RHU Primary School pupils raised the flag to celebrate their latest achievement in protecting the environment.

The school, which has been part of the Eco-Schools Scotland programme for 15 years, has its own Eco Committee – made up of teachers, class reps and friends of the school – which chooses environmental topics and sets its own goals to achieve each flag.

The school’s sixth Green Flag was achieved in January this year, following the pupils’ dedication to learning and implementing school and class-based projects about litter, energy and health and wellness.

“Eco-Schools Scotland praised us for our local litter cleans in the woods, at the park and on the beach,” said primary two teacher and committee member, Maureen Air.

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“They were impressed by our ‘War on Plastic’ and our efforts to reduce plastic waste in the school canteen, and our ‘Switch Off Fortnight’ plans to reduce electricity use.

"They were especially pleased to learn that we not only encourage healthy food and exercise in the school, but also positive self-esteem for the pupils. The committee keeps us very busy!”

The programme, linked to the curriculum, is entirely led by the pupils.

Each Eco-Rep – two per class, voted for by their fellow classmates – listens to their class’s ideas and brings these to the committee meetings, which meet at least twice a term, or more often if there’s a more intensive project underway.

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“The pupils may have to write letters or do their own research – often on their own time at home - and may have to present their ideas to the whole school,” explained Maureen.

The knock-on effect is not just benefitting the environment, but also pupils’ confidence - and their enthusiasm to look after their village.

“Sometimes I am shocked by what we are doing to the world, so I try to do small things to help, like recycling and picking up litter,” said P5 committee member, Millie.

“Being on the committee has given me the confidence to speak out at meetings and school assemblies,” said P4 committee member, Aspen.

“We have all enjoyed being on the committee,” said Ethan, P5. “We like to help with special events outside school, like the beach clean.”

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The Eco-Committee is already working toward its seventh flag, which will be one of Argyll and Bute schools’ highest achievements, focusing on litter, waste minimisation and water.

The school’s dedication to the environment will see it continue to wage its local – but effective - war on the global environmental issue of plastic pollution, and put the focus on energy saving ideas.

The school celebrated its achievements with themed activities for pupils last week as well as a morning Eco-Walk around the village, before the pupils raised their well-earned, sixth Green Flag on their return.