Alnwick school wins national award for environmental efforts

An Alnwick school has picked up a national award for its efforts to promote sustainable travel.

By Ian Smith
Monday, 18th October 2021, 1:58 pm
Headteacher Mark Phillips and a student at Barndale House School celebrate their award win. Picture: Barndale House School.
Headteacher Mark Phillips and a student at Barndale House School celebrate their award win. Picture: Barndale House School.

Barndale House, a special educational needs and disability (SEND) school, took the SEND School of the Year prize at the Modeshift STARS National School Travel Awards.

Mark Phillips, headteacher at Barndale, said: “We are genuinely over the moon! When we were shortlisted for the national awards we thought that would be the icing on the cake but to actually win is phenomenal.

“Everybody connected to the school whether that is teachers, pupils, or parents are all sustainability ambassadors. I really couldn’t be prouder of everyone’s efforts.

“Our deputy head, Helen Hemsley, is our travel champion and she has implemented many creative ways to keep us all moving and becoming more environmentally aware such as walking a marathon on our lunch breaks.

“The pupils have also had fantastic ideas and recently challenged all teachers to walk to school. There was a 100 per cent take up and as a result the school car parks were empty which was great to witness. It was lots of fun and also very rewarding.”

Nick Butler, business director at Modeshift, added: “Barndale is a fantastic example of how a SEND school can adapt national initiatives to suit their setting and also develop their own initiatives tailored for their school and pupils’ needs.”

Tweedmouth Middle School won the Secondary School of the Year award.

Barndale has signed up to The Big Northumberland Gear Change campaign for the half term holiday.

The Go Smarter team at Northumberland County Council created the campaign to encourage residents to think twice before reaching for the car keys on shorter journeys.

Rick O’Farrell, executive director for regeneration at Northumberland County Council, said: “There are so many sustainable initiatives out there that encourage all of us to be more mindful of our daily commutes, however, we wanted to create a hyperlocal campaign that resonated more with residents.

“The Big Northumberland Gear Change has been a huge success this summer with thousands of families and individuals deciding to swap their cars for their bikes or even their feet. The feedback has been amazing, and we are excited to see what the future holds for the campaign.”

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