Heathcote Primary School in Warwickshire has participated in Waste Wise Kids’ online environmental programme to teach its Year 2 students about the importance of recycling and sustainability, and the impact it will have on their future. The online version of the educational program, which is usually taught in the classroom, was specially developed to support teachers working remotely during the pandemic. It includes a presentation with teachers notes both available on a memory stick or via Google slides, tasks and experiments, competitions and recycled handouts for when students are in the classroom. This is supplied to the teacher in a special Waste Wise Kids resources box.

Waste Wise Kids founders Gavin Pilcher and Rachel Rowley presented virtually to the class alongside their Year 2 teacher Mrs Lawson and were overwhelmed by the student’s enthusiasm to make a difference. In particular, a young student, William aged 7, was very vocal about his feelings towards waste in the oceans and littering.

He said: “Our planet is slowly dying we need to act fast and it’s our job to fix it. Landfills will be slowly overflowing we need to stop these things happening to our planet. We need to stop the rubbish islands from happening in the oceans because it’s not just (bad for) the wildlife, they also make our beautiful planet look horrible. If you think that littering doesn’t affect anything, you’re wrong because it does go somewhere, you just won’t think of it. If you live really, really, really, far from the oceans you just won’t think that. It goes all the way into the ocean and some of it, because of how heavy it is, sinks to the bottom and some of it just floats and floats and eventually builds up to land to make a rubbish island.”

When asked… “And how does that make you feel William?”

“It makes me feel disappointed in how people act.” He replied.

Heathcote Primary School was nominated by Ashe Construction, an investing member of Waste Wise Kids to receive the Waste Wise Kids educational programme and resource box.  Corporate supporters of Waste Wise Kids can nominate a number of primary schools and each are supplied with everything they need to teach the Waste Wise Kids schools programme including a google slides or pdf visual presentation with teachers notes and a box full of demonstrative items to best explain the key messages. This includes a full section on plastics with an easy-to-understand chart showing the types of plastics and how plastics are numbered for recycling, examples of recycled items that the children can touch and evaluate and a sustainability rewards chart for future recycling projects. Schools can also sign up individually to receive the programme.

Waste Wise Kids' box

Mrs Lawson said: “Thank you for the great work you are doing and for speaking to us, it was brilliant! The children are all so engaged and enthused by Waste Wise Kids and the tasks and activities associated with helping the environment.”

Rachel Rowley, chief executive at Waste Wise Kids continued; “We were delighted to present to Heathcote Primary School students, what an amazing class and teacher who have had so many challenges over the last year but were still so excited and motivated to get involved.  As well as learning about how bad waste is for the environment, we hope that children build a life-long skill to make a conscious effort to make less waste and reuse, recycle or repurpose items in the correct way. I think we have the makings of an eco-warrior in William! It shows that even at a young age, children are very aware of their environment and know that things need to change.”

If you would like to be involved in Waste Wise Kids, either as a school or a supporting member, please visit www.wastewisekids.org for more information.