Solihull primary pupils measure their school’s carbon footprint

Pupils at Monkspath Junior and Infant School are latest to take part in the Zero Carbon Schools programme, organised by Green Schools Project. 

The programme has been helping pupils learn more climate change – its causes, effects and what can be done to mitigate its impacts. Pupils from the primary school in Monkspath then measured the school’s footprint of the school as equivalent to 563 tonnes of CO2. They then developed several eco-initiatives with the aim of reducing this figure and making a difference more widely.

a plane flying in the sky with the word go written in it

Photo by Matthias Heyde

Year four students documented the biodiversity found on the school grounds and also measured noise pollution in decibels. 

Another focus was on food waste. Students grew vegetables from seeds and then sold these and their own vegetarian recipe book at the school’s summer fair. Some of their plants also featured in the Pollinators Palace Wheelbarrow Garden at BBC Gardeners World Live, held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. Pupils also made posters and leaflets about plastic pollution and healthy lunchboxes. 

According to the Green Schools Project website, young people feel increasingly powerless and worried about their future and teachers want to do more to include the climate emergency in lessons but often lack the knowledge, confidence or time. Since 2015, the organisation has worked with 138 schools to embed climate change education into lessons, with a range of resources, support and training. The organisation’s Zero Carbon Schools programme is a cross-curricular programme for Years 4 – 8, linking to science, geography, maths, English, PSHE and art. 

Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change & Planning, says: ‘The Zero Carbon Schools programme is a great initiative, giving enthusiastic pupils a chance to learn more about climate change, the impact their own school has and provide ideas on how to do their bit for the environment. Monkspath Junior and Infant School has once again shown their leadership on climate change and sustainability, having recently picked up Your Future Solihull awards and Greener Solihull School Awards. 

‘I encourage all schools in the borough to sign up for the programme in the future and build further interest and awareness about climate change amongst the next generation of Silhillians. As future custodians of the borough it’s brilliant to see how engaged our young people are about this topic.’ 

Henry Greenwood, Founder and Managing Director of the Green Schools Project, adds: ‘The Green Schools Project want to help the Council with their “Your Future Solihull” campaign and its existing strong and robust climate action plan, maintaining Solihull’s position as one of the leading local authorities in the country. 

‘Building this partnership will ensure that pupils, parents, and the local community learn more about the climate crisis and take steps to reduce carbon emissions and live more sustainably. The aim for the next academic year is to develop this partnership to work with more schools in the local authority. This will support schools to improve climate education while measuring their carbon footprint and taking steps to reduce it.’


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