Poole High School - a Green School

In recent months and years the school has been trying to improve its green credentials. This year has seen some enormous strides with several large projects coming to completion – LED Lighting, Solar PV Panel installation and an Energy efficiency project with improved heating controls and monitoring.

Solar PV Installation

On Wednesday 4th September 2019 we officially switched on our PV system consisting of 592 panels capable of generating up to185 kwh of electricity. In teh first week alone we have prevented 1.5 tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere – the equivalent of planting 5 trees. 

On the first full day of use we managed to generate 60% of the electricity we used! Solar PV is a good choice for the school since most of our electricity is used during the day when the system is capable of generating electricity. 

You can see how the system is performing by visiting the public monitoring page: 


LED Lighting

In a school with 2000 students over 250 staff and over 100 classrooms and miles of corridors lighting is a big expense. 

We have replaced all the old fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs with new low wattage LED panels and tubes. The LED light source is much more efficient and so we manage to have brighter, more responsive lights that use a fraction of the electricity.

Energy Efficiency Project

The main part of the school was opened in the 1930s and although the boilers have been replaced several times much of the pipework and radiators dates to that time. 

What we have done to improve the efficiency of the heating system is to put thermostatic radiator valves on all the radiators and installed an integrated boiler control system allowing monitoring and control of temperatures of the heating and hot water systems remotely.

It also integrates with external air temperatures enabling the boilers to fire into life automatically should the external temperature drop below a set point to prevent damage to the pipes caused by freezing.

This should allow us to adjust heating temperatures throughout the buildings to provide comfortable conditions whilst using less fuel.


Energy Efficiency and Computers

With a computer estate of over 1000 computers, 50 multifunction printers and servers and networking equipment the computing facilities contribute significantly to the electrical consumption of the school.

To combat the potential waste of energy, but balance the need for users to have computerss on and ready, we use a combination of tools. Chief among these is impero. Impero uses a time schedule to shut down all computers at the end of the day and wake them up in the morning in a timely fashion.

Similarly we have invested in plug timers to turn all the printers off at the end of the working day and on again at the start of the working day.

We continue to refine this process to maximise energy savings.

Crisp Packet Recycling

We have become partners wthl which is the UK’s largest crisp packet recycling scheme. This is a scheme open to the public and will help to reduce the number of crisp packets that are currently sent to landfill

We have collection boxes around site and all students have to do is place their empty crisp packets in the box.

When sufficient have been gathered we will send them off to terracycle where the packets are separated by plastic type, cleaned, and extruded into plastic pellets to make new recycled products.

You can find out more at


Computer Recycling and Circular Computing.

When our computers reach the end of their useful life they are collected and recycled either as computers or to recover the materials for reuse.

We have also begun to buy laptops re-manufactured by Circular Computing. Circular Computing take high end laptops from commercial lease schemes and re-manufacture them to have a refinished case, new battery and hard drive. For every laptop we purchase there is the additional bonus of 5 trees are planted.

Other initiatives

Water Fountains.

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, but that bottled water sold in single use bottles is contributing to significant environmental concerns so it is our intention to phase out the sale of single use water bottles. 

In order to ensure that there is sufficient water available to students, we have recently received a grant to install additional water stations across the site. 

Recycling Bins

Students used to tell us they wanted to recycle more, but that there were no facilities to do so, so we invested in combined recycling/waste bins which have proved to be a success.

To further build on this we have recently recieved a grant to allow us to purchase even more recycling bins to make it even easier 

Canteen Supplies

The canteens have also developed plans to remove the use of plastic cutlery in the coming weeks and eventually to stop the sale of individual ketchup sachets.

Future Developments

We know its not enough to sit still in trying to improve the green credentials of the site so we have other projects that are currently being investigated. These include looking for ways to recycle rainwater and generating power from other renewable sources.