The future holds many challenges for young people. Climate change, obesity and global poverty are clear examples. Our current model of development is placing an increasing burden on the planet. In order to secure the future of children all over the world, we need to make a decisive move towards sustainable development.

Empowering young people to take responsibility for their own future is not only desirable: it is a crucial feature of their education.

A sustainable school prepares young people for a lifetime of sustainable living, through its teaching, fabric and its day-to-day practices. It is guided by a commitment to care:

  • for oneself (our health and well-being)
  • for each other (across cultures, distances and generations)
  • for the environment (both locally and globally)

Care has repercussions. It is hard to imagine pupils showing respect for other people, cultures or the natural world if they don’t possess an underlying sense of care. Care also instills responsibility. Schools that involve pupils in the design of playing areas experience reduced incidents of bad behaviour, including bullying and vandalism.

Above all, sustainable schools contribute to sustainable development. They make a positive effort to demonstrate responsible practices for their young people and communities, and engage them in learning about the issues and potential responses. The vision encompassed by sustainable schools – which at its heart is about ensuring the world is a fit place for children to grow up in – offers schools a bigger picture in which to direct their school improvement efforts.

Information taken from ‘Planning a Sustainable School’ (Department for Children, Schools and Families – May 2008)


At Yateley Community Pre-school:

  • We grow fruit, vegetables and herbs in our pre-school garden, we learn about growing our own food and we use produce grown in our pre-school garden in some of our cookery activities.leaves
  • We attempt to reuse, repair and recycle as much as possible:
    • We use second-hand toys and equipment where they are safe and fit for purpose.
    • We reuse old tractor tyres to play on and crawl through, as plant containers and in our mud kitchen.
    • We recycle old mobile phones and printer cartridges to raise funds for pre-school.
    • We sell unwanted items from our parents on e-bay to raise funds for pre-school.
    • We take part in the Bags2School fundraising scheme which facilitates the reuse and recycling of unwanted clothing and shoes.
  • We use natural materials in our pre-school garden such as bark flooring and wood stepping stones. We have a number of insect hotels in our pre-school garden.bug hotel
  • We model social inclusion, enabling all pupils to participate fully in pre-school life. Our children have the opportunity to learn about different cultures, countries and languages.
  • We model corporate citizenship within our local area. We worked in partnership with the Yateley Common Rangers to run a pre-school outing at Yateley Common. We run stalls at a number of local fundraising events such as the Yateley May Fayre and the Lions Christmas Market, and we invite other local charities and organisations to run stalls at our summer fete.image3