working with and Resources for schools
Change through education
Since the outset, one of our key aims has been to reach out to local schools, nurseries and youth groups to help raise awareness of the plastic problem and empower young people to help turn the tide.
We’ve led book readings in pre-schools and nurseries using true yet gentle stories to teach children about ocean plastics in a positive and inspiring way, leaving them with happy endings and ideas for the future.
We’ve also run assemblies and workshops at primary and secondary schools as well as at Guide and Scout groups, where we’ve left with the phrases “No straw please!” and “Don’t forget your shopping bags!” ringing in our ears!
We are always delighted that both teachers and pupils have been eager to evaluate the amount of plastic they are using and develop new initiatives to reduce this. Here are a few ideas that some schools in Faversham are working towards:
Encourage each child to avoid single-use drinks bottles & bring in a reusable bottle instead
Encouraging parents to switch to foil/tupperware instead of cling film in their children’s packed lunches
Avoiding disposable cutlery and crockery for events
Encouraging staff to think twice before laminating
Ensuring lids are put on pens to stop them drying out too soon
Creating artwork with used plastic items
Setting up Terracycle collection points
Pupils from our local secondaries have been actively engaged in poetry writing, poster designing and various other creative activities to help promote the reduction of plastic within our community.
Two of our local schools are working towards becoming a 'Plastic Free School'. This scheme, run by Surfers Against Sewage, aims to equip young people with the tools to create positive, long-lasting environmental change.
“Plastic Free Schools is a positive, investigative, action-packed vision for stopping plastic pollution at source. The programme will empower pupils to not only tackle unnecessary single-use plastics in their school but inspire Industry and Government to make positive strategic steps in the same direction.”
Surfers Against Sewage
The links below and attachments can help illustrate the problems surrounding plastic for children of various ages.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/42810179 - Newsround page, lots of info and videos
https://www.fccenvironment.co.uk/kent-enviropower.html - This is for the Waste to Energy plant in Kent - there's a good graphic halfway down this page showing how waste is processed in the incinerator.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjIUp6A7GRU - How did we get to a world full of plastic?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZW2ByM623g- All the Way to the Ocean - (An uplifting story about two best friends, Isaac and James and their discovery of the cause and effect relationship between our cities' storm drains and the world's oceans, lakes and rivers.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr5Py1r9xjw- by a 9 year old girl explaining how and why we should say “No” to straws and the action schools can take.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kkOydHtOKQ (10 mins) From the CBeebies show ‘The Octonauts’, this is particularly appealing to younger audiences. (For a shorter version, try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OWAWozrs0o from 6:38 to 11:34)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6xlNyWPpB8&app=desktop - (4 mins) This video follows the life cycle of 3 different plastic bottles.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73sGgmZoMBQ (6 mins) As a follow up activity, pupils could produce a dialogue to accompany this non-scripted story.
https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1470644903025629/ - (5 mins) Although statistics are US-based, this is a good summary of plastic pollution, including solutions and alternatives.