We were recently contacted by Claire Norman, the Senior Climate Action Officer from Ashford Borough Council to take part in an exciting opportunity to trial a ‘Ways to Save Water’ teaching programme which is currently being developed by South East Water. The scheme is aimed at children aged between five and seven (Key Stage One) and teaches the importance of looking after this valuable resource. Through exciting missions which involve fun tasks and activities, the children learn how small changes they make in their homelife and at school, can reduce water waste and how these acts, in turn, help the environment.
The AquaSmart programme currently has 3 Missions with five sections under each. Five schools across Ashford Borough Council were chosen to trial Mission 1 with 10 children – we picked, 5 children from Yr 2 and 5 from Yr 3. We held weekly, half hour sessions where the children learnt about the Aquanauts and how they saved water. They then took part in multiple activities, including: word searches, spot the difference, creative projects to do at home and a quiz all based around water saving tips and advice. Once the children finished the tasks, they completed individual feedback forms to show what they thought about their experience of the activities and resources. The adult leading the session also submitted their views and thoughts on a teacher based feedback form; these were handed back to South East Water to be reviewed. At the end of pilot scheme, each child had a certificate for completing Mission 1. We were extremely lucky as Cheryl Fitchet from South East Water came in personally to award our children their certificates as we were the first school to complete the programme. She presented them in a whole school assembly after a short talk explaining the Aquasmart Project to everyone and how we can all be ‘Aquanauts’ to help save water. They also awarded the school with a water butt and a school certificate for taking part which was amazing.
South East Water, after reviewing the feedback forms from all the participants, hope to make this online programme, accessible across all school’s based in the area, plus expand their online portal to make it available to homes as well. Their motto – ‘to be a heroic and happy team, who will save water and help wildlife’ – will hopefully be taken on by the children who took part and, as the programme grows, they will look to include activities for a broader age range to reach a wider audience.
It was amazing to be included in this pilot scheme and our pupils loved taking part; we think it will be a great success.