Sustainability | Cheam School

We shall continue to nurture and grow a greater awareness of our natural world through enjoyment and appreciation of the wildlife and the beauty of our 100 acre rural estate. Linked closely to this, a consistent and steady drive must be created within Cheam to aim for our school to be increasingly sustainable and to make progress towards becoming carbon-neutral within the next decade.

We will support and encourage our pupils to understand and embrace their stewardship role in caring for our planet and the need to act responsibly for future generations. Electric bus routes; eco-friendly buildings and recycling facilities and systems are all areas that can be considered and advocated for by a new pupil ambassador council.

“The planet is an extreme area of concern for pupils. We need to nurture and grow their understanding of the natural world. A greener Cheam is what the next generation wants and deserves. It really matters how we chose to use our planet and our school site into the future.”

Headmaster, William Phelps

“The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve. People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.”

Prince William President, The Earthshot Prize

Our environmental sustainability strategy

  • Unite and coordinate stakeholders on a joined up approach and report regularly on progress
  • Identify achievable demonstration projects to grow and scale interest
  • Explore growing our own produce and introducing food technology into the curriculum
  • Baseline our carbon footprint and set achievable goals on a pathway towards net zero
  • Create educational facilities to encourage food awareness and energy usage. Our operating philosophy will be to reduce consumption and wastage, reuse and recycle whenever possible, source sustainably and locally as much as we can, seek efficiencies and invest wisely in new technologies and alternative sources of energy.

The Journey to net zero

Cheam’s pathway to net zero is integrated within its multi-year estates masterplan. This will see progress towards net zero achieved alongside renewed investment in the site. It is in the best interests of our planet that Cheam aims to lower its carbon emissions by over 240 tonnes per annum. With the potential to eliminate on-site combustion, reduce utility costs, add greater market resilience and generate our own power, there is a strong business case as well.

Eco-Committee | Prep and Pre-Prep

Our enthusiastic Eco-Committee (Prep) and Green Team (Pre-Prep) meet each term. They are tasked with supporting the School’s environmental sustainability plans. Here is their list of things that they ask us to try and do:

  • If you are going somewhere a short distance away then walk or cycle
  • Turn the lights off when you’re not using them
  • Plant one tree a year
  • Try and use less plastic so it doesn’t end up in landfills or the oceans
  • Don’t litter!
  • Go on a litter pick
  • Reduce, try and eat less meat
  • Don’t cut down trees
  • Recycle everything that you can
  • Grow your own vegetables
  • Eat meat that has been farmed sustainably/ shop local
  • Look after your local environment
  • Reuse clothes and old furniture, rather than buying new ones
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Eco-Day | Pre-Prep

Our Pre-Prep Green Team love Eco Day. With activities inspired by the children’s ideas we started work on transforming our Sensory Garden so that it has a future as a rich environment for wildlife, a place for growing vegetables and a place to relax and enjoy nature. We started by clearing some of our raised beds and planting marigolds and nasturtiums to compliment the vegetables that have been planted in Gardening Club. We also renovated our bug hotel with special homes for all the bugs that we found in the garden on our bug hunt! In the future we hope to be able to enjoy tomatoes from our tomato plants and strawberries, raspberries and potatoes from the rest of the garden.

Over in our woodland area we made bird feeders for the birds and tried to identify the different calls. We made houses for hedgehogs whilst learning about their decline in our forests and countryside. It has been lovely to see so many of the children using their breaktimes to water their plants and how exciting to see the seedlings become flowers!

Eco-Schools Green Flag

“Thank you so much for submitting such a terrific application. We have loved reading about your journey and are incredibly impressed by all you have achieved. We have no hesitation in awarding you an Eco-Schools Green Flag, congratulations!”


We are so pleased to be able to share with you that at the end of the 2022-23 academic year we sent off our ‘Green Flag’ application to Eco-Schools and were successful.

Sustainability matters to me because we are the planet’s future and we deserve to have all the natural resources that past generations have been able to have.

Martha S Y7

Sustainability matters to me because when I grew up in Botswana I got to experience seeing lots of incredible animals and places and I want my children and their children to experience that too.

Isla B Y7

Sustainability matters to me because I want animals to live in a safe and happy environment. I also want there to be more species of animals that can thrive. And I don’t want them to be affected by my human mistakes.

Lexie S Y7