Schools to lead the way on environmental education

Merton pupils have the chance to get clued up on environmental issues as the council’s new waste education programme swings into action.

From September, schools across the borough will be offered free workshops and assemblies run by Merton Council to complement the current curriculum.

These sessions involve a wide range of learning activities from a litter free teddy bear’s picnic for four to six year-olds, to a self-analysis of carbon footprints for those at secondary school.

Children of all ages will have the chance to get involved with active learning about many environmental issues including waste management, recycling and composting. With sessions specifically designed for primary and secondary schools, the activities are tailored towards different ages and learning abilities to ensure they are fun-filled and educational.

Last year’s education programme was hailed a success as Aragon, Dundonald, Poplar, All Saints and St Teresa’s primary schools achieved the highest award of a green flag, while Ursuline, Rutlish and Raynes Park followed with silver flag awards. The number of eco-schools in the borough also increased from 30 to 37, demonstrating the positive impact that environmental schemes are having on the local area.

Across all schools in Merton, workshop involvement doubled over the last academic year with 3996 pupils attending workshops, up from 1457, and 5590 pupils attending waste or environmental related assemblies, compared to 3639 the previous year.

Cabinet member for environment and leisure services, Councillor David Simpson said “Merton Council is committed to improving our sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint and waste. Schemes such as these give young people an opportunity to learn about the importance of energy saving and recycling and help them to become more environmentally aware. We all want a greener future for our children and it’s fantastic to see young people leading the way”.

Notes to editors:
· Photos are available including children from William Morris ‘papermaking’ during last year’s course.
· There are three awards in the eco-schools programme, Bronze, Silver and Green. The Bronze and Silver awards are self-assessed online while Green flag applications are submitted in writing/ electronically and the school is also visited by a trained assessor. For each level, schools have to meet set criteria from being litter-free to the presence of a pupil run action team. Further information on award criteria can be found at http://www.eco-schools.org.uk

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Press Contact:
Leoni Munslow
Communications Assistant
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 4654