Strathmore Infant and Nursery School has become the first in Hitchin to be awarded the prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag for increasing environmental awareness.

Over a three-year period schoolchildren, staff and parents worked together to enhance the area around their school, reduce their carbon footprint and learn about nature and climate change.

This included creating an allotment in the playground, carrying out regular litter picks, recycling used batteries and turning off taps and electrical equipment.

Eco-Schools, a global programme run by Keep Britain Tidy, awarded Strathmore its highest accolade - the Green Flag - after the school had earned the Bronze and Silver Awards in previous years.

Last week it presented the school with the official flag, now flying proudly from the school flagpole.

Amelia Makinson, Strathmore’s deputy headteacher who has led the project, said: “I feel incredibly proud of the way the whole school has embraced this work, especially the children.

“You can clearly see the children have an increased sense of pride in their environment. Their attitude is ‘this is our school and we’re going to make it look beautiful’."

Under Eco-Schools – billed as the biggest educational programme in the world – Strathmore had to complete seven steps on the way to Green Flag status. The first was to form an eco council - with two children elected from each class - to carry out an environmental review, agree an action plan and share their findings at assemblies.

The school then had to link this work to the curriculum, involve the wider school community and evaluate progress before establishing an eco code for everyone to follow.

Each class tends its own section of the garden - planting, watering and harvesting the crops.

Anna Tibbetts, a Strathmore mum who led the garden project, said: “My favourite moment so far was the day the children dug up the potatoes. Seeing the excitement on everyone’s faces."

The school is also working towards Level 2 of the Royal Horticultural Society’s School Gardening Awards and children are looking forward to seeing their home-grown produce used at mealtimes in the school kitchen.