Eco-Schools Award Advent Calendar 2019
National Water Topic Award Winners:
Park Primary School
“Turn off the tap when teeth brushing.”
Since achieving their first, Eco-Schools Green Flag in 2018, the Eco-Committee at The Park Primary School have been focusing on the Water Eco-Schools topic. The school have undertaken a serious amount of water-based eco-actions, inspired by the Water Explorers programme from, Eco-Schools friends, Global Action Plan (a series of challenges that put young people at the forefront of preserving our precious water supplies).
The Park Primary School began their Water topic with investigative work before deciding on what actions they would undertake. Year 6 children visited a tributary of the River Avon to assess how clean it was, discovering that invertebrates were present meaning it was clean, but not clean enough to use for drinking water! Then, nearly all KS2 pupils, thought about the various devices they use at home and which of these devices use the most amounts of water. Pupils even began looking at the food eaten in the school canteen and the types of food that use the most water during their production process. Finally, years 5 and 6 audited their school building to identify where water was being wasted and where they could potentially make water savings.
When the investigative work was complete, it was time for pupils to take action! They began by informing the school’s site manager that two toilets in the school had a leak (which was promptly fixed). Pupils also decided to make their own hippo bricks by filling plastic bottles with sand and and placing them in the cistern of every toilet in school. Now, every toilet in the school uses 500ml less of water each time it is flushed. After some intense discussion, children also decided that removing burgers from the school menu was a price worth paying to reduce ‘indirect’ water usage. The school even began growing their own vegetables for the school canteen to use! Finally, all pupils made a pledge to save water, which they took home to display on their fridges as a reminder.
It was not just their own water consumption that The Park wanted to consider – their pupils found it hugely unjust that some people living in our world today do not have access to clean water. Pupils decided to invite local charity Frank Water to deliver a whole school assembly, focusing on the work they do to provide clean, safe water to villages in India. Following this assembly, children decided to raise money for Frank Water at the summer fair by selling bug hotels and potted plants accompanied by information about Frank Water’s work.
All of the Park Primary School’s amazing eco-action was recognised at national level, when the school was invited to Canary Wharf to present their work. Always considering their water use, children from The Park attended the event in upcycled, dyed t-shirts (dyed using blackberries from their school grounds) to highlight the amount of water used during the manufacture of clothing.