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SustFest Schools Week

The Sustainability Festival (SustFest) is an annual festival of sustainability events across St Albans, Harpenden and the villages. Each year, it features a SustFest Schools Week – schools, children’s and youth groups register to take part by running an event or activity of their choice.

Activities range from practical activities, such as tree planting or restoring school ponds, to assemblies and pupil conferences, for example about reducing plastic. Check out our resources below including ideas, assemblies, activities and ideas from previous years too.

Activities and Ideas for SustFest

Themes of waste, nature, food, justice… What will you do with your students for the next SustFest Schools Week?

SustFest Assemblies

Films, powerpoints, teacher notes and fliers for parents too – free assemblies put together by local people.

Inspiration from previous years

Get inspired from previous years’ SustFest activities in schools across St Albans district!

Ideas for SustFest Schools/Youth Activities

A whole week or a few young people on one activity – it’s up to you how much you do for SustFest Schools Week but we’d love to have you on board each year!

Hold an enrichment day/week around….

  • appreciating and protecting nature
  • reduce / reuse / recycle
  • climate change and climate justice

Debate and Discuss

  • get the students to take the lead on what is important to them – student conferences, debates, strategy meetings and assemblies are all appropriate for older students to run

Grow/Eat Food

  • Ask parents to come in and dig over veg beds ready for planting
  • plant seeds in newspaper pots
  • take a group of children to help at Incredible Edible St Albans community food growing plots.
  • build bug hotels
  • plant a tree
  • explore vegan cookery
  • learn about sustainable fish
4 children patting down a grassy and mud beetle bank
Getting involved with a gardening scheme at school in SustFest21


  • monitor lights and interactive whiteboards to see if they are switched off
  • launch a fundraising campaign for solar panels on your roof
  • mount an anti-idling campaign aimed at parents for drop-off and pick-up


  • explore a local park or nature area and find nature on your doorstep
  • go on a bug hunt
  • make pictures out of sticks and leaves
  • leaf-rubbing
  • pond-dipping
  • bird-watching


  • have a “waste free lunch” challenge and try to cut food waste for the week
  • do a litter pick
  • build a greenhouse out of plastic bottles
  • mount a campaign to use both sides of paper in school
  • read books on eco-subjects including Duffy the Sea Turtle or Hunter’s Icy Adventure and other books in the Wild Tribe series to learn about plastics and marine life

SustFest Assemblies

Preparation: Please note some of the assemblies have links to internet sites, including You Tube videos. You will need to ensure your firewall does not prevent you from accessing these resources – we recommend a dummy run!

Teachers’ Notes: There are Teachers’ Notes you to download. These include information on the content as well as links you can use to further develop your pupils’ understanding of climate change and how you can take action within school.

Flyers for Parents/carers: We would be grateful if you would send our flyers to Parents/Carers after watching the assemblies with your students. There are separate flyers for primary and secondary schools.

If you have any problems, please do contact us.

For Primary Schools

We have two assemblies for primary ages, with links below. Both of these primary assemblies are supported by our notes for Primary teachers here and a flyer for parents and carers here .

The Infants Assembly – suitable for Reception, KS1 and lower KS2

This assembly takes the form of a video by children’s author, Ellie Jackson, of the Wild Tribe Heroes books. She is reading her story “Hunter’s Icy Adventure”. You can see all her books on the Wild Tribe Heroes website.

Ellie Jackson, author, reads our SustFest22 assembly for infants

Download the video to your local machine via the link above or click the image below to watch on YouTube.

The Juniors Assembly – suitable for KS2

The Juniors Assembly takes the form of a presentation to be delivered by teachers or, possibly, students. You will see that there are a number of notes against each slide to help you know what to say.

For Secondary Schools

The Secondary Assembly – Suitable for KS3 and KS4

This assembly also takes the form of a presentation, with more detail on the issue of climate change and environmental protection, along with providing ideas as to what can be done at a local level.

Accompanying notes for teachers are here and we would be grateful if you would send home this note to parents and carers here.

If you have any problems accessing these presentations or accompanying documents, please do contact us.

Inspiration from previous years

Participants from previous years

  • 19th Harpenden Brownies
  • 19th Harpenden Rainbows
  • The Abbey C ofE Voluntary Aided Primary School
  • Aboyne Lodge
  • Aldwickbury School
  • Beaumont School
  • Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School
  • Bernards Heath Junior School
  • Bowmans Green Primary School
  • Camp Primary School
  • Crabtree Infants’ School
  • Crabtree Junior School
  • Cunningham Hill INfants
  • Fleetville Infant School
  • Fleetville Junior School
  • Garden Fields Primary School
  • Harpenden Academy
  • Heathlands School
  • High Beeches Primary School
  • Killigrew School
  • Links Academy
  • Loreto College
  • Maple School
  • Mount Pleasant Lane Primary School
  • Oakwood Primary School
  • Old London Road Pre-School
  • Prae Wood Primary School
  • Ss Alban and Stephen Infant and Nursery School
  • St Albans District Scouts
  • St Albans District Woodcraft Folk
  • St Albans Girls ‘ School
  • St Albans High School for Girls
  • St John Fisher Catholic Primary School
  • St Michael’s C of E VA Primary School
  • St Peter’s School
  • Samuel Ryder Academy
  • Sandringham School
  • Sir John Lawes School
  • The Lea Primary School
  • Townsend C of E School
  • Verulam School
  • Wheatfields Infants and Nursery School
  • Wood End School

Read all about SustFest Schools Week 2023

In 2023, young people in St Albans, Harpenden and the villages threw themselves into eco activities for SustFest Schools Week. From water-saving campaigns to litter picks, wild garden renovation to book swaps, there were a huge variety of sustainable activities.

Read the full SustFest Schools Week 2023 blog here.

Pupils at Fleetville Infants' and Nursery filling new planters during SustFest
Pupils at Fleetville Infants’ filling new planters during SustFest.

Read all about SustFest Schools Week 2022

In 2022, young people in St Albans, Harpenden and the villages threw themselves into eco activities for Sustainable Schools Week. From assemblies to beetle banks, seed planting to debates, there were a huge variety of sustainable activities. Young people from primary and secondary schools as well as Guiding, Scouting and Woodcraft Folk got involved.

Read the full SustFest Schools Week blog here.

Aldwickbury boys get involved in their new eco garden for Sustainable Schools Week.
Aldwickbury boys get involved in their new eco garden for SustFest Schools Week.