St Mary’s RC Primary School entered the eco competition launched by Stagecoach North East as part of its annual Green Week campaign. 17 young eco warriors from the school completed an activity sheet, listing as many environmentally friendly activities as possible, with ideas such as litter picking, recycling and switching off lights when not needed.
The young pupils also demonstrated their design skills with bright and colourful pictures of a Stagecoach bus and its passengers on a journey, and the school was selected as a winner from all the schools in Sunderland, thanks to their efforts.
The school was presented with a £250 cheque which will be used to buy green items for everyone to benefit from, including recycling bins for school. As a thank you to the school and to reward the youngsters for their hard work, the school received a visit from bus drivers and trainers, Steve Hamilton and Wayne Doran, from the Sunderland depot, along with a gas bus.
During their visit, Steve talked to pupils in assembly about the different types of buses, including petrol, diesel, hybrid and gas, and how Stagecoach has developed them to become much cleaner and greener over the years to help protect the environment.
The children also learned that Stagecoach operates 70 million passenger journeys in north east per year, covering 21 million miles, so having cleaner air and less emissions will help them, the generations to come and the future of the planet. Wayne demonstrated another method of ‘green’ transport with his ‘pet’ Emu, which the children loved, and they were given the opportunity to ask Steve and Wayne questions about buses, Stagecoach and green technology.
Following the talk, pupils were able to explore the gas bus, and the winning eco warriors were also treated to a short trip, with goody bags for everyone that took part.
7 year-old Isaac Burns, a pupil at St Mary’s RC Primary School, said: "I loved colouring in the competition sheet. I was so happy to win a goody bag and I really enjoyed the ride on the gas bus.”
Steve said: “Pupils at St Mary’s Primary School sent in a fantastic range of activity sheets and thought up some great ideas to be ‘green’. In particular, we really liked the colourful work of eight-year-old Sophie Anne Sutherland, so well done to Sophie and all the youngsters who took part.
“The children really enjoyed the visit and it was lovely to see them so enthused about the environment, which they are clearly passionate about. I hope the school can add to its green credentials with the prize and keep up the great work they are doing.”
Miss Kathryn Watt, teacher at St Mary’s RC Primary School, said: "The children at St Mary’s were very keen to take part in the Green Week competition organised by Stagecoach and they completed the ‘green’ activities during their half term holiday. They are very enthusiastic about looking after the environment so the competition was a great way for them to put into practise what they have learnt.”