North Lanarkshire air quality learning tool launched

An interactive learning tool to teach primary school pupils about air quality has been launched by North Lanarkshire council, after it received a £10,000 grant from the Scottish Government.

The online learning tool features hand-on activities to help children understand how their actions affect the air they breathe.

Councillors Jim Logue and Helen McKenna with pupils from St Timothy's Primary School in Coatbridge

Councillors Jim Logue and Helen McKenna with pupils from St Timothy’s Primary School in Coatbridge

And, according to the council, it contributes to the People, Place and the Environment element of the Curriculum for Excellence for primary 5 to 7 pupils, as well as the Eco Schools Award Scheme.

Using the tool, children are taught about the history of air pollution, the major pollutants, measurement and monitoring in the UK and the rest of the world, as well as the impact of air pollution now and in the future.

The package has been piloted in three schools – Baird Memorial in Cumbernauld, Calderbridge in Coltness and St Timothy’s in Coatbridge – and will now be rolled out to all primary schools in North Lanarkshire, the council said.

Designed as part of the council’s Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP), the council received a £10,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s AQAP grant to help develop the package.

Councillor Helen McKenna, convener of the environmental services committee, said: “Air quality is important to us all and, with increasing levels of pollution globally, we need to be aware of its impact and what we can do to improve it.”

“This new package gets that message to the next generation through our primary schools, encouraging children to be responsible citizens of the future. This is an excellent example of the work being carried out by the council through our Air Quality Action Plan.”

Councillor Jim Logue, convener of the learning and leisure services committee, said: “Children are very aware of environmental issues so this education package will be of real interest.”

He added: “Feedback from the pilot has been positive from both pupils and teachers, and the interactive format uses activities to develop pupils’ knowledge of the subject and make it relevant to their lives. As well as raising awareness of the importance of air quality among pupils, it will also extend to their parents and families.”

The council’s AQAP includes pledges to improve air quality in the Air Quality Management Areas at Chapelhall, Whifflet, Croy, Moodiesburn, and Motherwell.