Class 6 have been learning all about Shakespeare, reading and performing plays. Their topic included a trip to the Globe Theatre where the whole class took part in an excellent workshop.
We welcomed Mr Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London to Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School today where he learnt more about the wonderful work we do to mitigate against the pollution levels in central London.
Mr Khan wanted to learn first hand some of the measures we’ve put in place in partnership with the City of London to improve air quality. First he met pupils who welcomed him to school and told him a little about what they enjoy. After that we explored the playground and looked inside the air quality monitoring station. We are one of a handful of schools in the Capital which monitor the air quality inside and out. We track the different sorts of pollutants so we can make informed decisions about physical activity outside on high pollution days. And so governors can plan, taking strategic decisions considering air quality.
We then explored the school and visited some of the classes and commented that for his first school visit as Mayor he wanted to come to ‘the best school in London’. We finished the morning by learning more about the roof garden and the particulate loving plants we have planted in partnership with the Friends of City Gardens. Mr Khan helped the children to do some planting of lavender– a plant that just loves to trap particulates. He then did a series of interviews with different reporters from London and overseas.
Mr Khan asked the children about their learning on air quality and told Year 6 that he wanted to visit our school to help share the good work that we’ve been doing. Children told the Mayor about the walking routes project which helped identify less polluted routes to school, avoiding main roads. They also shared some of our poster campaigns where we have encouraged buses and lorries to turn off their engines while they wait.
We’ve been so fortunate at our school to have the full support of the City of London who have also tackled major issues in the local area by reducing the traffic flows around the school. The new public square in Aldgate has already had a significant positive impact on reducing air pollution around our school. It’s thanks to concerted action by the school and City that we are ahead of the curve on this issue.
Schools are rightly located in the heart of their communities. We proudly serve the area of Aldgate as we have done for over 300 years.
We love our building and our location in the heart of the City. Indeed, we benefit from all the cultural, religious and historical institutions that London has to offer because many are in walking distance!
We need to improve air quality further around the school– but this can only be don by tackling the issue across the City. We hope other schools can learn from our initiatives. I for one am positive about any initiatives which can help London’s children breath cleaner air!
Mr T Wilson | Headteacher
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