Eco champion Hannah nominated for major prize

A nursery teacher at a Ravensthorpe school has been shortlisted for a top award for her work on the environment.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 8:00 am
Hannah and pupils with the award-winning Great Yorkshire Show veg box

Hannah Tombling, a science and eco co-ordinator at Diamond Wood Community Academy, helps children learn about the importance of looking after the planet.

Hannah, 40, has been shortlisted for Environment Champion in the prestigious TES Schools Awards 2021.

Now in her 19th year as a teacher, Hannah is passionate about the environment and she leads on the school’s eco council – a kind of school council – and also on ecology and environmental issues.

Hannah has been praised for keeping children engaged with environmental issues

The award nomination is for the 2019-20 academic year which straddled the Covid-19 pandemic.

During lockdown when the school was closed to most pupils, Hannah visited children at home to keep them engaged, delivering gardening equipment, bulbs, seeds and planters.

Hannah, who has previously worked at primary schools in Norristhorpe and Birkenshaw, said sustainability and protection of the natural world was something she was passionate about.

“It’s something I’ve done throughout my career but here at Diamond Wood we are probably among the forerunners,” she said.

“It’s important that we teach the next generation because it’s what we do that will make an impact on the future.

“If we aren’t recycling or we don’t reduce single-use plastics we will be creating problems. If Henry VIII had dropped a plastic bag it would still be there today. That puts it into perspective. We are all just guardians of the planet.”

Care for the environment is at the heart of school life at Diamond Wood. From reducing the mowing of the grassed area to encourage dandelions for the bees, to becoming a Fair Trade School to ensure overseas farmers receive a fair price for their crops, eco thinking is always front and centre.

Last year Hannah helped Diamond Wood youngsters win the School Veg Box Award at the Great Yorkshire Show.

The competition, held virtually last year, saw the youngsters record how they planted and harvested herbs and vegetables. The school had been a runner-up before but this was the first time it had won.

The TES awards will be announced online on June 25.