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St Mary’s wins national awards for recycling and peer mentoring

Two Community Education Awards 2014-15 have been presented to St Mary’s School for Girls, Colchester, in recognition of successful recycling and peer mentoring initiatives.

More than 2000 entries were submitted for the Community Education Awards, which are affiliated to The Police Community Clubs of Great Britain, and acknowledge schools’ efforts to help children and young people to become responsible community members. A winner’s plaque and a certificate were presented in assembly and received on behalf of the students of St Mary’s by Eco Co-ordinator Mrs Sarah Wilding, Principal Mrs Hilary Vipond, Head of Personal Social Health and Citizenship Mrs Karen Margery, former student Abigail Hughes and Chair of Governors Mr John Pendle. The school will also receive educational resources to further the good work.

St Mary’s Eco Team, led by Mrs Wilding, won the Green Schools Recycling Project Award for whole-school recycling efforts, which involve collecting waste paper, pens, textiles and even bras for recycling. The school is an Ambassador Eco-School and is run with sustainability in mind – much of the school’s water is recycled and energy use is carefully monitored.

St Mary’s peer mentoring scheme, led by Mrs Margery, was the runner-up in The Action Against Bullying Award. Year 11 girls are trained as ‘Listeners’ and offer help and advice to other pupils, as well as operating a ‘Buddy’ system which makes sure that all new pupils have a friend to support them throughout their time at the school. Accepting the Community Education Award on behalf of St Mary’s Listeners was Head Listener 2014-15, Abigail Hughes.

‘Looking after the well-being of our young people and also our environment are of huge importance to us at St Mary’s,’ said Mrs Vipond. ‘It is very gratifying for our whole community that the enormous amount of effort that goes into making sure our school is successful in both of these crucial areas has been recognised nationally.’

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