Winston Way Primary School Air quality programme
• 30 pupils engaged in lessons and citizen science activities/ trained to become air quality ambassadors
• 700 pupils exposed to messages via peer to peer assemblies, school website and in-school displays
• All families / parents received protection strategy messages and ideas as to how to reduce their own impact on air quality
Overview: Redbridge Council requested an intensive air quality education programme that would accompany the installation of a green wall at Winston Way Primary school in Ilford. This was delivered between September and December 2014, with one class participating intensively and pupils in that class being supported to delivering messages across the school.
Four whole days’ of lessons were created which would support pupils in one class and the Green Machines (eco-team) to become air quality ambassadors. Pupils carried out an on- street campaign that focused around raising awareness of the green wall and its purpose, as well as using (social marketing) sticker distribution as a way to congratulate those who walked to school and gently indicate to those who came by car that it would be better is they ‘parked and walked’.
Theatre in education was incorporated into the programme. We worked with theatre group The Big Wheel to adapt a sustainable travel show to incorporate more air quality messages. This was well received by pupils, and really served to reinforce messages being circulated in the school via the pupil’s promotional work.
A simple food shaped pledge and a combined pupils air quality leaflet were also distributed on the day of the final ‘show and tell’ assembly.
Modal shift – the participating class decreased car use by 6.3% and the whole school decreased car use by 3.4% (between September 2014 and January 2015).
Attitudinal shift and awareness levels – in the participating class, those saying they would prefer to travel by car decreased by 6%, and those saying they’d rather walk increased by 18%. Across the whole school the number of pupils saying they would prefer to travel to school by car decreased by 15% and those saying they’d rather walk increased by 11%.
Pupils in the participating class on average had an increase of awareness of 35%. If we look specifically at two questions related to protection strategies there were increases of those in the participating class answering correctly of 43% and 70%.
Programme evaluation was very positive. 11% of pupils in 5CD ‘liked’ their class being involved in the air quality project and 82% of pupils ‘liked it a lot’. The participating class teacher thought the delivery of the programme was overall ‘excellent’ and stated: ‘A fantastic programme which I am glad we took part in’.