Walk to School Week challenges polluters

Giffnock Primary School clean air campaign
Giffnock Primary School clean air campaign

Primary school pupils in East Renfrewshire chose last week’s National Walk to School Week to launch a campaign to encourage fellow pupils and their parents to walk, cycle or scoot to school year-round.

Pupils from Giffnock, Kirkhill, Mearns and Carolside primary schools have been taking part in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s ‘Learn about Air’ project since the beginning of term and have really embraced the concept of reducing air pollution in their local area.

All four schools were provided with air quality monitors for three weeks, with P6 pupils given the opportunity to record and analyse data on the air quality at or near their school before presenting their findings to teachers and fellow pupils.

Although the air quality across East Renfrewshire is generally good, the pupils’ research showed peaks in air pollution levels at their schools at drop-off and pick-up times

Eleven-year-old Lily Frame, who is a Junior Road Safety Officer at Giffnock Primary School, said, “We (Junior Road Safety Officers) had the job of installing the monitors, recording the results and sharing our findings with the whole school. It felt like a really important job and I hope it will make everybody think carefully about driving to school.”

Dr Colin Gillespie, SEPA’s Principal Air Scientist who worked on the development of the teaching package, said: “I’m pleased to see East Renfrewshire Council using the teaching package ‘Learn about Air’ in their primary schools.

“Air pollution is one of the biggest direct environmental risks to human health.”