‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’
(Nelson Mandela)

The United Nations states that education is key to addressing in Climate change, for this reason schools play a pivotal role in a sustainable future. Not only can schools reduce their own impact by minimising waste, energy and enhancing their space using plants and trees, but how they can lead by example, demonstrate, inspire, motivate and empower will determine how our future generation will live their lives.

The following is a list of projects, tools and campaigns for schools that will help to reduce your schools carbon footprint and deliver a curriculum that is more environmentally focussed.

General school resources


​To keep up to date and share your experiences that others can learn from please join Eco Education Essex This is a Facebook group managed by Eco Essex / Eco Colchester and En-form. Also sign up to their free newsletter for teachers. 

Essex County Council have a put together an Essex wide resource for how to become an Eco School

Register to become an Eco School or to volunteer as an eco assessor. Eco-schools’ assessors – rely on volunteers, but lots of benefits to joining.

Sign up to receive free newsletters and support from Eco Kids 

Campaign Against Climate Change have developed ‘Climate Change Education in Schools’ guidance and resources

UK National Association for Environmental Education NAEE supports a wide range of professional educators to help them improve the quality of their teaching and their students’ learning, in relation to environmental and sustainability issues.

Switch your search engines to Ecosia, the ethical search engine that runs on renewable energy and plants trees every time you search.


Forest Schools & Land skills 

Together we grow are a Not for profit Social Enterprise improving the lives of communities and individuals through encouraging engagement with nature and in particular with Food Growing. Their HQ are at the beautiful Big Garden located in High Woods CP Colchester. They work with a number of schools in the Colchester area, contact them for more details if you want to get your school involved.

ART Abberton Rural Training deliver a programme of practical and skills training to residents of Essex and surrounding areas with a particular focus on supporting those living in rural locations who need help to access jobs, or further education and training, in the rural sector.

Wellies on CIC offer educational services and takes referrals from schools and colleges and works primarily with young people aged between 11 -16 years.

Writtle University College offer higher education degrees in Regenerative farming.​

Beth Chatto Education Trust offers school visits, courses and workshops their ethos will be conveyed using the basic ecological principles that run through many environmental education activities for children. As well as this they also offer Forest School events throughout the year.

Essex Wildlife Trust can provide forest school support and services to schools, in addition they can provide a wonderful learning resource book called Lost Words via donation.

​Get your school involved with Essex Wildlife Trust 30 days Wild challenge, an annual event that encourages you to do something ‘wild’ every day for the month of June, whether it be tree gazing or building a log pile for insects.

Colchester zoo offer school trips for schools offering a range to sessions to promote conservation of wild animals.

RHSCampaign for School Gardening  Receive your free welcome pack: Join the Campaign and receive support to develop a sustainable garden for young people’s learning, health and wellbeing.

Pesticide Free Schools is a resource for informing and encouraging schools to find an alternative and environmentally friendly method of ‘weed’ control that doesn’t require harmful toxins

Forest School Set up and train your staff to become forest school leaders

Learning through Landscapes help schools by offering transformation of school grounds and teacher training, plus knowledge and expertise gained through practical action and research


Planting trees and hedges

Trees and hedges make up an important part of the landscape and should be an important part of school grounds. Not only will they improve the environment around the school they will attract wildlife, help reduce pollution, reduce noise from outside the school, improve security (it is harder to get through a hedge than climb a fence), and if you plant fruit trees it will help you deliver the heathy eating agenda. A number of schemes offer schools free trees and hedges and offer advice on how to plant them and look after them

Eco Colchester are able to apply for free trees and hedges on behalf of schools, orders are placed late Autumn. Get in touch. Our main provider is TCV – I dig trees

Orchards for Schools Offers a pack of 5 fruit trees, apples, pears and cherries to school and trees suitable for hedging. Offer is available until 23rd February 2021.

Free Trees for Schools and Communities Woodland Trust

​Trees for Years Held every year by Colchester Borough Council and provides free trees and shrubs every year to schools in the borough of Colchester.

The Essex Forest Initiative This project is run by Essex County Council in partnership with Essex Councils and the Forestry Commission.


School Transport 

Walking school Bus Encourage children to stay active and discourage car use by joining or setting up a walking school bus

First Essex School / College Services information on discount travel for students

CAReless Pollution toolkit for schools Use this toolkit to help young people understand more about the air around them and encourage everyone to take action to help improve air quality in Colchester.

​Check out the Clean air Colchester video a great video for assemblies to raise awareness of air pollution and how to reduce emissions.

3PR School transport information such as car sharing and how to create a Sustainable Transport Plan for schools. For schools based in Essex


School Waste Reduction and Recycling


Composting at schools RHS have provided great information on how to get started; collecting food from the canteen and using it to make lovely soil for your school grounds or vegetable patch.

Plastic Free Schools / surfers against sewage SAS is a good stepping-stone prior to Eco Schools. It offers resources for reducing plastic and waste in schools.

​​Terracycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste. As well as removing this waste stream from the general waste, the waste collected can earn rewards for your school or favourite non-profit.

​Organise ink cartridge recycling through The Ink Bin and raise funds for the school at the same time.


Energy and Water

Anglian Water school talks – covers all Key Stages up to A level. A range of topics from water efficiency and pollution to climate change and sustainability are offered. Sessions are fun, interactive, with challenges and self-directed projects. They have also developed resources for learning at home in response to coronavirus

​Free teaching resources by the Energy Saving Trust suitable for classroom or remote learning, to help your students to learn how to address the climate emergency

Save Money Cut Carbon have developed 10 best ways to save water in schools

Waterwise have developed a water saving guide and resource for schools

​The Government have provided top tips for sustainability in schools