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Two hundred local pupils attend Eco summit at Crawley school

The Gatwick sponsored ‘Eco, Young, and Engaged’ (EYE) conference saw eight local schools and 200 pupils from Crawley and Horsham attend Ifield Community College on Monday to get a practical understanding of the environment and the importance of sustainability.

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Aged between six and seventeen, pupils chose between 13 workshops where they could learn about making their own compost and the wildlife within it, and about the effect that different clothing materials have on the environment and therefore which ones are more sustainable to buy and wear.

Other workshops included practical team challenges on how to upcycle (reuse) everyday items – such as using old milk bottles as planters for herbs – and how to harness the power of both wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity.

The conference is part of the wider EYE campaign which seeks to bring schools in West Sussex together to focus on the importance of caring for our planet – to promote sustainability and encourage young people’s interest in environmental issues.

Gatwick’s Head of Sustainability, Rachel Thompson, gave an introductory talk on what sustainability is and its importance for protecting the environment.  She also discussed Gatwick’s ‘Decade of Change’ report, which tracks the airport’s progress on ten sustainability targets set over a ten year period (2010 to 2020), and explained how Gatwick’s buildings and fleet are carbon neutral.

The sponsorship of the conference is part of Gatwick’s wider community engagement programme which aims to make lasting and positive impacts to local communities and young people. Gatwick is also partnering with 15 local schools as part of the Primary Engineer programme to help schools teach STEM-based subjects in a more relatable and practical way to inspire more students to study the subjects.

Rachel Thompson, Head of Sustainability, Gatwick Airport said:

“It was great to see the enthusiasm of the students and hear their excellent questions and ideas. We hope today’s event will inspire more eco school projects and also encourage more students to consider studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and pursuing careers in sustainability.”

Irram Ali, Ifield Community College Eco Lead, said:

“It was an honour to have been able to host the first Eco-Summit in Crawley. At Ifield Community College we are focused on encouraging our students to proactively engage with environmental issues and this was an excellent opportunity for such engagement to take place. All students were passionate and enthused and will hopefully implement some of their new knowledge in our local schools and community.”

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Crawley students put a literary spin on their ‘lockdown’ life

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Crawley College students have been putting a literary spin on their lockdown life.

Last month, the Maths & English team dared their students to enter a college-wide ‘LockDown WriteUp’ challenge.

Students studying GCSE English or Functional Skills were invited to write 250 words, either fact or fiction, about the lockdown experience and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

Around 50 stories came in, with a selection of them chosen to appear on the college website. Amazon vouchers were  also up for grabs as prizes for stories that impressed staff the most.

David Towsey, Head of Learning for English & Maths, at Crawley College, said:

“We were delighted with the response from our students. Many of the entries came from our GCSE English students, which – for me – makes their accomplishments all the greater as many of them previously had less confidence in their writing ability.

“The aim of the competition was to provide an opportunity for us to share our stories in this unique time, and to make people smile and feel more connected to each other and to their college community.

“The variety of entries was fantastic, and it was inspiring to see how the students really tapped into their imagination and left us wanting more – the aim of all good storytellers!

“We’re proud to share just a small snapshot of these on the website, and hope people enjoy reading them as much as we have.”

You can read a selection of the ‘LockDown Write Up’ Crawley College stories at https://www.crawley.ac.uk/lockdown-writeup

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