Environmentally conscious children at Ty Isaf Infants & Nursery School have thanked their retiring teacher for running their Eco-Committee for 10 years.
Later this month Carol Cooke will retire after 26 years of teaching classes at Ty Isaf Infants & Nursery School, which includes a decade as the school’s Eco Co-ordinator.
During that time, Mrs Cooke has helped pupils implement a variety of healthy and environmentally friendly initiatives and activities that will culminate in the school receiving the prestigious Platinum Eco School award later this month. The Platinum Eco School award is the highest accolade in the Eco Schools programme.
Over the years Mrs Cooke has worked with the school’s Eco Committee to implement changes to save energy, water and electricity. The key ethos is for pupils to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ and ‘Help keep their world safe’. Children play an important role in ensuring different types of waste are recycled in the correct manner.
Pupils are encouraged to eat healthy meals at lunch times, and fruit is made available as a snack at break time.
Areas of the school grounds have been allowed to grow to encourage ‘mini beasts’ to occupy the area, while children are responsible for ensuring that the school and its grounds are tidy and litter free.
Mrs Cooke has also worked with the school’s Junior Road Safety Committee to improve safety outside of the school, writing letters to parents and ‘naughty parkers’ asking them to park safely.
“We’ve been promoting good practice and making the children aware that it’s not just our little bit of school that we need to take care of, it’s our bit of world. The children really have taken it on board, and it is very rewarding to see that they take so much pride in taking care of the environment around them,” explained Mrs Cooke.
“This is a very friendly school, and the children, staff and parents have all been fantastic. I’m sure they’ll continue all of the hard work carried out by the Eco Committee as it’s now embedded in their school life.”
Mrs Cooke intends to spend time with family and enjoy lots of walking during her retirement. Eventually she plans to take up voluntary work to help others.
Cllr Ken James, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning & Sustainable Development, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations and thanks to Mrs Cooke on a long and distinguished teaching career.
“Her work with the school’s Eco-Committee has led to widespread changes across the school and wider community, and she should be proud of the legacy she is leaving behind.
“On behalf of everyone at the council, I wish her a long and happy retirement.”