In the spring term, sixth form students from Barnwell School in Stevenage took part in Affinity Water’s new ‘Save Water: Act Now!’ (SW:AN!) project. SW:AN! is a six-week programme of curriculum-linked activities designed to enrich primary school students’ learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and to provide leadership opportunities for sixth formers.
Our education service provided training and teaching resources for the sixth formers so that they could deliver a series of water saving lessons to 135 KS2 students from Longmeadow Primary School, Roebuck Academy and Peartree Spring Primary School. The sixth formers buddied up in small teams of two to three to work with the primary school classes, once per week. They were mentored throughout the project by teachers from Barnwell School and Affinity Water’s education service.
Through a series of practical activities, the sixth formers helped the primary school children learn how precious their water supply is and how to take action to save water in school and at home. The primary school students then ran a campaign in school to help raise awareness within their local school communities. Many of the primary school students led by example by making personal water saving pledges as part of their projects. For example, Ruby (aged 10) said “I promise to never leave the tap on when brushing my teeth. I promise to never fill my bath to the top and I will have a quick shower.”
As the culmination of the project, everyone involved came together at a celebration and awards event. Each primary class showcased the work that they have been doing to a panel of judges. Year 6 Diamond Class from Longmeadow Primary School won best poster, Year 5 Amber Class from Longmeadow Primary School won best-written communications, Year 4 from Roebuck Academy won best non-written communications, whilst the school Eco-Council from Peartree Spring Primary School won most creative campaign idea.
Hannah Battram, Education Services Manager at Affinity Water said “We’re really excited to get the SW:AN! The project started this year! Water saving campaigns that are led by students are empowering for the students and a great way of helping them understand the link between what they learn at school and what is happening in the world around them in a practical and engaging way. It’s so important for young people to value our water sources so that we can continue to protect them in the future.”
Linda Butterfield – STEM Co-Ordinator from Barnwell School – said “The SW:AN! The programme gave the sixth form students at Barnwell school an excellent opportunity to find out whether working with children or teaching might appeal to them as a future career, as well as educating them about global water usage. The format worked extremely well, with Jon from Affinity Water delivering each lesson to the 6th form, allowing them to explore the learning objectives and try out the activities, before going into the schools to deliver those lessons themselves. The sixth form created some very positive relationships with the primary school children, and the children produced some passionate campaigns and effective work, around saving water. Well done to all involved!”
Erin, a sixth form student at Barnwell School said: “It made me become more confident to talk in front of people, it allowed me to experience something new and I realise I enjoy teaching and working with children.”
We are looking forward to expanding the SW:AN! project next academic year so, if you and your school would like to be a part of it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.