South Farnborough Infant School think before they throw
15 February 2012
Download the Case Study
We were taking part in an International Movement called Design For Change UK, inspired by Kiran Bir Sethi, the founder and director of the Riverside School in India. Our Year 2 children were inspired to make a change in the community they live in, to do it all on their own and in one week! They all loved doing this project because they completely designed it and carried it out themselves with just a little bit of help from their teacher and everyone played their part.
Delivering the project and linking it to the curriculum
The project began when they decided that litter in the Queens Road Recreation Park upset them and made a plan of what they were going to do to make the change to this problem affecting their community. They then went on a litter pick with their teacher. When they got back to class and sorted the litter they were amazed at what they found including lots of plastic, bags, sweet wrappers, crisp packets, paper, food and even found a broken skate board!
They then decided to make lots of big posters and their own bins out of old buckets to put in the park to help people so they did not throw their litter on the ground. It was then that the great catchy title for the project was created: THINK BEFORE YOU THROW!
Problem Solving and Numeracy, Speaking and Listening, Literacy, DT are just some areas of the curriculum highlighted.
Only time! We had to be patient because even though the project was completed within one week, we had to wait nearly 10 months for the result.
Getting the pupils involved
All of the children owned the project from the outset and led it themselves. While at home with the help of parents, they all had to decide where to put up their posters made at school and make their own litter bins. Some were put in front of their homes and others in more carefully selected locations such as a shop in North Camp and inside the Army Camp.
The children’s colourful bins became a familiar sight on the school run each day! They wanted to make a big difference and make it easier for people to throw their litter away in bins and not on the floor. They advertised their campaign in the newspaper and on the radio and everyone began to notice the colourful home-made bins on the school run.
Finally they decided that they could not solve the problem alone and wrote a long letter to Andy Ford at Rushmoor Borough Council explaining their dilemma and asking him if they could have an extra bin installed at the park and he said......YES!!!! It has taken 10 months but he kept his promise and it is no ordinary bin. It has recycling elements, the sort of bin usually only found in town centres, not recreation parks. Well done all the children for making a change.
See the children’s Design for Change Litter Campaign story on You Tube.
Benefits of being an Eco-School
There has been less litter in the park and a raised awareness within our community that we care about our world. The children who have taken part are much more confident now and have realised that THEY can make things happen!
We did not apply for funding for this project, although Rushmoor Borough Council donated the bin out of their own budget.
Our project was for our community, and the children had to include as many ways of promoting their project as possible. Parents had to be involved, as their children were leading the change.
Measuring the impact
Children carried out a litter pick at the beginning and end of the project. Surveys carried out to local people and of course the improved attitude of the children themselves is all evidence that we have touched many with this project.
Do it! Give yourself one week from planning to delivery. As a class or Year Group follow these steps:
Feel – what would you most like to create or change in your community? An idea that YOU can make happen
Imagine – plan how and when you will make this Act of Change happen
Do – gather your resources and make it happen
Share – document and share your work with your community
Sustain – time to reflect, what are you going to do next?
We are a caring school. We have succeeded with many in -school projects including installing Sun Tubes, Eco-School Shoe boxes, Conservation of rainforests, setting up a Roots n Shoots gardening club, and setting up a two week Energy Monitor Loan Scheme. We are currently working with three local schools on a LESS CO2 project raising awareness of sustainability within their own communities.
Local Authority support
We work closely with both Rushmoor Council and Hampshire County Council Energy Teams.