The Chiswick Oasis, the wall of plants alongside the A4 and St Mary’s RC Primary school, will be built this week, says Andrea. Twice he’s told me this before and twice I have faithfully reported it! But this time he says he’s certain, so here’s hoping. Work is planned to start on Wednesday.
He’s had so much interest from other schools that he’s planning a meeting at 7pm on Thursday 6 June at the Hogarth Centre which he would like as many schools as possible to attend, so that the parents at St Mary’s can share their experience with other schools who’d like to follow suit. St Mary’s is not only covering the wall of their playground with plants, but plans to introduce air purifiers in the classrooms and decorate with a special paint to mitigate the effects of air pollution. They’ve instituted a ‘no car Friday’ policy when parents are encouraged not to bring their children to school by car. Children who come under their own steam or by public transport have their hand stamped and win extra house points. They are also working with the local council and other schools on plans to introduce ‘school roads’ which would be closed to traffic (except for residents) during school arrival and leaving times.
Eventually they plan to produce a handbook of ‘how to make your school green’. If you’re a parent or teacher interested in hearing more about all this, you can contact Andrea at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures above: St Mary’s playground as it is now and as it is envisioned
By getting West London’s schools together, St Mary’s is launching ‘BreatheWest’ – a new clean air campaigning group for parents of children in West London. Poor air quality in London has been described as a crisis, with pollution levels exceeding safe limits in many areas. Children are particularly effected by air pollution, yet schools and their local streets are frequently the places where they have the most exposure to it.
“Parents in local schools are starting their own clean air groups and we think we will have more power to make a difference if we come together, share ideas and co-ordinate our efforts, making our schools safer places to breathe, play and learn” says Andrea.
BreatheWest’s first meeting will “discuss further how we would like to work as group, share ideas and advice from parents who are already taking action (e.g. building a green wall, applying for grants) and start our lobbying activity to get local councils to do more”.
7 – 7.30pm – Registration and networking
7.30pm – Introduction
Who we are, what are we trying to do, what future events might look like, which schools are in attendance
7.40pm – Clean Air Parents Network
Catherine Maguire to provide the bigger picture and talk about what Clean Air Parents Network is doing London-wide
7.50pm – Andrea Carnevali, St Mary’s Primary School, Chiswick
What you are doing, how you got here, the journey and successes/ failures. Esp. about engaging with your school, other parents, the council and the various suppliers etc.
8.10pm – Resources available for your school
An overview of: grants, websites, lesson materials etc. TfL awards, speakers etc.; Clear Air Day material – Mums for Lungs
8.20pm – Local initiatives. Great West Hedge and Clean Air Day email to your councillors
What is the Great West Hedge? – get your school to be a supporter
Send an email to your councillor on Clean Air Day & get the rest of your parents at school to do so too
8.30pm – Wrap up and close
8.30-9pm – Networking and drinks
Last week Andrea and the initiatives at St Mary’s featured not once, but twice in the pages of the Times, in articles about air pollution and how it’s affecting our children.