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Tiny turbine gives school the power...

PUBLISHED: 13:06 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:04 08 July 2010

Youngsters at North Pickenham and their school turbine.

Youngsters at North Pickenham and their school turbine.

IT may be dwarfed by its nearest rivals on the edge of Swaffham but a mini wind turbine is helping a mid-Norfolk school give its environmental credentials a huge boost.

IT may be dwarfed by its nearest rivals on the edge of Swaffham but a mini wind turbine is helping a mid-Norfolk school give its environmental credentials a huge boost.

St Andrew's Primary School in North Pickenham was recently praised by Ofsted inspectors for the way it nurtures it pupils.

Now staff and the school's 68 children have shown that they take nurturing the environment just as seriously.

Fresh from their positive Ofsted report the school has been able to make it a double celebration by finally setting the sails of their new electricity generating windmill in motion.

The 9m-high turbine, which was donated to the school by renewable energy company Enertrag, should now produce enough electricity to power all the school's lights.

Headteacher Jeni Barnacle said that with the school having recently grown in size substantially, thanks to a new £853,000 extension, the turbine would help offset the cost of the increased use of power and would also help preserve the planet for future generations.

She said: “The turbine has only been running for a couple of days and it has already produced 40kw of power.

“It will do our lights during school time and when we are closed it will go back into the grid and help save on our energy bills. We have had planning permission for the turbine for two years, so it has been quite some time coming, but seeing it working is very exciting.”

Mrs Barnacle said the turbine was just part of the green ethos at St Andrew's.

The school places a strong emphasis on the environment in its teaching and already has an established school garden where the children help grow vegetables for school dinners.

There are also plans afoot to build a new environmentally friendly straw bale classroom.

“We believe in nurturing the children, nurturing the staff and nurturing the environment,” added Mrs Barnacle.

Inspectors from Ofsted visited the school at the end of last term and have just published their findings. They judged the school good in every inspected category.

The Ofsted report said: “St Andrew's is a good school with notable strengths in the way in which it supports and guides pupils' personal development and wellbeing. “Pupils and their parents are very enthusiastic about the nature and quality of the education that the school provides.”

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