Early Years Resources
Water; the stuff of life. Human beings have strived for centuries to supply themselves with clean, drinkable water. So successful have we been in this country that when we describe the plentiful supply of any other material we use the phrase ‘on tap’. We take water for granted, for a young child it just seems to ‘be there,’ in the same way that electricity and heating are ‘just there’.
By studying water, where it comes from, how it cycles through the environment and why we are so dependent on it, pupils will develop their systems-thinking skills. They will also come to appreciate how much water it takes to, for example, make a cotton shirt (estimated to be 2,700 litres). Most importantly, they will come to understand how water connects us intimately with millions of species and with the landscapes we love.
Project idea 1 – School toilets
The Eco-Committee can look at ways to save water in the school bathrooms. One way is to investigate the possibility of getting ‘toilet hippo’ devices to put into the cisterns to reduce the volume of water in each flush. A more ambitious action could be to replace manual taps with ones that automatically turn off. Outside of the school bathrooms, the Eco-Committee could look into getting rainwater butts to reduce the amount of tap water used on the school grounds. By using water bills the Eco-Committee can monitor and evaluate the effect their different initiatives are having.
Project idea 2 – Reduce your ‘hidden’ water
Hidden water is a concept that is becoming better known and one that needs to be widely understood if we are to more manage our water systems into the future. There are not many products that are not reliant on water at some point in their lifespan. Water is used to clean raw materials, to grow crops, to heat and cool solids and liquids and as steam in the production of electricity. An Eco-Committee interested in doing a really thorough Environmental Review could investigate the volumes of hidden water in the products used at their school. They could then design and implement an Action Plan to reduce the water footprint of their school through more efficient use of each product and better procurement.
Activity: Thames Water – Marina Ventura Inside Water
Activity: Kingfisher Education – Water Awareness Workshop
Activity: WaterAid – Primary Resources
Activity: Southern Water -Waterwise Packs
Activity: MIW Water Cooler Experts – Water, water everywhere
Activity: The Pod – Find The Missing Litres
Game: The Water Family – Water saving online game
Video: Thames Water – From Tap to Toilet
Video: WaterAid – Films, Games and Songs
Video: Waterwise – Gabi H20
You can find a greener version of pretty much everything your school uses; pencils, carpets, uniforms, energy. Here you can investigate how you can ‘green’ your schoolInteractive Eco-School