Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

COP26 finished early last week after two weeks of intense negotiation with a ‘global agreement to accelerate action on climate’ nearly 200 countries agreed to work together to keep the target of 1.5C alive.

It is a massive challenge to get different countries to agree and takes intense negotiation but is so vital if change is to happen, this was echoed by Sir John Redwood when he visited The Holt on Friday. He emphasised that for change to happen it needs to be a multilateral not a unilateral decision.

We held our own version of COP26 when Environmental Representatives from each form presented their ideas about how we can solve environmental issues globally and within our school and local community.

The students presented brilliantly, Year 7s led the way with their well-prepared speeches and PowerPoints suggesting meat free days, alternatives to single use plastic, biodiversity gardens, composting and tree planting amongst many other things, this was followed by Year 11 and 10 putting forward ideas for community projects involving less use of plastic, recycling, fast fashion, community gardens and lots about litter!

Year 8 and 9 will present their ideas next week and the panel we will decide upon those strategies which will be our school environmental projects for the rest of the academic year.

It was interesting to hear suggestions that involved the development and use of new technologies for example solar panels and grey water systems. Sir John Redwood agreed and also talked about green hydrogen and nuclear energy when he later met with a small panel of students to answer their questions about climate.

The geography department continued with the theme of climate change by showing all of their classes the David Attenborough COP26 speech, if you haven’t seen it, it is available online and well worth a listen. He emphasised the need for multilateral action and pointed out that a new Industrial Revolution based upon sustainable technologies is needed and is in fact already beginning.

The geography department also explored alternative protein sources – specifically bugs. Year 9 classes learnt that 1kg insects only create 1g of greenhouse gasses compared to 2.8kg for the same weight of beef. Water use is similar 1Litre of water is required for 1kg of insects compared to 22,000 for the same weight of beef! The students got to taste a variety of different flavoured crickets during the lesson, the majority really liked them, Miss McNally did not as you can see below!

I feel confident that we will develop technological solutions, although myself and Miss McNally are not too sure about eating bugs! it is great that so many students are aware of these issues and keen to make changes.

Yvonne Smith
Assistant Headteacher