Last week over 400 primary school pupils and 65 teachers visited CAT to take part in the Green Schools Revolution, a project initiated by the Cooperative to support the uptake of environmental issues and sustainability in schools. Green Schools Revolution ‘challenges young people to become green pioneers’ by supporting UK sustainability education programmes with resources, activities and trips, and ‘encourages school children from the age of five to 16 to think differently and to get involved. With lots of ideas on how to live more sustainably, we can inspire them to change their world.’
CAT played a part in this revolution by being host for a week of activities for local schools. We were happy to welcome over 400 pupils from 14 schools including Ysgol Hiraddug, Montgomery Church in Wales School, Bishops Castle Primary, Whitton Primary and Ysgol Morfa Rhianedd. Pupils took part in a day of activities with different sustainability themes – Food Footprints, Water Footprints, the Green House and an Eco Quest.
One of the activities The Green House (usually referred to as Dan’s House) explored the environmental impact of daily decisions in the home. The activity is based around an interactive bar chart which plots the emissions of various domestic activities such as transport, food, shopping and heating. Pupils are given a range of options, such as whether to catch a train for your annual holiday or fly, or buy locally produced food or imported Peruvian avocados (for example), and vote on which choices they will make and watch the bar chart adjust accordingly.
This activity empowers young learners to take responsibility for their decisions, inviting them to witness the consequences of their choices. It encourages them to make informed decisions about a real life situation, leaving plenty of scope for some interesting, authentic responses. Typically pupils observe how they can successfully reduce their greenhouse gas emissions quite significantly, whilst also concluding that their quality of life will not have been impacted negatively.
Here is some heart-warming feedback from a group of year 5 pupils from Bishops Castle Primary who seemed to enjoy the day:
I really enjoyed going on the water train that took us to the top of the hill. Also I found out a lot about being green.
I thought it was great, I’m going to try and be more greener. I especially liked the mole hole and sticking my head up through the hole.
I thought that the trip was really fun. I especially liked the workshops and games.
I experienced a lot, I think CAT is an enjoyable place. It made me more green. I really liked it!
All the technology was amazing and although I’ve been before it was better than ever. My favourite thing was the water train and the playground.
It was good, I liked the Food Footprint because now I know that what we recycle we can use again (referring to how reusing packaging is much better than recycling.)
I really liked it because I learnt a lot and had fun at the same time.
Cool! I loved it and I would like to go again, it was amazing!
Their teacher also left some positive feedback – Green Schools Revolution at CAT was
‘a great introduction to the ideas and really made the children think … it showed them that environmental issues are not ‘black and white.’
Dan’s House will soon be available free for download through our education website. If you are interested in receiving news about this resource and other educational activities from CAT then please sign up to our once per term Education Newsletter by emailing me.
Other related activities can be found on the Footprint Futures website – a whole project on sustainability developed by CAT for KS 2 – 3 pupils.