Fruit peelings and apple cores in a blue food waste bin lined with newspapers

Zero Waste Lunches

The resources here will help you bring learning into the classroom through activities children can complete before, during and after a waste audit of lunchtime waste in school.

Build a better lunch box – Lesson plan

Build a better lunchbox – Contents pictures

Build a better lunchbox – Mat

Smiling boy eating sandwich with a blue plastic lunchbox containing a banana and some grapes and a blue plastic water bottle
Fronty cover of the What about waste Literacy resource pack

What about Waste?

Literacy packs have been developed by an experienced KS2 teacher to develop pupils’ core literacy skills while extending their understanding of waste issues. One pack is for year 3 and 4 pupils, the other for pupils in year 5 and 6. Both packs comprise of 10 clear and easy to use lesson plans and supporting documents, which address literacy objectives for KS2 pupils using the topical theme of rubbish and the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).

What about waste? (Year 3/4)

What about wasteWhat about Waste? has been developed by an experienced KS2 teacher to develop pupils’ core literacy l skills while extending their understanding of waste issues. It comprises 10 clear and easy to use lesson plans and their supporting documents, which address literacy objectives for year 3/4 pupils using the topical theme of rubbish and the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). Areas covered are: explanation, instruction, persuasive writing, play script writing, play script performance, poetry writing and poetry performance. What about Waste? literacy pack – year 3/4 Lesson 1 – 3Rs PowerPoint (can take a while to download) Lesson 1 – 3Rs Powerpoint (pdf)

 

What about waste? (Year 5/6)

What about wasteThis year 5/6 teaching resource comprises of 10 lesson plans and their supporting documents, which addresses literacy objectives using the topical theme of rubbish and the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). Areas covered are: recount, instruction, explanation, persuasive writing, descriptive language, descriptive writing, poetry writing and poetry performance. What about Waste? literacy pack – year 5/6 Lesson 1 – 3Rs PowerPoint (can take a while to download) Lesson 1 – 3Rs Powerpoint as a pdf Lesson 7 – WEEE PowerPoint Lesson 7 – WEEE PowerPoint as a pdf

 

Front cover of the Material World resource pack for teachers

Material World

‘Material World’ uses Geography and Science to encourage upper KS2 pupils to explore the resources we find on our planet, how we use them and what we can do to conserve them and live in a more sustainable manner. The pack integrates:

  • exploration of materials
  • geographical investigations and case studies
  • deliberation of our ‘wants’ and ‘needs’
  • exploration of the ethics of consumerism
  • ideas for practical action

This pack consists of six lessons which are designed to run consecutively over a half term, or during a focussed topic week, culminating in a day of pupils taking action in their school or community.

Geography and Science 6 lesson teaching pack (Year 5/6)

Pupils are encouraged to explore the Earth’s resources, how we use them, and what actions we can take to live in a more sustainable manner. It focuses on textiles and plastics and the impacts these have on our environment. Material World Teaching Pack Plastics PowerPoint Plastics PowerPoint (pdf) Material World PowerPoint Material World PowerPoint (pdf) Textiles PowerPoint Textiles PowerPoint (pdf)

Preview selected pages below

 

‘Wants and Needs’ activity

Material World introduction sessionThere is a big difference between the things we ‘want’ and what we actually ‘need’ in order to survive. This 1.5 hour long activity explores everyday materials, the resources they are made from and the impact of how they are made. It can be used as part of Geography, Science and Citizenship and is part of the Material World teaching pack. Wants and Needs activity – introduction to the Material World teaching pack

A picture of an dead albatross with a stomach full of plastic washed up on a beach

Environment Agency School Resources

Plastic Pollution Teaching Resources

A set of 4 lessons produced by the Environment Agency to help teach about plastic pollution. ​The Plastics team of the Environment Agency have produced a set of resources for teachers and other professionals to teach primary school children about the plastic pollution problem and to help children realise that we all have a part to play in making plastic pollution a thing of the past. ​The resources can be downloaded below and are divided into different Key stages: Key Stage 1 Lower (Year 1, children aged 5-6), Key Stage 1 Upper (Year 2, children aged 6-7), Key Stage 2 Lower (Year 3/4, children aged 7-9), Key Stage 2 Upper (Year 5/6, children aged 9-11).

