When I created the school’s Social Impact Programme and sustainability plan, there was one non-negotiable condition – it had to be led by our own pupils. It is important that we ‘do’ what we preach. First and foremost, we have done this by engaging our pupils about what change we should make and secondly empowering them to turn their ideas into reality. Our current Shell students have been appointed as the school’s first Change-Makers. It has not only proven that when you properly engage with young people, but also give them the toolkit to ‘do’, you get incredible results which is equally as rewarding for them. Since September there has been lots of change at St. Michael’s. I can say that with my hand on my heart, it has been fantastic to see what has been proposed and implemented by our pupils; work which has completely surpassed my expectations. Our goal remains – to encourage every child at St. Michael’s to do ‘a little bit better’ than anyone thought possible and they have certainly done that.
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy Our pupils campaigned for a more energy-efficient school. The project is being led by two of our Shell pupils, who are currently liaising with the Jersey Electricity Company and its plumbing and heating partner Isle-Eco. Their aim is to complete an audit of the school’s energy consumption in addition to fitting our buildings with solar panels by the next academic term. Our intention is not to cost save but to do the best we can to reduce what we put out into the environment. Our work on this project will lay the foundations for a future of good practice in construction at St. Michael’s. Goal 15: Life on Land – the most important goal that underpins the other sixteen It was vital that the students got ‘stuck in’ with 16th February a momentous day as students ‘broke ground’ – literally. In partnership with local charity Trees for Life Jersey, 350 saplings were hand planted by our eleven Shell pupils. The saplings, provided by the charity were made up of bare root stock formed from a mixture of Bird Cheery, Common Plum, Common Pear, Cherry Plum and Privet. The purpose of this project is to increase our biodiversity impact and to connect other patches of trees and hedgerow to create our own living corridors for wildlife. This project has been led by another two of our pupils, who have attended project meetings, put plans together and liaised with the charity to make this change happen. We are very thankful to the SMPA who has contributed £700, with, we hope, the remaining funds raised from our St. Michael’s non-uniform ‘Green Day’ taking place on 11th March.
Looking ahead The next five months will see our Social Impact Programme grow along with the personal, social and academic development of our pupils. As Jersey Water celebrate their 140th anniversary this month, we felt it relevant for the whole school community to embrace Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Our pupils will explore how St. Michael’s can play a part in ensuring the world has a healthy and sustainable water supply, both locally and globally. In summary It has been new territory for our pupils to be leading so much change by themselves, but this is what makes our programme and school unique. There is certainly something special and about the St. Michael’s community. To be involved with and to see first-hand the changes that our pupils are making towards transforming our world makes me very proud to be your Headmaster. It would be wonderful to see businesses in the Island encouraging more input from young people and embracing their vision. It is, after all, their world too.