We are delighted that we have been awarded Salix grant funding through Blackburn Diocese Board of Education, to carry out work in school towards making our school carbon neutral. This is so important to us here at St Laurence's because it is key to living out our vision as we strive to protect and restore the wonderful world that God created for us. We demonstrate our values of Love, Justice, Hope and Excellence by doing all we can to care for our planet and the abundant life that lives on it. We are advocates for climate justice in our school, where we teach hope, resilience and the right to a sustainable future.
Having a small carbon footprint is better than having a large one, and our goal is to become 'carbon neutral'. This is when the combination of all your activities releases the same amount of CO2 as they absorb. When you are carbon neutral, your carbon footprint is zero.
The work included:
The extent and the amount of work that has been undertaken is truly ground-breaking and we are only one of two schools in the county of Lancashire, indeed in England, where this kind of project has been completed. We are very lucky indeed and this has only been possible due to the vision and energy of Sam Johnson, Deputy Director of the Blackburn Diocese Board of Education. Thank you Sam!
You can read more about the work that has been carried out and our progress towards Decarbonisation below and watch the videos below to find out more.
You can also read more about the work of our Eco-Ambassadors and how they live out our vision on the Eco pages
On Tuesday 9th November, our Eco team hosted and led a virtual primary schools summit in Chorley. We wanted to share our decarbonisation success story and find out what other schools were doing. We also wanted to use this as another opportunity to share our message about tackling climate change, in particular letting the politicians in Glasgow know that this is a serious emergency for our planet and that we are looking to them for meaningful change.
Find out more about our COP26 Summit here
On Friday 15th October, we were visited by Rt. Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, the Leader of Chorley Council - Cllr Alistair Bradley and the Deputy Leader - Cllr Peter Wilson together with other guests from the council. We were also joined by Sam Johnson Assistant Director of Education for Blackburn Diocese and Phil Gornall from Cassidy and Ashton, Project Manager for the project. Our visitors met with members of the Eco Team and the School Council who asked about the council’s plans for climate change and told them about their hopes for the future. You can read their letters in the photos below We were extremely proud of the children and our visitors were impressed by their messages of what they want for the future. Sir Lindsay thanked them for empowering him with information about our pioneering work that he will take to COP26 in Glasgow. We cannot thank Sam enough for his vision for our school and want to use this as a platform to educate the children and our community further on what we need to do collectively to make a difference globally.
You can read the article in the Chorley Guardian using the link below
Our senior Eco-Ambassadors from Y4,5 and 6 were delighted to welcome special visitors to school on Friday 8th October, taking the opportunity to interview them about our ground-breaking Decarbonisation Project. Our visitors included Sam Johnson, who looks after all the school buildings in the Blackburn Diocese: Phil Gornall, who has been the project manager making sure all the technical work got done on time, and Mike from Mantis Energy, who was responsible for designing the project and recommending which solution was best for us. We are so blessed to have these experts, who have brought so much passion to our project. They have told us that our project is unique in this country and that so many people, including the government, are looking to our school to see how other schools , and older buildings, can be improved to make them greener. They were also joined by a film-maker, who has filmed the whole of the transformation project over the summer (when we weren't here), and he finished some extra filming with Mrs Marquis today. Sam told us that our film about our school is going to be shown to ALL the delegates at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, to show everyone in the world what can be achieved for the good of our planet.
We were delighted to welcome our Decarbonisation Supremos, Sam Johnson and Phil Gornall, as well as Architecture Students from Sheffield University, to school today to learn more about how we are successfully and dramatically reducing our carbon footprint.
Mrs Marquis has given our Eco Ambassadors a sneaky peak inside the old boiler house. This has now been transformed into a new gleaming heat transfer plant, crammed full of modern technology which will provide us with green, renewable energy. The ground source heat pipes, which now sit underneath our school field after all the digging and drilling over the summer, have been connected to the pumps and the heat exchangers in the boiler house. The pipes are already hot and this is being used to supply our hot water in school. Work is now being done to connect the pipes to our heaters inside school, so that we will be able to heat the inside of school with renewable energy when the weather gets colder. We are well on our way to decarbonising our school!
There have been so many changes to our school over the summer holidays, as the transformation and decarbonisation got underway. 60 solar panels have been installed on the roof of UKS2 and are now generating electricity that we are using in school. This means our energy is now coming from renewable, clean sources (the sun) and not from fossil fuels. Our Upper Junior Eco Ambassadors have been marvelling at the amount of electricity we are currently generating. We can tell when the sun goes behind a cloud!
The project kicked off before we broke up for the summer holidays with the commencement of work to replace the old fluorescent lights with new energy efficient LED lights.
But the really heavy duty work began once term has finished and the plant machinery could make a start on the ground source heat pump and cables underneath the field.