Chalk Talk: The green initiative that's leaving families in the dark
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 20 October 2011
Sarah Adam first knew her daughter was taking green issues seriously when the lights kept going out. Sophie, aged 10, a pupil at Ashley Church of England primary school in Walton-on-Thames, had been inspired to save energy as a result of the emphasis on green issues at her school. "We couldn't walk out of the room without her flicking the switch and plunging us into darkness," says Sarah.
However, all the family has now been infected by Sophie and her older brother Harry's enthusiasm. "Plastic bags would never be allowed in the house now," said Sarah.
Research published by the Co-op, which has just launched a new green education programme for schools, shows six in 10 parents say their children are persuading them to be greener with recycling, conserving water and leaving the car at home as often as possible.
Richard Dunne, Sophie's headteacher, says most parents have warmly welcomed the school's focus on sustainability. He acknowledges, though, that there might be a couple who thought "oh, no, not another green issue!".
His main worry, though, is that the focus on sustainability is not carried through to secondary school. He insists, though, that it enhances learning by making pupils more enthusiastic about their learning.
As part of one exercise, children went down to the local shops and interviewed shopkeepers and staff about how they could improve their sustainability – thus learning interviewing skills and boosting their self-confidence.
Meanwhile, if your child's school has adopted the green programme to the full, expect it to be accompanied by a few changes around the house!
Comment of the week last week comes from Dr Patrick Roach, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers. Addressing a conference organised by the Westminster Education Forum aimed at predicting the year ahead for education, he said the Government's motto often seemed to be: "All schools must be better than average."
That, though, would surely have to lead to a change in the approach to maths education at Sanctuary Buildings – home of Education Secretary Michael Gove's department.
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We urgently require an experienc...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...