Winchester School goes green and not just for the day

Children at St Bede’s Primary School in Winchester turned green with pride on Thursday 14 July, as they celebrated learning about their carbon footprints and the air quality around the school, as part of the work towards gaining an Eco School Silver Award.

Over 340 children have been taking part in projects ranging from monitoring air quality, writing poetry about green issues, surveying how many families walk to school each day and making the school a greener place.

The air quality project has been taking place for over 6 months, with the children working with Winchester City Council Environmental Health Officer Phil Tidridge who is responsible for the permanent monitoring stations within the City. Pupils used measurement tubes donated by local company Gradko International Ltd to assess air quality at the school. The figures showed that air quality pollution increased at the beginning and end of the school day and so the children have been thinking of ideas to address this including that of a walking bus.

Headteacher Mrs Louise Fitzpatrick said, “We were impressed by the children's enthusiasm and their understanding of the issues surrounding air pollution and their desire to spread the message and try to make a difference.”

 Paige Froy and Oliver Dew - Head Eco Reps commented, “This was a really inspirational and eye-opening project that helped us realise that pollution is in places that you would not necessarily have thought of. Furthermore it is satisfying to know we are doing something to help our endangered planet. It was fascinating to find out how to collect toxic gases in order to monitor the air.”

Councillor Victoria Weston, the City Council's Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, welcomed the initiative; "This is an excellent example of the way schools can support our work to address green issues and in particular air quality within the City. Solving these problems is likely to require behavioural change in relation to transport and getting future generations involved as early as possible can only help with this process."