Message for world leaders at COP26

Act Now - message for COP26

Our pupils have sent a powerful message to world leaders at COP26, urging them to ‘ACT NOW’.

80 senior pupils created this striking, large scale message by standing together and using their mobile phones for illumination which was captured by Harry Melsom (S6) flying his drone high above Brotherton Castle.

“Lathallan is a school of the environment. Learners are nurtured by nature and as a result, they work hard to look after and maintain the ecosystems around our school grounds and beyond. This message, created by students, aims to amplify the message that we must act now, the decision-makers must deliver on climate change for those who will be most impacted – the next generation. There is no time to spare.”

Richard Toley, Headmaster at Lathallan School 
Harry Melsom flying his drone to capture the shot

“Often pupils have a favourite tree on the grounds or a favourite spot for watching birds and other wildlife. This develops a passion in pupils to care for their immediate environment. Coupled with educating pupils on the importance of protecting our planet, by the time pupils are entering the Senior School, students show a lot of respect for the outdoor space, and great enthusiasm to be involved in the Eco Club and environmental initiatives.

Zoe Jordan, Head of Science at Lathallan

When pupils were asked about their views on climate change and what inspired them to create this message for world leaders, Julia (S6) said: 

“I got involved in our school Eco Group partly due to my love for nature and wildlife. As I’ve progressed up the school and the reality of climate change has become more vivid, I am trying to live more sustainably in order to protect these things.” 

“I’m inspired by a lot of teen activists, such as Greta Thunberg or Autumn Peltier, as they have dedicated themselves entirely to living sustainably. This also extends to their ability to capture the attention of people that can make a big difference – as well as promoting a more sustainable lifestyle for those who may think their decisions are unimportant in the grand scheme of things.”

Tigerlily (S2) was recently selected to participate in the Young Scot Climate Co-design Group, made up of young people from across Scotland. She said: 

“It isn’t a question of inspiration, it is a question of obligation. If we are going to change the planet everyone has to take part. It’s a necessity.” 

Last month, we were the proud recipient of the national ‘Small Independent School of the Year’ award at the Independent School of the Year Awards 2021 with judges noting our commitment to environmental education.

Finding Snails at Lathallan

Lathallan has received its fifth Green Flag Award from Keep Scotland Beautiful, with assessors commending the range of activities and enthusiasm for outdoor learning throughout the school.

The Eco-Schools programme, operated by Keep Scotland Beautiful is a pupil-led initiative which empowers young people to make positive environmental changes in their schools and communities. 

The Green Flag Award is recognised internationally, setting a standard of outstanding environmentalism and sustainability.

Lathallan Eco Club and the fifth green flag
Lathallan’s Eco Club Senior Reps

Over the past year, pupils at Lathallan have undertaken a huge range of projects, including forming their own Eco Club, tree planting, organising an eco-fashion show, carrying out regular beach cleans and local litter-picking, growing fruit and vegetables for lunches, bird watching, limiting the use of single-use plastics and encouraging energy saving switch-offs. 

“We are delighted to receive our fifth Eco-Schools green flag. Eco-schools has been an excellent programme for educating and informing our young people, connecting them to nature and empowering them to create change on our journey towards a sustainable school for the environment”.

Mr Toley, Headmaster

Head of Science at Lathallan School, Zoe Jordan said: 

“It is great to receive this recognition after all the energy our pupils have shown for the environmental initiatives. A particular highlight for me was when pupils submitted their own well thought out climate pledges as part of Climate Week North East this year.” 

Harry Gray, Head of Junior Eco Club

“I commend the work that Lathallan School has been doing over the last few years as they renew their Green Flag Award again.  As a school community Lathallan has worked hard to ensure that what they do has an impact both within the school but also in the local community. The students’ efforts and determination to develop their interest in climate change and the environment is testament to Lathallan School’s ability to create a place that allows them to express themselves in ways they feel they can have a positive impact on learning for sustainability.” 

Education and Learning Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, Jamie Spalding

Lathallan’s S6 pupil, Oliver Noordermeer said: 

“It makes us feel that we can all play a part in the fight against Climate Change and create a better future for us and future generations”.

Pupils at Lathallan School in Johnshaven participated in a beach cleanup on Earth Day

Lathallan School has a website dedicated to the students’ sustainable activities. Students not only share updates on their projects, they also provide helpful tips about recycling and other sustainable choices. To find out more about Lathallan School’s Eco Community visit