group of teenagers walking through woods

Green Dunottar

At Dunottar we embrace our responsibility for environmental protection locally, nationally and globally and recognise the importance of integrating this responsibility into our pupils’ education. We are committed to continuous improvements to our environmentdriven by our Sustainability Policy and by the ideas and initiatives emanating from our pupils at Eco Club

Sustainability

As part of United Learning, Dunottar is working towards a group-wide target of being Carbon Neutral by 2030 through a variety of different initiatives.

  • In 2019, we built a new Sixth Form Centre, followed by the construction of a new Performing Arts Centre which was opened in 2021.  All new buildings on the school site are energy efficient, incorporating heat reflective glass to keep them cool instead of energy-intensive air conditioning.  Our new buildings are insulated to a high level and use under floor heating rather than radiators.  Automatic intelligent LED lighting, incorporating sunlight and movement sensors, ensures that light usage is minimised and lights cannot be left on unnecessarily.
  • In 2020, single use plastics, such as cups, were banned on site.
  • Over the last two years, 65% of the lighting throughout the school has been replaced with LEDs.  By 2022, this figure will be 100%. 
  • We are committed to our Travel Plan and to reducing the number of cars travelling to the school sitePupils can travel to and from school using our coach servicewhich currently covers seven different routesFamilies are encouraged to cycle or walk to school where possibleand in 2021we are looking to launch a car sharing app to further reduce the traffic volume around the school. 
  • All United Learning schools use electricity suppliers who generate 100% green energy.

Conservation   

Dunottar is set in 15 acres of beautiful grounds, including extensive natural woodlands which are home to many native creatures such as deer, foxes and badgers. These natural habitats are protected and maintained, allowing biological diversity of the school’s land. All the mature trees on the site are protected by preservation orders and any trees removed are replaced twice over.  

In 2020, Dunottar introduced beehives as part of the conservation strategy.  These hives produce hundreds of jars of Dunottar honey each year.  

Education

Through the Global Citizenship programme, pupils develop an awareness of the wider world, looking at sustainability and how they can play an active part in the global community. With the increasing threat of global warming, never was there more of a need to make our pupils aware of the world beyond our doors and the part that we all play in this. 

We run several environmentally focused co-curricular clubs, offering pupils the opportunity to increase their understanding of the natural world and to take an active part in its preservation. 

Our ECO Club meets regularly to discuss environmental initiatives and address the school’s responsibilities. Previous initiatives include a campaign to save energy around the school, regular litter clearing, planting native trees, making plastic-free Christmas crackers and encouraging families to walk and cycle more.

Beekeeping Club members tend our onsite apiary, home to around 40,000 bees, learning all about these amazing creatures who play such an important part in our food production and local ecology. 

Pupils who attend our Gardening Club have been learning about seasonal planting, making homes for small wildlife by creating areas for bugs and bees, and developing their understanding of recycling.  

In 2019, pupils and staff worked together to create a natural, outdoor classroom nestled in the extensive woodlands at Dunottar. Under a canopy of branches, pupils have delighted audiences with their drama productions, enjoyed team building and woodcraft activities and unleashed their natural curiosity looking for bugs and other creatures in this versatile space.  

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