Stow pupils praised for eco work

Stow Primary School kids have been praised for their continuing commitment to raise awareness of recycling and sustainability.

By Kevin Janiak
Friday, 24th September 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 10:03 am
Primary four pupil Hector French with the Surfers Against Sewage trophy.
Primary four pupil Hector French with the Surfers Against Sewage trophy.

It is three years now since the school made national news when they became one of The Hunter Foundation’s original #100 Disrupters. They then went on to achieve social media success in 2019 when they launched their Millions of Reasons to Recycle video, focusing on the key statistic that 70 percent of the waste in our general kerbside bins could have been recycled.

Since then, they have gone from strength to strength and are now an accredited Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free School and are working with fellow Stow residents to become a Plastic Free Community.

They were also crowned Scottish champions for the third year in a row in the Better Energy School Awards for Excellence in Environmental Education.

The pupils were praised at a Scottish Borders Council meeting held on September 23 (during this year’s Recycling Week).

Councillor Carol Hamilton, executive Member for Children and Young People, said: “As a council we are deeply committed to making the necessary changes to becoming more sustainable with Our Climate Change Route Map, aimed at setting the Scottish Borders on a path to ‘net zero’ by 2045, absolutely key to those goals.

"What is also vitally important is that we work together with our residents and communities on this challenge with Stow Primary absolutely showing us just what can be achieved when determination, creativity, enthusiasm (and hard work) are put toward a shared goal.

“Many congratulations to pupils and staff alike on your achievements so far and all the best with your future plans as I have no doubt there will be many more initiatives and ideas to come.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The children were also congratulated by the leader of the school's parent council.

Marion Healey-Smith, chair of the Stow Parent Council, said: “The team at Stow continue to work incredibly hard on all their projects and it’s amazing to see how much the children have learnt and gained through their commitment to sustainability.

"It’s been another challenging year, so to be Scottish champions again and to continue to deliver on these areas is something to be extremely proud of.

“Their Surfers Against Sewage award was given in recognition of the numerous campaigns and initiatives the pupils have led to educate and change people’s mind sets around the necessity for climate action and to achieve this at national level is very impressive.

"They really are an example to us all and hugely deserving of our congratulations.”

And proud-as-punch primary four pupil Hector French told the Southern: “I feel so excited to have won The Surfers Against Sewage Awards out of the whole country.

"All of our work in trying to save our ecosystems and planet is being noticed."

Among their many other achievements include running pupil-led enterprises that sell bamboo toothbrushes, sustainable Disrupter Christmas crackers and Disrupter reuseable face masks.

They have also arranged litter picks and created a recycling centre that is well utilised as a community facility; developed a food-growing project; and worked with the Borders Forest Trust and a local farmer to create a school and community woodland, with every pupil planting a tree during National Tree Planting week.