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Broad sweep of geography

Scrap Attack 2003 looked like a practical and exciting opportunity to cover the "Improving the Environment" strand of key stage 2 Geography. Carrick District Council organised a litter collection to raise awareness of waste disposal issues in local Cornish schools.

We set off in pairs, armed with plastic gloves, bags and protective tabards to satisfy health and safety requirements. Two hours and 40 kg of rubbish later (including one supermarket trolley) the children were surprised and horrified by what they'd found.

The following week was spent in the ICT suite compiling tables and graphs, analysing and tracing the sources of rubbish. The children were keen to "name and shame" the guilty parties. They designed leaflets to persuade visitors not to smoke in the school grounds, made signs to remind pupils to dispose of their litter carefully and wrote letters to the local supermarket suggesting ways of preventing trolley theft.

Despite not winning the competition for "the school with the most rubbish collected", we were all delighted with the project. Teachers easily covered the original geography objectives, and also managed to link ICT, maths, literacy, citizenship and design technology. Children got involved with real-life issues which directly affect their community.

We have also written a letter asking the council to provide more dog bins in our area. And we're looking forward to judging the impact of the improvements we've put into place in Scrap Attack 2004.

Alison Shaw, class teacher, Bosvigo School, Truro, Cornwall

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