Through Changeworks’ low carbon communities work in Argyll piloting new approaches to improving energy efficiency in the community, we developed a series of workshops and activities for Arrochar Primary School. The Head Teacher wanted to inspire the pupils to become aware of the energy they use at home and at school and explore with the pupils how they can all become better energy savers.
Interactive and inspiring activities
We developed interactive workshops and activities to involve and inspire P5-P7 pupils to become more energy efficient both at school and at home.
In the first workshop pupils discussed what energy and energy efficiency meant. The children carried out audits of the school to identify where efficiency could be improved. They then audited energy use at home, encouraging their families to adopt energy efficiency pledges.
This was followed up by a second workshop when the pupils shared their findings and pledges. They were encouraged to use this information to create an interactive assembly performance and artworks that were presented to the entire school, sharing what they had learnt and inspiring peers to become “Arrochar Bright Sparks”.
A smaller group of pupils also worked with elderly community members as part of the Community Generation Group where they took part in activities and discussion around energy use and efficiency in the past, present and future.
The children’s work was then displayed at a school open afternoon, where family members could see the work created by the pupils and get further energy efficiency advice from Changeworks.
Encouraging peers, families and community
Over 30 children participated in the activity workshops, including the assembly performance which was shared with the entire school population of almost 60 pupils, as well as 10 members aged between 70 and 96 from the Community Generation Group.
The workshops encouraged the pupils and their families to adopt energy-saving activities, including pledging to turn off lights when nobody was in the room and appliances left on standby and only boiling as much water as needed.
The children also had lots of great ideas and identified several practical measures that could improve energy efficiency in the school itself, including:
- “Switch things off at the plug when not using them please”
- “Make signs to say turn the taps/lights off and iPads”
- “Close windows when the radiators are on”
- “Tell younger pupils if they are struggling to turn off taps to ask older pupils for help”
- “Encourage by telling them if they turn off the lights and save energy, they get a marble each day (house points incentive)”
Making small changes can have big consequences
“Working with Jamie and Angela really reinforced what we had been learning about through our Eco-Schools work, it reminded the children of ways to save energy. The children after completing an energy audit came up with practical ways to save energy both in the school and at home”.
“The children used the knowledge they had acquired to plan and present a whole school assembly on energy conservation. It reinforced that if we all start making even small alterations to the way we live, it can have big consequences for our planet, but we all need to work together on this”.
Alison Palmer, Head Teacher, Arrochar Primary School