Clean Air Schools

It’s unimaginable to think that schools can often be some of the most polluted places in our towns and cities.

This alarming reality inspired us to create our free air pollution teaching materials - the Clean Air Schools Pack.

Order your Clean Air Schools Pack

We want pupils, teachers and parents to know more about air pollution and how it effects them - and critically get campaigning to protect children’s lungs.

The free Clean Air Schools Pack contains:

  • 3 exciting lesson plans on air pollution, its health impacts, and campaigning – all designed by an experienced teacher for Key Stage 2.

  • Two free air monitoring tubes to measure quality of the air the children breathe.

  • Colourful posters for your school walls showing plants that reduce air pollution – and stickers for the children.

  • A fun and active school assembly on air pollution.

We’re proud to say that 97% of teachers who used the Clean Air Schools Pack would recommend it to a colleague.

With some of the lovely comments from teachers including:

“I thought this was a great initiative and one that is appreciated by teachers and much supported by head teachers. It was great to have something that linked to mainstream media so readily.”

“Packs like these are so exciting for the children. More like this please.”

“I think this is a brilliant pack and leads to a lot of further learning, research and education."

Case study – Rosary Primary School

We’re proud to have had over 1000 primary schools up-and-down country order a Clean Air Schools Pack. One of these schools was Rosary Catholic Primary School in Birmingham.  The school sits on a heavily congested road, and Birmingham is one of the most polluted cities in the country. This all meant that the teachers and pupils were keen to get learning about their air.

The year 4 group and their teacher put one tube up in the school playground and the other in the staff car park.  The results came back worryingly high. The tube placed on the front school gate measured 57ug/m3 while the tube placed at the rear of the school measured 52ug/m3.

If air pollution were as bad across the year as it has been for the duration of the study it would be in breach of legal limits set by the EU. The annual EU legal limit is 40ug/m3.

The project came full circle when the school wrote to their councillor and MP calling for the change needed to clean up their air.

When reflecting on the results the eco-group leader, Joe Perkins said “It’s really made us stop and think about the air we breathe - It’s pretty damning.”  He added that the children were particularly surprised by how dirty the air was, as the air-monitoring tubes remain clear when used. To which he replied: “just because it’s clear doesn’t mean it’s clean”.

And he is absolutely right, though we can’t see it the air all around us remains filthy.  And the fight to achieve clean air rages on.

Download a school assembly on air pollution

We’re particularly excited for you to use the assembly on air pollution.

The inspiration behind the assembly was to provide teachers, parents and community groups with a resource that explains the issue in a fun and simple way.

Download your Clean Air School Assembly

What does the assembly cover?

  • It explains how dirty our air is, even though we often can’t see or smell air pollution.

  • It focuses in on the UK’s history of air pollution with The Great Smog of 1952.

  • It shows just how much car usage has increased in the UK, with a shocking side-by-side comparison of traffic in the 1960s versus the present day.

  • It explains how we can spread the word about air pollution.

  • It lists the steps we can take to clean up the air we breathe. 

You can tailor the assembly to include local information about where you live and about your school.

Order more resources

Looking for more resources to help you campaign with schools? We’re ready to help!  We can send you accessible and colourful:

  • Stickers.

  • Anti-idling leaflets.

  • Posters on the best plants to reduce indoor air pollution.

  • Posters on the links between climate change and air pollution.

If you would like to receive any of these resources than please email us at cleanair@foe.co.uk detailing what resources you would like, the quantities and a delivery address.