How every second counts on climate change

Kingswood Primary School

Children help get the basics right at Essex school

Every second counts when it comes to saving the planet, say Essex children who are celebrating their school green project.

The children from Kingswood Primary School and Nursery in Basildon, are now looking forward to a warmer better insulated school thanks to a new air source heat pump, insulation, solar PV, and windows.

Kingswood Primary School

Kingswood Primary School and Nursery in Basildon, Essex


Credit: Salix Finance

They invited our team at Salix, along with guests from Essex County Council and Mitie, to their Clay Hill Road school for a special assembly and to demonstrate what a difference the technology has made to the way they learn, to the local community around them and to the overall health of the planet.

The project, funded under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, is part of an Essex County Council initiative to decarbonise its buildings. It means the school can be more energy efficient as well as save on bills.

School student Avanish, aged 11, aspires to be an aeronautical engineer and he wants to look at the electrification of planes as a way of future travel. 

He said: “If we keep doing what we are doing, it will cause more climate crisis and it will get hotter. Some people like the heat but it is too hot for us to adapt.

“We don’t have much time, but it is possible to change our world, and we’re doing it here.”

“I do recommend others take on a project like this, it does take an open mind, you have to be adaptable, and you have to communicate with the key stakeholders all of the time.

“We’re setting this school up for the future, maintaining the infrastructure, it’s better for everyone as well as for the planet.”

Emma Campkin Headteacher Kingswood Primary School & Nursery

She said that the children felt so strongly about the issue they had turned the whole week into Eco Week with a focus on learning about their energy consumption.

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During the assembly on Tuesday a representative from Essex County Council and Mitie talked to the children about the importance of the work at the school.

Essex County Council assistant project sponsor Chloe Breach said: “It’s very important to engage the children in a project like this and it has worked so well.”

Eleven-year-old student Poppy, who wants to be a nurse when she leaves school, added: “If we don’t take care of the environment, then we are harming the planet and look at the damage we cause, like deforestation and seeing animals and people losing their homes.”

Essex County Council received £2.5m under Phase 3a of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. The scheme is run by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and delivered by Salix.

The Council has also installed low carbon heating systems including air source heat pumps, variable refrigerant flow technology (VRF)], solar PV, insulation, LED lighting and new windows at nine buildings as part of the initiative and now plan to decarbonise a further 18 sites under phases 3b and 3c of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. 

Facilities Manager at Essex County Council Lisa Freshwater said she was thrilled with the project at Kingswood Primary and is now looking forward to the next fully decarbonised school at Tollesbury where they will be installing their first ground source heat pump.

Today at Kingswood Primary School and Nursery the children can enjoy better insulated and more comfortable classrooms and more reliable heat systems and hot water. Of course the children are most excited about how they are having a more positive impact on the environment.

Programme Manager at Salix Rebecca McNamara said: “It is wonderful to see the children so engaged with this programme and to see how they are learning about climate change by looking at the very real issues facing their day to day lives.

“They are so enthusiastic and are very clear about how all of us have a responsibility to change things so we can all have a healthier future.”

In the meantime, these children will continue to spread the message about the importance of reaching net zero in a bid to address climate change issues.

Avanish added: “In the future we will have to leave our planet because the earth will look a bit dead and especially if people don’t listen.

“But we are listening.”

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Kingswood Primary School and Nursery in Basildon, Essex


Credit: Salix Finance

Thank you to the wonderful children at Kingswood Primary School and Nursery for inviting us to celebrate their decarbonisation project and visit their amazing school.