Manor House and Finsbury Park Air Quality Programme for Schools

manor_finsbury1Over the academic year 2014/15 nine schools in the Manor House and Finsbury Park area of London were engaged in a creative air quality project which sought to educate students and the wider school community through lessons, workshops, citizen science activities and assemblies.

The majority of these schools had very low car use and as such the programmes were largely about the promotion of protection strategies and passing messages about pollution reduction to the wider community.
• Thirteen classes and approximately 345 Year 4 or Year 5 pupils participated in the programme.
• Six half day sessions were delivered over a period of 10 weeks with a two week gap between the science lessons to allow for analysis of samples at a laboratory.
• There were 2 assemblies (before and after) and at least all of key stage 2 saw these at each school.
• The final assembly was a pupil led peer-to-peer assembly provided by participating pupils.
• The whole school community were involved in the programme, from office staff to head teacher and Chair of Governors. Some staff had more exposure than others but all staff were made aware of the project and its key aims.
• Over 1620 pupils were exposed to messages via peer to peer assemblies, on street banners and in-school displays.

Some schools demonstrated a significant shift at both the class and school level – Grazebrook (6% and 5% respectively) and Stamford Hill (10% and 12% respectively). Other schools showed a significant shift at the participating class level only. Stroud Green – 6% at class level and 1% at the school level. Grafton – 5% at the class level and 1% reduction at the school level.

Programme evaluation was positive. 21% of pupils ‘liked’ their class being involved in the air quality project and 21% of pupils ‘liked it a lot’. Seven out of nine of the participating class teachers all thought the delivery of the programme was overall either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.