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Year 9 students have been honing their woodwork skills in Design and Technology class as they start the creation of a table lamp.


It was a pleasure to welcome our Yr12 students and parents in for our UCAS and Oxbridge information evening tonight. Advice and Guidance is a key part of our outstanding 6th form offer.


What a lovely way to work on their vocabulary.


Yesterday some of our Year 9 drama students headed into London to watch the West End production of Wicked - they will write a review and critical analysis of the show as part of their studies.


We are looking forward to welcoming Year 12 students and parents/carers to our UCAS Information Evening in the sports hall from 6.00pm.


A lively student-led debate happening in Year 9 Religious Studies class about gender differences and equality.


Some amazing books coming soon!


Trampolining Success Year 7 student Adam, recently competed in the National Trampoline and DMT League. He finished First place and took home a Gold Medal in the 9-13 Male category. A fantastic start to the competition season!


Year 7 were playing detectives in English class today - by acting out a murder mystery in preparation of writing their own murder mysteries later in the term.


What better way to kick off our summer term than a wonderful evening at our Jazz Night taking place next week with our talented musicians. Friday 26 April, starts at 7pm.Tickets available via ParentPay - £8 each.Cashless bar available.


Year 10 were making motors in physics lesson today using magnets and wire coil's, the hands-on activity deepened their learning experience and understanding of how motors work.


The Big One - Senior County Cup Football Final 🏆After an amazing season the Senior 1st XI play Bishop Stortford High School in the County Cup Final.We need you there 🫵KEY INFO:📆 Wednesday 24th April - 6pm Kick Off 📍Cheshunt Football Club, EN8 0RU🎟️Ticket Price: TBC


To celebrate National Scrabble Day, Ms Wildsmith has made an interactive game of Scrabble featuring mystery books! Come and have a go in the Library 📚


Term Date Reminder - Monday 15 April 2024 is an INSET day for staff, school will be closed to students.Tuesday 16 April - students return to school.Term dates can be found on the school website


New raised beds, just waiting for our weird and wonderful vegetable and flower seedlings to be planted! 🌱🌈🥕🍋🥒🌶️🫑


Students were fantastic this morning getting packed up and out early. About to take off on our first flight to Lisbon.


Yesterday we had a fantastic day walking around Sete Cidades crater lake, visiting coastal lava flows, lava caves and Ponte Delgada town.


A great day exploring today, starting with a forest trek with waterfalls and HEP dams followed by a dip in some geothermal pools!


Year 10 Geographers have arrived in Ponta Delgada, have had dinner and are settling into our rooms. Ready for a busy day sightseeing tomorrow.


Eid Mubarak to all our families in the SJL community celebrating this week!


Sport Tour 2024🇳🇱🏐A fantastic week of netball for the girls!A 3rd and 1st place result at the tournament shows how hard the girls have worked and have learned a lot this week. They should be very proud🥇🥉Well done to Aida and Lily, coaches players of the tournament 🏆


Sports Tour 24 - An amazing week of football comes to an end. The Yr9A team perform brilliantly in the tournament this afternoon - played 5, Won 3, Drew 1 and Lost 1. Crowing them ChampsThe Yr9B battled well in their games but didn’t have enough to podium. ⚽️


Sports Tour Update 24-Time to put the skills the girls have learnt into action🏐


Sports Tour 2024-Netball training is underway


Sports Tour 24 - Great first training session. Boys worked really hard and are ready for this evenings games vs Caesar FC and Rood Groen FC

Sustainability and Ethics


Sustainable development is a priority at Sir John Lawes School. We strive to ensure that it is a key part of the curriculum as well as a prominent feature in the way the school is managed. Pupils have demonstrated a keen interest in contributing to sustainable development and have taken a lead on many initiatives around the school. Our Eco-Schools group has made a significant contribution to developing the school’s commitment to sustainability and in 2022 Sir John Lawes became one of the first schools in Hertfordshire to achieve the Green Flag with Distinction award, a reflection of all the hard work completed across the school.

In the classroom

Sustainable development is a core part of the curriculum in Geography, Science, Citizenship and Design and Technology but also features in some way in the majority of subject areas.

Examples of work that students carry out within other areas of the curriculum include:

Technology - Year 9:

Junk sculpture project – students collect junk and use variety of products that would be thrown away as a starting point for a design & make project

Life Skills – Year 8:

Environmental issues unit covering topics such as sustainable development and global warming.

Animal Studies and Conservation – Year 9:

In this enrichment course pupils develop their understanding of local, national and international efforts to conserve the natural environment

Geography – Year 9:

Students investigate how sustainable the town of Harpenden is


Students learn vocabulary relating to environmental issues

We also have an annual Green Week organised by students from the eco-schools group in which they encourage staff to incorporate green themes into their lessons.

Past activities for this have included:

RE – Year 7:

Students produced posters on how Buddhism promotes green living.

Maths – Year 9:

Comparison of costs of low energy versus normal light bulbs.

