Inspiring Colchester's students to take care of our local air

PUBLISHED: 25 May 2021

A new online toolkit has been launched this week to help schools in Colchester encourage a greater understanding amongst their pupils of air pollution and how to improve the air we all breathe. 

The Toolkit for Schools, which forms part of Colchester Borough Council’s CAReless Pollution no idling campaign, provides teachers with a range of age-appropriate activities and ideas for inspiring pupils. 

Ideas in the toolkit are linked to curriculum subjects such as English, Geography and Science making it easy for teachers to include ideas in lesson planning. They include fieldwork using portable air quality monitors and classwork such as a poster designing competition and route mapping to find clean journeys to school. 

A power point presentation and short film featuring local residents allows teachers to introduce the subject of air pollution in an assembly before analysing the issues in greater detail. Other supporting materials include a word search, a colouring-in sheet featuring local landmarks and a chatterbox. 

Councillor Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation says, “We are really keen to inspire students to understand the consequences of air pollution and take positive action to improve local air. 

“We hope the Toolkit for Schools will encourage young people to speak to the adults in their household about switching off their engines while they wait, particularly outside the school gates. The activities in the toolkit also provide an opportunity for young people to learn responsible driving habits before they get behind the wheel themselves.”

Vicki Decroo, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the CCG says: “As a community we can take positive action that improves the quality of our health for all residents, even little switches when done by many cause an impact that we will all benefit from that also supports a reduction in breathing related complication’s worsening or developing for our friends and family”

Air pollution reduces life expectancy and is linked to 1 in 20 deaths in Colchester. It can also cause increased symptom’s for people suffering from Asthma, and COPD increasing the need for use of inhalers to improve the symptoms and reduce breathlessness so all actions to reduce air pollution can contribute to an improved quality of life for Colchester Residents.
The main source of Colchester’s air pollution is exhaust fumes. Switching your engine off while stationary can cut air pollution by up to 30%. 

The Toolkit is available to download from


Page last reviewed: 25 May 2021


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