Students at Archbishop Ilsley Catholic Technology and Sixth Form Centre work alongside teachers and catering staff to produce high-quality compost from food and garden waste.
The Birmingham school has made huge strides in composting since joining the Food for Life Partnership, a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture.
The school’s in-house catering team uses lots of freshly prepared vegetables and fruit, and place all uncooked food waste in large collection bins outside the kitchens. The lead teacher for gardening, Christopher Price, transports the heavy bins to the composting area, where the students take charge of managing the ratio of green to brown waste going into the compost. Students are also responsible for turning the heap, adding garden waste and diagnosing problems.
Engaging the wider school community
As with many schools, space is at a premium at Archbishop Ilsley. In addition to the on-site composting, students are involved in composting at the school’s nearby allotment. The school’s allotment group meets every Sunday and students’ families are welcome to join in.
The school’s aim is to get the whole school community involved in composting and inspire more people to take up composting at home. The lead teacher has run seminars to teach parents how to make and use compost, while students have run composting awareness sessions at open days and parents’ evenings.