Lessons With A Difference: Schoolchildren Swim In Ashby Pool Filled With Rubbish

By Graham Hill

27th Feb 2020 | Local News

Children Swam In A Hood Park Pool Full Of Plastic Rubbish: Photo by Graham Allman
Children Swam In A Hood Park Pool Full Of Plastic Rubbish: Photo by Graham Allman

A group of schoolchildren have been learning about the amount of plastic in the world's oceans by swimming in a pool in Ashby full of rubbish.

Pupils from St Charles Primary School in Measham took part in the exercise at Hood Park Leisure Centre as part of their climate change project.

The school's deputy head teacher Felicity Knight explained that pupils have been learning about climate change and looking after our planet through the topic Frozen Kingdom.

She said: "They have been learning about the astonishing amount of plastic in our oceans today.

"To help them understand this situation for wildlife during one of our class's swimming lessons, the Hood Park Leisure Centre splash pool was filled with plastic rubbish.

"This was a complete surprise for the children but they were encouraged to still go into the pool to experience what it would be like for sealife.

"The children came for their normal swimming lesson and arrived to a pool full of plastic.

"As soon as they saw it, they said it was like the seas and what they'd been learning about. I didn't have to say that to them, they knew exactly what we were trying to create, they'd learnt so many facts about plastic pollution and were really shocked.

"They enjoyed the first hand experience. It really brought home that important message. They didn't think it was just rubbish in the pool.

"The children then had the fun of emptying all the rubbish out of the pool.

Mrs Knight said the day was a great success for the children - who were seven and eight years old - and she added: "We've been learning about climate change and pollution, and about Greta Thunberg and that's the message we've been getting across to them.

"We've been teaching this for about six or seven weeks now. The children in my class are aware that Greta Thunberg will be in Bristol on Friday and that she has been involved in a spat with Donald Trump. It's encouraged them to be more au fait with everyday news."

Adam Knight, general manager at Everyone Active, said: "This inventive, forward-thinking school project was something we were thrilled to be a part of, and seeing so many children engaging with such an important issue for their generation was really extraordinary.

"Having the splash pool full of young swimmers and plastic waste highlighted the importance of reducing single-use plastic and how we as consumers need to work together to make different choices."

Everyone Active, which runs Hood Park Leisure Centre in partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council, has pledged to become a single-use plastic free provider by 2025. Part of this commitment has involved the company removing single-use plastic overshoes from around pool changing rooms and poolside areas.

Councillor Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at North West Leicestershire District Council, added: "Single-use plastic is a worldwide problem and we support any work to educate people and reduce our reliance on it within our communities.

"Our 'Recycle more…' project aims to reduce the amount sent to landfill and we're pleased to see young people working with their schools to raise awareness of this important issue."


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