Friday, 9 March 2012

What do polar bears, fruit trees and solar energy have in common ?

Where polar bears live, fruit trees and energy from the sun are just some of the varied topics being tackled by Leeds schools as part of Climate Week.

With encouragement from Leeds City Council and the national Climate Week campaign, 15 primary and secondary schools across the city have taken up the invitation to participate in the UK’s biggest environmental occasion.

From 12 to 18 March each school will be focusing on different green issues chosen by the pupils to showcase the positive contribution schools make to combat climate change. Some are also pitting their wits against schools up and down the country in the Climate Week challenge – a competition to come up with the best solution to help tackle climate change.

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Media are invited to Morley Newlands Primary School at 10am on Monday 12 March to launch Climate Week in schools. Pupils will be joined by Key’ush, a 7 foot polar bear as part of npowers Climate Cop Academy.
Please call 0113 395 1577 or email amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk to confirm attendance.
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Pupils and teaching staff will be involved in a host of activities ranging from investigating alternative sources of energy through to planting fruit bushes and whole school assemblies that will try to answer taxing questions such as ‘can polar bears live in the desert’?

These and other experiences during the week will ensure that more than 4,500 Leeds’ school children gain a deeper understanding of climate change.

Climate Week in schools is being launched at Morley Newlands Primary School at 10am on Monday 12 March. Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services and other guests will visit the school to support fifty Year 5 pupils taking part in an npower Climate Cop Academy. Pupils will be introduced to Key’ush, the academy’s 7 foot polar bear mascot and will get to grips with interactive fitness equipment to help them understand energy conservation.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services, said:

"Full credit goes to the pupils who have come up with such an exciting array of topics to celebrate Climate Week. I’ve no doubt that they’ll spark the imaginations of their peers and spur us all on to take responsibility for our actions to make Leeds not just a child friendly city, but a child friendly city that is cleaner and greener.

"The week is a great opportunity for us all to learn about our environmental impact, but it’s particularly important for our young people to learn how they can positively affect an issue which, time and time again, they tell us is a priority of concern for them."

Adrian Stygall, headteacher at Morley Newlands Primary School, said:

"It’s not every day that you get to welcome a 7 foot polar bear to school. We’re very much looking forward to our Climate Cop Academy and using what we learn during Climate Week throughout the rest of the year and beyond to support our ongoing focus on sustainability – healthy living on a healthy planet."

Clare McDougall, head of community and education at npower, said:

"It is fantastic to be involved with this programme. The npower Climate Cops Academy teaches children about climate change and saving energy in a fun, engaging way, learning some simple ways to conserve energy that will make a big difference to the school, their homes and the environment."

Notes to editors:

Schools involved in Climate Week and the activities they’ve organised include:
Adel St John the Baptist C of E PS – Waste Watchers monitoring waste produce at lunch time and investigating the carbon footprint of the weekly shop with families through homework
Colton PS – investigating alternative energy, participating in the Climate Week challenge, green team activities
Morley Newlands PS – planting fruit bushes, minimising energy use, investigating ‘can polar bears live in the desert?’
Whartons PS, Otley – reducing energy use with a ‘lights out’
Weetwood PS – assembly by the eco team, focus on renewable energy, reducing energy in school
Whitecote PS – eco-monitors to monitor lights, paper and waters use while teachers will monitor travel
Deighton Gates PS – taking the Climate Week challenge, reducing resource use and cooking food from the school garden
Yeadon Westfield Juniors School – climate change focus afternoon
Cockburn School – school council to lead assemblies about waste and recycling and launching new plastic bottle recycling scheme and taking the Climate Week challenge
Cottingley PS – taking the Climate Week challenge
Hawksworth Wood PS – geography topic looking at improving the environment
Roundhay High School – focus on reducing energy
Yeadon Westfield Infants School – taking the Climate Week challenge
Rawdon Littlemoor PS – focusing on the ‘best of British’ produce, seed planting, swap shop and litter pick
St Anthony’s Catholic PS – taking the Climate Week challenge and whole school assembly

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
e-mail: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk