STUDYING in a tidy school can only help our youngsters to learn.
And that was the message that came across at the Tidy Schools competition, run by Portsmouth City Council.
Schools across the city applied for the awards and they were handed out at Portsmouth Guildhall by the deputy lord mayor, Councillor David Horne.
Among the winners were Portsmouth High School, Charter Academy, Solent Infant School, Fernhurst Junior School, Harbour School, Admiral Lord Nelson School and St Jude’s Primary.
But the overall winning school was Meon Junior School in Southsea.
Pupil Poppy Hartill, nine, is in Year 4. She was there to collect the award.
She said: ‘I am surprised and happy. We sort out the coats to make sure they are tidy. We pick up all the pencils on the floor and we sort out the lunchboxes.
‘It’s quite important because it has to be quite tidy. It’s better for us to learn in a tidy school.’
Charlie Green, eight, is also in Year 4. He added: ‘In class we have been picking up all the sharpened pencils and all the paper and packets of food if someone drops it.’
Site manager Doug Richards said: ‘It’s been fantastic to get the overall award. The pupils have worked very hard over the year. All the staff have got involved.
‘We are like one great big family.’
Headteacher Christine Turner said: ‘We are overwhelmed. We didn’t expect to win the overall award.
‘It gives them a good sense of pride in their school.
‘There has been a big staff effort. Everyone has worked hard together. And our site manager has done an excellent job.’
Cllr Horne said: ‘The judges found assessing the schools particularly hard this year. Everybody raises their standards and it becomes increasingly hard.
‘The standard of cleanliness continues to improve.
‘There are many excellent environment initiatives to be found in our schools. This is excellent news because it means all our schools are helping to contribute to a cleaner, safer and greener environment in Portsmouth.’
The awards were sponsored by Colas.