‘Green Careers Week’ at St Columba’s Catholic Boys’ School

15th November 2023 Off By Claire Williams

Green Captains plant two Oaks in partnership with local businesses and college.

St Columba’s Catholic Boys’ School in Halcot Avenue, Bexleyheath certainly do offer a world class careers education programme! They launched their ‘Green Careers Week’ in style with a monumental activity – planting two Oak trees sponsored by Inspired Community Group and Provender Nurseries with the support of Capel Manor College and Level X.

The idea of planting an Oak came from an acorn – a conversation between Shayon a Year 11 student and Jamie Sanneh the Director of Level X. They were discussing possible careers for the future during a mentoring session and Shayon said that he loved gardening with his grandad – that idea snowballed!
The Headteacher, Dave Evans helped the idea grow by suggesting planting a Coronation Oak as it was 6 months since the King’s Coronation. When two local businesses Inspired Community Group and Provender Nurseries both generously offered to be sponsors – one Oak became two …the second Oak to celebrate the school’s 50th Anniversary.

The school asked London’s only specialist environmental college, Capel Manor College for some help to plant the Oaks. Denise Lloyd, Vice Principal at the College said, “We will send you Sophie Guinness our Head of Horticulture, she is amazing and her knowledge and passion for horticulture and garden design is inspiring.” Sophie was kind enough to stay for Year 10 assembly and shared insights into her career.
Jeanette Johnson, Chair of Governors at the school said, “We all had a lot of fun planting the oak trees today and the boys did an amazing job! They were so pleased with their efforts, and quite rightly so too!! What a great legacy!”

Jerome a Year 11 student while digging a hole for the Oaks was overheard saying to one of the younger students “Just think about it, our children and grandchildren will see these Oaks we have planted today grow.”

St Columba’s school is part of the South East London Catholic Academy Trust (SELCAT). The CEO, David Garrido also attended the event. He said, “St Columba’s is certainly making the most of ‘Green Careers Week’! It’s a great opportunity for students to explore careers in sustainability, which is one of the fastest growing career sectors.”

St Columba’s has much more in store for its students this week; Green PSHE Lessons, Green Assemblies, Go Green for CAFOD, Sustainability Planning culminating in a Dragons’ Den to decide which project will be awarded funding, Work Experience and carbon Literacy training at Footprint a sustainable scenery business in Sidcup and a trip for the Green Captains at the end of the week to see what makes Footprint a sustainable business.

It is not surprising that St Columba’s school is popular, oversubscribed and has a waiting list!