HAMPTON Hill Junior School in St James Avenue, Hampton Hill, has been named the greenest in London after winning the 'sustainable schools' prize at the Teaching Awards.
Helen Funnell, assistant head teacher at Maple Infant School, in Surbiton, also triumphed on the day - winning a commendation in the 'teacher of the year' category.
Judges praised the efforts of staff and pupils at Hampton Hill to transform the 80-year-old building into one of the country's most environmentally friendly schools.
Solar panels on the roof, a wind turbine and a more efficient boiler have helped save more then £4,000-a-year on energy bills.
Pupils have been instrumental in many of the changes, helping to design an activity zone in the playground. A team of 'eco-ambassadors' also ensure lights are switched off at the end of the day and doors and windows are closed.
The school is already planning how to stay ahead of the competition, with light sensors and and a rainwater-harvesting system among the improvements in the pipeline.
Head teacher Bill Jerman said: “Our whole vision is that children of this age will be the decision-makers of the future. If we can encourage, enthuse and inform them about the environment today it could make a huge difference in 20 years' time.”
Helen Funnell, who has taught youngsters at Maple Infant School, in Maple Road, for nine years, said her award had come as a huge surprise. “It was a really nice, humbling experience because teaching's just what I do because I enjoy it,” explained the 32-year-old, of Thames Ditton.
“This is such a friendly school, where everyone knows one another, and I can't think of anywhere better to teach.”
Judges were impressed by Helen's imaginative lesson plans, including getting youngsters to build an igloo out of old milk bottles and creating a mini-rainforest complete with animal sounds.
Helen, who recently gave birth to her first child Sophie, had double reason to celebrate as the award ceremony fell on her birthday.