Around school

Our eco-schools group and Junior Leadership Team created a school ‘Eco-Code’ to summarise the actions that they felt we should all be taking to improve the sustainability of our school.

Our Eco Code:

  • If you are not using the lights, turn them off.
  • Instead of leaving your TV on standby, turn it off completely
  • When you have finished with the computer, turn it off
  • Close windows and doors to prevent wasting heat in the winter
  • Use as much natural light as you can
  • Think: do you really need to print that? And if so, could you fit it on less paper?
  • Recycle paper and plastic using the school recycling bins
  • Try to walk to school or use the public transport instead of travelling by car
  • Turn off dripping taps - it saves money and energy!
  • Remember to look after the environment you live in

Examples of specific actions the school has taken to ensure greater sustainability include:

Energy: We have an energy monitoring system and use data from this to remind the school community about the importance of saving energy. We encourage students and staff to turn off lights and computers when they are not using them and have a programme to switch off computers at the end of the day.

Waste: We encourage students and staff to reduce waste. One measure we have taken is to allocate printer ‘credits’ to give more of an incentive to think before printing.  Another initiative has been to design our own mugs made out of recycled material which are now used for meetings rather than disposable cups. Our eco-schools group have worked to encourage others to be more responsible with their waste through delivering assemblies and improving the labelling on our bins.

Water: We have installed water flow regulators to the cisterns that flush the men’s urinals which has resulted in significant water saving.

Biodiversity: We have a dedicated biodiversity area behind in which pupils from the eco-schools group have put up bird feeders and are in the process of building a bug hotel. This is an ongoing project and any ideas would be welcome of other things to include.

In the community

We try to make an effort to contribute to sustainability outside our own school. Students have been involved in delivering assemblies and workshops on themes such as climate change and waste reduction in a number of local primary schools. Last year our Sixth Form ‘Green Leaders’ delivered assemblies on food miles to several local primary schools.

Our Leading Practioner for Global Dimension and Sustainable Development spends half a day a week supporting other schools in the county to develop activities in this area. This includes running the St Albans City and District Sustainable Schools Ambassador Programme. Over the last 5 years we have trained over 300 ambassadors from nearly 50 local schools. During their training they learn about what it means to be a sustainable school and explore what they can do to make a difference. They go on to carry out at least one activity a term aimed at making their school more sustainable.


We recognise that many environmental problems might have both local and global consequences. We encourage students to think beyond the impact of our actions on our own lives and to think about the consequences further afield.

For example, in 2013, several of our students attended a conference on Farmers Feeding our World run by Oxfam in which they were challenged to think about some of the challenges facing food producers around the world as well as to think about what they could do in response to these challenges. 


Eco-Schools is a global sustainable schools programme which helps schools work towards becoming more environmentally friendly and improving sustainability. By attending the Eco Schools club, called Sustainable SJL,  students learn about pressing environmental issues which they care deeply about, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Eco Schools provides a seven step framework for making a difference in school, in the local community and beyond. Each year schools work toward the prestigious Green Flag award which recognises the efforts made by the school to improve sustainability, which Sir John Lawes has achieved for over ten years. In 2021 a merit or distinction award was introduced for those schools who go beyond the basic seven step criteria. In summer 2022 Sir John Lawes became one of the first schools in Hertfordshire to achieve the Green Flag with Distinction award, a reflection of all the hard work completed across the school. Sustainable SJL meet weekly at lunchtime, and are supported by the sustainability leaders from each form class.

Some of the sustainability achievements that helped us achieve this award are:

  • Running a ‘Switch off’ campaign to encourage students and staff to turn off unused lights and monitors
  • Raising awareness and reducing use of single use masks during the pandemic
  • Sharing tips and recipes for plant based meals
  • Growing indoor plants from cutting to put in each form class
  • Growing our own produce in the Eco-Garden which has sold to staff, and used in the canteen
  • The school planted over 1000 trees at Porters Hill Park
  • Climate Action Group organised climate protests at lunchtime, uniform swap shops and led assemblies to raise awareness
  • Sir John Lawes organised and led the Climate and Environmental Sustainability Conference held at Rothamsted Conference centre with all trust schools attending
  • Sustainability being taught across the curriculum including in geography, science, art, business studies, religious studies and PE

Sustainable schools ambassadors

Sir John Lawes are the hub school for the St Albans and District Sustainable School Ambassador Programme. This is a district wide scheme that aims to make schools more sustainable at the same time as bringing together students and teachers from across the district. All participating schools nominate two ambassadors who will serve for a year. These ambassadors are then invited to attend a training day held at Sir John Lawes, where they learn more about the issues facing us today and what they can do to help. All ambassadors are then expected to undertake at least one activity per term to help make their school and the wider community more sustainable.

SJL also runs a Green Leaders Programme for Sixth Form students for local schools which involves training a group of Sixth Formers to deliver assemblies in primary schools. Last year our Green Leaders delivered assemblies on food miles to three local schools. 

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