St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust, which covers 17 schools in Yorkshire – 2 secondary and 15 primary – were joined by a host of famous faces and remarkable individuals as they celebrated Earth Day 2022 early.
Last year, the Trust was the only academy group in Yorkshire to feature on the worldwide Earth Day map, highlighting their dedication to protecting the environment. This year is no exception, as the Trust continues to ensure climate change – as the Government plans for 2023 outline – is at the ‘heart of education’. Climate change has been at the heart of the Trust’s curriculum since it was formed in 2019. The outstanding successes achieved to date have been recognised by the Department of Education’s Sustainable Schools Award as well as the individual schools’ Green Flag Accreditations.
Margaret Land, Sustainability Officer at SMCCAT, said: “Every day is ‘Earth Day’ for the students and staff at St Margaret Clitherow, as we continue to work towards the 2030 nationwide ‘Let’s Go Zero’ campaign.
“The theme for Earth Day this year is ‘Invest in our Planet’, and our schools are continuing their commitment to protect the planet by planting trees, litter picking, beach combing, making bird feeders and helping the wildlife to thrive.”
Ahead of the global Earth Day on April 22 – which falls in the school holidays – the Trust lined up an impressive array of speakers and environmentalists, one for each of the 17 individual schools, to visit last Thursday, March 31. As well as WWF ambassador and Cold Feet actor, Cel Spellman, and Mike Green, Chief Operating Officer of the Department for Education, offering their words of support via video, other headline speakers included the UK’s leading sea-ice scientist, a marine biologist, a beekeeper, a flood alleviation specialist, and a seal protector!
Key organisations including Surfers Against Sewage, The Woodland Trust, The University of York, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, and climate solutions charity, Ashden – who lead on the national schools’ campaign ‘Let’s Go Zero’ – also visited the schools, as well as major household names: Octopus Energy, Nestle, and Harmony Energy.
Amy Rice, CEO of St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust, said: “Sustainability has always been at the heart of everything we do as a Trust, from investing in a dedicated sustainability manager, embedding it into our curriculum, building it into our decision-making, as well as being one of the first Trust’s to adopt the ‘Let’s Go Zero’ pledge.
“With an ambitious mission to become the first net-zero academy trust in the UK, the schools are looking forward to celebrating all that they have achieved in the last 12 months, as well as their exciting plans for the year ahead.”
The schools marked the start of their Earth Day celebrations with a live, virtual call from Arctic Scientist, Prof. Peter Wadhams, credited with being one of the first scientists to show that the ice that once covered the Arctic Ocean was beginning to thin and shrink.