EA Teaching Resources: KS1 Lower

School resources pack for teaching Lower KS1 children (Year 1) about plastic pollution through an interactive workshop that should take 1-1.5 hours. Learning objectives:

  1. To be able to describe some of the effects of plastic on animals and the environment.
  2. To give an example of how everyone can help to make plastic pollution a thing of the past.

KS1 Lower Teacher Pack KS1 Lower Presentation KS1 Lower Animal Cards (with print lines) KS1 Lower Animal Cards KS1 Lower Animal Worksheet KS1 Lower Colouring Sheet KS1 Lower Pairs KS1 Lower Recycling Bins KS1 Lower Recycling Items KS1 Lower Word Bank

EA Teaching Resources: KS1 Upper

School resources pack for teaching Upper KS1 children (Year 2) about plastic pollution through an interactive workshop that should take 1-1.5 hours. Learning objectives:

  1. Describe what a habitat is;
  2. Explain some of the problems that plastic can cause in the environment.

KS1 Upper Teacher Pack KS1 Upper Animals for Habitats KS1 Upper Poster KS1 Upper Sea Habitats KS1 Upper Word Bank KS1 Upper Presentation

EA Teaching Resources: KS2 Lower

School resources pack for teaching Lower KS2 children (Year 3/4) about plastic pollution through an interactive workshop that should take 1-1.5 hours. Learning objectives:

  1. To understand that plastic can enter the environment in a number of ways which can cause harm to a number of organisms.
  2. Be able to understand how their choices can reduce the amount of plastic entering environment.

KS2 Lower Teacher Pack KS2 Lower Lunch Box Items KS2 Lower Plastic Bottle Lifecycle KS2 Lower Word Bank KS2 Lower Presentation

EA Teaching Resources: KS2 Upper

School resources pack for teaching Upper KS2 children (Year 5/6) about plastic pollution through an interactive workshop that should take 1-1.5 hours. Learning objectives:

  1. ​To understand how to conduct a scientific survey in the field
  2. To apply previous knowledge to solve a new problem

KS2 Upper Teacher Notes KS2 Upper Quadrats KS2 Upper Word Bank KS2 Upper Worksheet for Quadrats KS2 Upper Powerpoint

3 children in school uniform using spring balance to weigh a rubbish sack

Waste Audit Activities

A Waste Audit is a brilliant way of finding out how much rubbish your school creates and what type of things you, pupils and staff are throwing in the bin. This can then help you to organise better rubbish collections for your school, and work out what type of recycling bins will work best in your classrooms, playgrounds, school grounds and staff rooms.

We can provide help and support in carrying out Waste Audits. Contact our Educators for more information.

A Waste Audit involves an initial sort of all your rubbish and recycling to get a baseline figure, then pupils can help come up with ways to improve the school system, so your school can reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. This Action Plan will need to be agreed with school caretaking staff and extra bins may need to be purchased (See our Fundraising pages for further ideas to raise some cash). A second audit is then taken to monitor how successful the Actions were. Waste audits can link to the curriculum in both geography and maths lessons.

Waste Audit Follow up Activity Maths Year 3

Waste Audit Follow up Activity Maths Year 4

Waste Audit Follow up Activity Maths Year 5

Waste Audit Follow up Activity Maths Year 6

Waste Audit Follow up Activity Geography KS3

Children digging compost in a school garden

Composting

Turning twigs, leaves and bits of vegetables and fruit into gorgeous rich compost which helps plants grow is one of the natural world’s magic tricks! Learn how with our wonderful collection of hint, tips and videos below, including from Devon’s very own Dr Compost – Nicky Scott.

Composting is really good for the environment as it recycles nutrients so plants can use them again. If you’re a school it could also save you money by reducing the cost of someone picking up your bin. Devon has supported schools for many years to compost their cooked food waste as well as peels and cores.

Composting can also be a fantastic learning resource which can support many curriculum areas. It can get kids out of the classroom, learning practical, useful science. Whether your topic is minibeasts, habitats, micro-organisms or global warming, your compost bin can provide hands-on learning opportunities for pupils of all ages.