and general life

across Prior's Court as we now

work towards Green Flag status."

Any type of school can join

Eco-Schools, but due to the

complexity of the conditions the

young people at Prior's Court are

affected by, members of staff have

produced adapted methods to

meet the criteria to achieve EcoSchools

targets, as to meet the

needs of the young people.

This has included adapting

communication

methods and creating on-site

methods of reaching certain

targets (such as using Virtual

Reality to learn about the 'marine'

theme).

Our green initiatives were also

recognised in the Plastic-Free

Foundation's annual report which

mentioned our plastic-free picnic.

Silver status in Eco-Schools bid

Birdfeeders made

by our young adults

- two of whom have

since moved on

from Prior's Court

- are now keeping

feathered friends fed

in our Countryside

Learning Centre

(CLC).

As part of the

Trade Skills

vocational

stream in

the last

academic

year, young

adults

Peter,

Patrick,

Ricardo and Ben made

birdfeeders.

Our young adults cut, glued,

painted and varnished the

birdfeeders, with the help of Trade

Skills vocational stream Job Coach

Jamie. The tasks enhanced and

generalised the woodworking

skills of the young adults. Over

the summer, Peter and Patrick

transitioned on to new provision.

Now the birdfeeders are in

the CLC, meaning Peter and

Patrick continue to contribute to

Prior's Court life, even after their

transitioning on.

Filling the feeders is a task our

young people are now being

given as part of the Land-based

vocational stream to complement

their learning about animal care.

Feeding birds and keeping a legacy

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