The Countryside Classroom September newsletter has a feature on a project from the Manchester Environmental Education Network (MEEN) which focuses on the industrial revolution’s heritage in the local area.
Using the project, called ‘Our environment, our heritage’, two East Manchester primary schools learned about activities in the past that had caused soil, air and water pollution in their local environment.
The idea for the project stemmed from questions asked by pupils at St Brigid’s RC Primary when they were told not to eat the fruit from the trees in their school grounds. They wanted to know why the food grown in their soil wasn’t fit for consumption. Pupils at Armitage CE Primary were also interested in the history of the wild animals in the area and how pollution and human activity has changed animal populations over the centuries. Both schools did research using historic maps and examining artistic representations of Manchester. They observed changes first hand as they walked their local area and met various experts from a variety of organisations and the local community. Finally they delivered presentations on their findings to the Greater Manchester ESD Forum.
It seems to us that this is exemplary stuff, and something that all schools might be doing.