The pupils at St Joseph’s Primary School in Woodside are the REAL superheroes in this city – and they are on a mission to inspire everyone to keep Glasgow clean….
Schools of all shapes and sizes have been at the heart of the Glasgow Times Streets Ahead campaign since it started in 2011.
Supported by Glasgow City Council, People Make Glasgow Greener, City Building and City Charitable Trust, our initiative and its annual awards event celebrate the most community-minded nurseries, primaries, secondaries and ASL schools in the city – why don’t you nominate yours?
Time is fast running out, however, as the closing date is tomorrow (Wednesday, May 12).
It is easy and free to enter – all you have to do is register the details at newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/streetsahead or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the Best School Category, we will also be awarding prizes for Best Clean Up Campaign; Best Community Garden; Glasgow City Council Environmental Initiative; Glasgow City Council Green Business Award; Best Community Initiative; and People Make Glasgow Greener.
All the winners will be announced at a special online event in June.
At St Joseph’s Primary, the Litterless Superheroes have been hard at work sprucing up the area in and around their school grounds to the delight of everyone in the local community.
It’s not just litter – these dedicated young people are working on a whole range of carbon-busting, community-boosting plans.
Last year, working with Ricardo Air Quality, the pupils collected 40 air samples from the school grounds and discovered that alongside the main road was where pollution levels were at their highest.
“We are working towards planting carbon reducing plants and foliage around this area to improve air quality for both ourselves and local residents,” says Principal Teacher Laura Slinger.
“We then hope to turn these spaces into wild gardens to encourage creatures and nature to thrive within our urban location.”
The school received a grant from Glasgow City Council and the Community Planning Partnership, on top of £200 from the Wrigley Litter Less Campaign through Keep Scotland Beautiful, to help boost litter-picking efforts.
When the pandemic hit, teachers and pupils had to quickly rethink their plans.
Laura explains: “Our key worker children, who remained in school, started litter-picking and, not knowing how long remote learning was going to last, we then incorporated some other aspects such as exploring habitats, animals, mini-beasts and birds to look out for in the grounds.
“The pupils really enjoyed it.”
Children working remotely during lockdown periods also got involved, says Laura.
“It wasn’t appropriate or safe to ask our pupils to litter pick at home given our urban, city centre location,” she says.
“All, however, were encouraged to take part in the #Litterlesstogether competition. Our P1 pupil, Jackson, was delighted to win with his junk model and will now be put forward for the UK competition, representing Scotland.”
Once all children were back in school, the mighty P1 pupils took charge.
“They came up with the idea of turning themselves into #Litterless Superheroes, tackling litter complete with masks decorated from playtime snack wrappers,” smiles Laura.
“They had such a lot of fun doing it and it got a really important message across.
“We know from our children’s lockdown experiences that almost all our pupils live in flats and don’t have gardens.
“Using these grants will support our children in reconnecting with the environment following a very restrictive year. It will therefore contribute to our overall lockdown recovery curriculum and efforts.”
Laura adds: “This has also given us a wonderful opportunity to share these experiences with pupils in our Enhanced Nurture Unit who have joined mainstream St Joseph’s on our journey to develop our school grounds, become a more sustainable school and fight litter.”
Kenley, who is in primary four, says: “I’ve made posters for the school to help everyone remember not to drop litter and I have put them on doors so they can see them before they go out to play.”
Parker, in primary one, has been having fun sharing tips on reusing and reducing waste, and adds: “When I was in school during lockdown, I learnt about recycling.”
Bobby, who is in primary five, sums it up.
“Our school looks better with no litter,” he smiles.
Enter our Streets Ahead Awards 2021 at newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/streetsahead or email email@example.com