1st February 2024
In an era where climate action and sustainability are more crucial than ever, Windsor Academy Trust (WAT) stands at the forefront of educational transformation. The visit on Thursday, 1st February 2024, by colleagues from the Department for Education, including Nature Park Programme Director Scott Caine and Climate Action Plans Project Manager Kimberley Sangha, underscored this commitment. It was more than just a routine visit; it was an opportunity to showcase how we've strategically integrated environmental care into every aspect of our trust.
Morning Insights: Unveiling Sustainability Strategy
At the beginning of the day, our guests had the opportunity to meet with Dawn Haywood, our CEO, and Chris Berry, Director of Operations, setting the stage for insightful discussions and collaboration. The meeting held at WAT’s Halesowen office was focused on meaningful conversation and practical future planning. Our guests got a first-hand look at the WAT Sustainability Strategy and our committed effort to integrate climate action education into our teaching. This strategy is more than just a document; it's a practical step forward, aiming to make a real difference within our trust and the broader community.
Bridging Theory with Practice: Visits to Manor Way Primary and Windsor High School
The true heart of our strategy shines through its real-world application. Witnessing our dedication to sustainability and climate action come to life during visits to Manor Way Primary Academy and Windsor High School and Sixth Form was truly inspiring. The highlight of our visit to Manor Way was meeting with our enthusiastic eco warrior team, a group of students passionately driving our environmental goals, along with Assistant Headteacher and Sustainability Lead, Laura Brettle and Executive Headteacher, Lisa Buffery. Similarly, at Windsor High School and Sixth Form, our guests had the opportunity to meet with our incredibly dedicated students, who championed our sustainability initiatives, Wakas Hussain, the Sustainability Lead for the school, curriculum lead Helen Kinsey and Executive Headteacher Stephen Lanckham and see the remarkable impact and dedication of our students and staff.
Lisa Buffery, Executive Headteacher at Manor Way Primary Academy said:
It's a privilege to open our doors to visitors and share our sustainability journey, knowing it will inspire and energise our staff and children to keep up their incredible work.
Stephen Lankcham, Executive Headteacher at Windsor High School and Sixth Form added:
“Having guests experience our sustainability initiatives first hand reminds us of the importance of our mission and reinforces the motivation for our dedicated teams to excel in their extraordinary efforts.”
National Education Nature Park
At the core of WAT's sustainability ethos are innovative initiatives that are enhanced by programmes such as the DfE’s National Education Nature Park. These programmes transcend traditional environmental education; they are comprehensive, transformative endeavours designed to instil a profound, lasting respect for nature in young minds.
The National Education Nature Park initiative is a clarion call for engagement with the natural world, urging educational spaces to transform into thriving habitats rich in biodiversity. It's a platform for young learners to actively partake in community science, biodiversity monitoring, and data analysis — fundamental skills for the architects of a sustainable future.
Envisioning a Sustainable Future
Summarising the visit Chris Berry said:
“On behalf of Windsor Academy Trust, I would like to thank Kimberley and Scott for visiting us today. We also want to express our appreciation to our exceptional schools, Manor Way Primary Academy and Windsor High School and Sixth Form, for being such wonderful hosts. We are excited about the prospects of working even more closely with the DfE climate action team and our partners to further our commitment to sustainability and make a positive impact on our shared future.”
As WAT continues to prioritise sustainability and climate action across its education and operations, the initiatives it leads serve as examples of innovation and optimism. This journey goes beyond education; it's a mission to nurture a generation of informed, dedicated, and proactive individuals, ready to contribute to a cleaner, safer, and greener world.
Windsor Academy Trust's strong commitment to sustainability and climate action education reflects its forward-thinking approach and values, influencing every aspect of the communities it serves. As this journey unfolds, it aims to inspire, transform, and engage not only its immediate community but also the broader society, shaping a future filled with hope and confidence.