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Manchester Environmental Education Network

Rushbrook Primary School

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When the after-school club at Rushbrook Primary voted on the activities they wanted to do there were clear winners: they were keen to learn to sew, they wanted to fix things, get composting and collect and recycle old electrical items.

However, to get the whole school engaged it was important to organise an assembly. The aim was to inform classes about the green compost caddies and to ask people to bring old electric items into school for recycling.

The pupils were keen to learn why taking such action was important and were amazed by some of the facts they learned about electrical waste. They also enjoyed a session where we examined electric waste that had been collected from other schools to discuss what should be done with it through asking a series of questions about the age of the item, what might need fixing, who would be able to fix it or whether it should be recycled.

They also learnt about what could and what should not go into a compost bin, so they were well informed before they distributed the caddies to the different classrooms and worked out how they were going to get the caddies to the compost bins. 

Once the assembly had been done the pupils were then engaged with learning how to sew. With help from a MEEN volunteer the sewing sessions became very focused, creative and produced some lovely products.

Small bags were sown with care, jeans were patched and a dress that would have been discarded was unbobbled, quickly stitched then taken home for Mum as a pupil thought it would be a great addition to her wardrobe.

Putting their learning into action the team also spent time setting up the composting system: firstly they collected dry brown twigs as a brown base for the fruit waste and then began to collect and the waste on a regular basis.

However, at one session it was clear that litter was getting into the bin, so they decided they wanted to run a litter pick the school grounds. In a very short space of time the team had collected 4.5kgs of rubbish and cleared the area around the compost bins in a great effort to stop contamination.

Worm castings were also added as an accelerator for the composting which raised lots of questions about worms and what they do. Consequently, the pupils had a very enjoyable session learning all about worms by playing one of MEEN’s games called Life of a worm.

The team still have activities on their voting sheets to complete and will undoubtedly continue to support the school’s efforts to reduce their carbon footprint in the next academic year, beginning with a presentation to the school Principals about the work they have done.


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