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Thames Water Awareness Work with Schools (2009)

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Headline figures

Under the Thames Water Schools Water Makeover ech2o:

  • delivered 33 “Be Water Aware” assemblies to 7,446 pupils and 264 teachers across 32schools in London,
  • carried out 21 School Water Audits with 557 pupils,
  • ran various water awareness workshops and demonstrated how to fit a save-a-flush bagto 2539 pupils in 31 schools.Potential yearly savings from behaviour change at home from 7710 pupils and teachers in 32 schools are:
  • 54,024m3 of water
  • 35.1 tonnes of CO2 if savings are all cold water
  • 562.9 tonnes of CO2 if savings are all hot water
    In a survey of 236 pupils, average use of the toilet or urinals at school was 0.8 times a day.In a survey of 437 (pupils and family members) the average shower time was 13.8 minutes.
  • ech2o water specialists designed and delivered a series of assemblies and workshops that informed pupils and teachers about the Water Makeover and helped them to understand why, from an environmental aspect, it is important to save water and how they can do this most effectively, both at school and at home.
  • A series of different workshops were offered to the school combined with a “Be Water Aware” assembly.
  • ech2o worked with pupils from reception class to the sixth form. Whilst the message remained the same the content and delivery style changed to reflect the age difference.
  • Pupils’ abilities varied widely within age groups. ech2o are conscious of the importance of engaging with all pupils during the learning process. We would like to acknowledge the support we were given by both teachers and teaching assistants in many schools who gave one-to-one support with the more challenging pupils, thus enabling them to participate in our workshops.
  • The UK is a multi-cultural society and the schools in this project reflected that fact. ech2o design and deliver workshops that engage with pupils across all cultures.OutcomesBy the end of July 2009 ech2o had:
    • visited 22 primary schools and 10 secondary schools across three London boroughs,
    • delivered 33 “Be Water Aware” assemblies to 7,446 pupils and 264 teachers,
    • revisited 2 schools to run an assembly on the savings made to 577 pupils and 16 teachers
    • carried out 21 School Water Audits with 557 pupils,
    • ran “How do we use water at home?”, (the Home Water Audit) with 469 pupils from 12 schools,
    • enabled 1580 pupils (and 94 teachers or teaching assistants) from 23 schools to gain a clearunderstanding of where precisely they use the most water with the “How much does it cost toflush your toilet?” workshop,
    • demonstrated how to fit a save-a-flush bag to 2539 pupils in 31 schools. Of the first 1460pupils, 1168 took at least one save-a-flush bag home to install.1 For the final 1079 pupils, Thames Water were unable to provide the schools with the bags and so we directed pupils to the Thames Water website, but are unable to calculate how many pupils subsequently visited the website to request a bag.
    • Appendix 1 details the workshops and assemblies held in each school.Engagement by schools
    • Most schools fully participated in the project and welcomed the fact that education was a core feature of the project.
    • Some schools proved hard to access. At these schools the fact that the efficiency improvements would not happen without the educational work proved a helpful lever in the schools eventually agreeing to engage with the educational activities.
    • We were unable to deliver either a workshop or an assembly to just two schools. One, Benthal Primary School (Hackney) said they did not wish to be part of the project, but due to some confusion had the water efficiency upgrades fitted.
    • Orleans Infant School (Richmond) pulled out of the water awareness day at the last minute due to internal problems, and the school was unable to make any alternative dates during the school year.