Environment Cabinet Secretary visits Camphill Eco SchoolType: News
Topic: Ecology and sustainability
Community: Ochil Tower School
Published on: 27th January 2020
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform and local MSP, Ms Roseanna Cunningham, visited Ochil Tower School today. She was interested in finding out more about the activities and initiatives the school is undertaking, as an Eco-School and as a Fair Trade School, to continuously improve its environmental performance, and to help tackle global poverty and inequality.
Stuart Provan, the CEO of Ochil Tower School, said:
We are delighted that Ms Cunningham has been able to visit our school. Her remit as Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform is one that resonates with our aims at Ochil Tower.
Protecting our environment is something that we teach and promote each and every day with our young people. The mantra of positive environmental action through reducing, recycling and reusing are key tenets to the ethos of our school.
Within our curriculum we regularly focus on Fair Trade and tackling poverty initiatives through engaging our children/young people in supporting others. We organise events to raise funds and this can involve dressing up, making events fun, selling goods that the young people have made themselves, or sponsored walks or running activities. We ensure the funds raised support local and global good causes, often in relation to environmental protection.
Through our focus on these key themes we are able to support young people to become active citizens in their own communities around Scotland when it comes to the protection of our environment.
Ochil Tower School was awarded its first Green Flag in 2010, and has received a further three Green Flags since then. Ochil Tower School has also been a Fair Trade School since 2014, and in 2017 was awarded its Fair Achiever School Certificate. Staff and students at Ochil Tower School are actively working to protect the environment, and to promote sustainable development.
Dr Neil Henery, the Director of Camphill Scotland, said:
For eighty years the Camphill movement has been guided by a strong environmental ethos and we have brought to life many modern ecological practices such as organic farming, community-supported agriculture and green banking. We are delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to Ochil Tower School to see for herself how this ethos continues to inform the culture and practices of the school.
During her visit, the Cabinet Secretary heard first-hand from the staff and students about how Ochil Tower School’s Environmental and Fair Trade projects are helping to protect the environment, to promote fair trade and to tackle global poverty. After visiting Ochil Tower School, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit Ochil Tower and hear from its staff, pupils and young people about the actions and activities the school continues to drive forward to embrace and promote sustainability, and foster greater understanding of our natural environment across the wider community.
The Scottish Government is committed to listening to the voices of the next generation, especially on vital topics like climate change. Young people will play an ever-more important role as we continue the journey towards becoming a net-zero society by 2045, and our schools are pivotal in educating and engaging pupils in protecting our environment.
- Ochil Tower School was established in 1972. Ochil Tower School provides specialist support services to young people aged 8-21 years old with a learning disability or other complex health needs. Ochil Tower is a vibrant school, and at its core lies a pedagogical approach of working with children with a heart, head and hands approach. Its staff and volunteer co-workers support children and young adults in a residential home setting, as well as in school. The school is a community where there are always learning opportunities to be enjoyed and experienced.
- Ochil Tower School and the other Camphill communities place great importance on ecology, and on care and consideration for the environment. These have been key features of Camphill life from the very beginnings of the Camphill movement. Camphill in Scotland has striven to build, and to develop, the connections between people and the land. These factors are embedded in the Camphill ethos.
- Ochil Tower School is part of Camphill, which has become a global movement, since the first Camphill community was set up in 1940 at Milltimber, Aberdeenshire by Austrian Jewish refugees. The Camphill movement is international in its outlook with more than 119 communities now established in 27 countries around the world. Camphill has maintained its strong European roots, and employees and volunteer co-workers from other EU countries make a significant contribution to the work of the 11 Camphill communities including Ochil Tower School, and to the care and support, and education, they provide for people with learning disabilities and other support needs.
- Camphill Scotland is the membership body for the 11 Camphill communities in Scotland, including Ochil Tower School. Together, Camphill Scotland’s members support more than 600 people with learning disabilities and other support needs, ranging from children to older people. The communities are located in a variety of beautiful settings across Scotland, from Dumfries to Aberdeen. Each offers a supportive community life with personalised opportunities to find purpose and belonging through a wide range of social, cultural and work activities. Each Camphill community is an independent charity, and a separate legal entity.
- Further information can be obtained from Stuart Provan, CEO, Ochil Tower School, on 01764-662416 or 07712-660285, or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org); or from Robert McGeachy, Policy and Engagement Manager, Camphill Scotland on 07825-149005 or by email (email@example.com)