“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 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 key invertebrates were present meaning it was clean, but not clean enough to used for drinking water. Nearly all Key Stage 2 pupils, thought about the various devices they use at home and which of them use the most water. They even began looking at the food eaten in the school canteen and what types of food use the most water during the production. 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 the pupils to take action! They began by informing their 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 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, the children decided that removing burgers from their school menu was a price worth paying to reduce ‘indirect’ water usage. They 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 – they found it massively unjust that some in our world 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, the children at The Park decided to raise money for Frank Water at their 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 recognized at National Level when the school was invited to Canary Wharf to present about their work. Always considering their water use, children from The Park attended the Canary Wharf event in upcycled tie dyed t-shirts (dyed with blackberries from their school grounds) to highlight the amount of water use during the manufacture of clothing.