PUPILS and staff at the Clackmannanshire Schools Support Service were recently recognised for their climate change work.

They were awarded their sixth Eco-Schools Green Flag after recognising how important it was to be doing their bit to help the planet.

An Eco-Schools Green Flag is awarded to acknowledge, reward and celebrate the ecological achievements of young people.

It demonstrates that their hard work is appreciated and it provides them with the confidence and motivation to continue actively engaging with environmental issues now and throughout their lifetimes.

Jim Thornton, senior phase principal teacher, explained how respecting and taking care of the planet is now part of the curriculum.

He said: "The current focus on climate change has been huge but we've recognised that this has been coming so we've been going since 2002.

"We recognise working with the environment as not just the right thing to do but [as] a potential career pathway.

"It's not just added on now, it's part of our curriculum. It's part of our biology curriculum, Eco-Schools forms parts of our environmental studies and modern studies and geography.

"It's firmly embedded into the curriculum."

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and also having to move the whole school to new premises, the CSSS showed real resilience over the pandemic, continuing to work towards their Eco-Schools challenge.

Over the past two years the school has worked on school grounds, challenging poverty, health and wellbeing, energy saving and litter.

Jim added: "It's a stepping stone into the real world outside of school and being able to recognise and be part of the world that's around them and realise how important it is to contribute to making the world sustainable."

With the COP26 World Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow next month, the school is already ensuring the event is being filtered into the curriculum.

Jim continued: "Our Eco-Schools committee are heavily involved in planning what we call IDL – Inter-Disciplinary Learning – which [means] every subject will feature some aspect of it, whether it's the figures involved in how much water's wasted or the geography aspect as well."