Plastic Free Penrice: Seas Our Future

Penrice Academy to Launch Plastic Free Campaign

Penrice Academy is to join a growing list of communities around the country with a mission to cut back on single use plastic for the good of our oceans.

With the help of St Austell Mayor Gary King and the team at Cornwall’s Surfers Against Sewage, students at Penrice are excited to launch Seas Our Future – their very own Plastic Free initiative.

The first step involves every member of staff and every student at Penrice being given a brand new aluminium bottle to use around school, in order to cut back on single-use water bottles.

This is ahead of the Academy’s Open Day on Thursday 27th September 2018, which will be entirely themed around the ocean, with lessons in Science and Art during the day tackling what are real environmental issues.

With Charlestown harbour on the doorstep, the health of our coastline is very much on our students’ minds.

Mrs Gurd, Assistant Principal who has kick-started the campaign for Open Day, said: “It is no secret that the time to act is now. Our job is to inspire our students to make good decisions and have a positive impact on their planet.”

“With their current attitudes and ambitions, really it’s the students who are inspiring us.”

In 2018 for BBC School Report, Penrice students had the opportunity to report on the stories that meant the most to them – and plastic pollution was top of the agenda.

Tilly, now in Year 8, had only been at Penrice a few months when she approached her teachers about starting an Eco Club with her friends Hallie and Ellie.

She said: “We really feel it’s up to us to make the positive changes needed and there’s so much we can do as a school to change the way everyone thinks about plastic.”

Eco Club is now an option for Penrice Plus, the Academy’s extracurricular initiative on Thursdays, and will see students come together once a week to discuss the project going forward.

In 2015, with the introduction of the Plastic Bag Tax, Penrice students were also tasked with designing a jute bag for their community, a bag which is still being used by hundreds of students, staff and parents today.

This mind-set was also largely inspired by the school’s work with BBC Blue Planet producer Johnathan Smith, who spoke in February 2018 to a sold out audience of staff, parents and students, keen to learn more about the bigger picture.

Mr O’Brien, Science Teacher at Penrice, said: “Science is a huge part of everyday life at Penrice and beyond and we’re really proud to work with the likes of Blue Planet and Spaceport Cornwall to give our young scientists every opportunity to consider the world in which we live.”

“With our freshly refurbished science classrooms and our upcoming environmental projects, the subject is only going to get bigger and better at Penrice.”

In the run up to the Academy’s Open Day, the Penrice community and visiting Year 6s will be signing ‘Plastic Pledges’, to tell of the individual contributions they will make to plastic free society beyond school. These will then be displayed on Open Evening for everyone to see.

Tilly, along with other members of the Eco Club and some of the Academy’s Prefects, will be representing Penrice at St Austell’s Plastic Free Launch at White River Place on Saturday 22nd September, run by Mayor Gary King, who will also be spreading the message at the school’s Open Evening on the 27th September.

Mrs Gurd said: “With the growing support of towns across the county, St Austell’s Plastic Free launch and our students’ project on the horizon, this is set to be an exciting year for St Austell and beyond.”

Join us for Open Evening on 27th September 2018, 5pm – 7.30pm

Open Tours: Monday 1st October – Friday 12th October 2018