ST JOHN’S School in Marlborough has declared a climate emergency – one of just four in the UK to do so.

As part of the move, the school’s canteen no longer supplies straws and water in single-use plastic bottles. Sauces are now put in pots, rather than handed out in plastic sachets.

And recycling bins for different items have been put in each common room, which has already reduced the amount of weekly rubbish by two skip loads.

The school effort, led by head of science Jonny Friend, hopes it programme of behaviour change will be used as a template for other schools to follow.

“It is vital that education plays a role in mitigating this crisis,” he said.

The student environment group meets every Friday during lunchtime and discuss what they can do in the school to improve it environmentally.

“It is too big. None of us can solve this by ourselves,” said Jonny.

“Yet we can all play our part. If we are going to have real change then this change must be supported through the raising of knowledge and understanding.”

St John’s students have previously embraced the Climate Change movement, taking part in strikes and demonstrations and making small changes in how things are done at the college.

All 1,700 students were involved in climate change activities all day.

Pupil Oesa Astley, 17 said: “One of these activities was a clothes swap day, where students brought in clothes to swap rather than buying new ones."

“We hope this will reduce the fast fashion impact on our environment.

“It is all done in our own time, and we got people to bring in donations all week.”

Sixth formers are now trying to get younger students involved and active to hand the baton over when they leave.

Sciences pupil Nicole Franklin added: “Climate change is really important to our age group."

“We do all this extra work in our own time, and it is good to feel we can all make a difference somehow. It is also good for us as we prepare to leave school as it gives us a conversation to have which isn’t just about exams we take.”

Jonny is confident behaviour changes are happening at the school and says the awareness of issues is getting through.

“Sometimes students even asked me to let them into a room in order to turn the lights off when they have been left on.”

The Town Council Open Spaces meeting saw St John’s singled out for praise, with an invite to join other groups in an unofficial local think tank.

Richard Pitts, of environment group Transition Marlborough, said there was a willingness from other groups to include St John’s, which he said could contribute to decisions about how to manage areas for conservation.