Sustainability: School pupils team up with football club

CREDIT: This story was first seen on Gloucestershire Live

School pupils teamed up with the world’s greenest football club as part of an innovative new project to teach children about sustainability, Gloucestershire Live reports.

Year seven pupils from Sir William Romney’s School in Tetbury, visited Forest Green Rovers as the final part of a term-long study of the club’s green ethos and its plans to build a new stadium, Eco Park.

The project has been running as part of the school curriculum for six weeks, and includes lessons on sustainability, numeracy, geography and employment, before finishing with this week’s field trip to The New Lawn and the proposed site for FGR’s new stadium near junction 13 of the M5.

The pupils went on FGR’s Eco Trail Tour to find out about the sustainability measures in place at The New Lawn, cooked vegan food, met goalkeeper Sam Russell, and discussed the club’s plans for Eco Park.

Tanith Lynham, humanities leader of learning at Sir William Romney’s School, said: “Forest Green Rovers has been a fantastic vehicle to explore so many aspects of geography, as well as providing a perfect hook for many of our young students.

“The green and sustainable ethos of the club has allowed students to explore the feasibility of sustainability in sport. Whilst their plans to relocate have provided an ideal local geographical enquiry exploring the impacts of a move for all involved.

“It has been great to have such a geographically rich learning resource on our doorstep, as well as an opportunity to undertake a relevant and ‘hot’ geographical enquiry.”

Sir William Romney School has already shared the lesson plans with other local schools as a free resource and FGR vice-chairman David Drew paid tribute to Tanith’s efforts.

“What she and the staff along with FGR ambassador Helen Taylor have done is first class,” said Mr Drew. “She has done it in her own time and for someone to take up this and share it with other schools is what collaboration between schools should be about.”

Goalkeeper Sam Russell gave up part of his day off to field questions from four groups of children, and FGR ambassador Phil Butterworth showed pupils around the Eco Trail.

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“It’s a brilliant exercise by the school,” he said. “It’s first-hand experience of what they have been learning in the classroom.”

Ecotricity biodiversity chief Simon Pickering took the pupils on a tour of the site where club chairman and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince wants to move to in Eastington, then they canvassed opinions of residents in Nailsworth and Stonehouse on the proposal.

Helen Taylor, FGR ambassador, said: “It’s been fantastic working with Sir William Romney School on this project. Pupils have been applying their skills and knowledge in lots of exciting tasks, from calculating the quickest and most sustainable way to travel to away games to learning about the impact of our potential move to a new stadium.

“It’s a great template for making education fun and relevant, and it’s a project we hope to continue to develop as more schools get involved”.

Forest Green Rovers is the greenest football club in the world, and became the first fully vegan club last season when they removed all dairy products from the menu.

The sustainability features at The New Lawn include a solar powered robot lawnmower, electric car charging points and solar panels that provide energy for up to 30% of the stadium.

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