In 2003 the school started a partnership with the City of London to monitor and ultimately improve the air quality around the school. London’s poor quality air is a well known problem. Indeed, when we survey parents to get an idea of their priorities for school improvement it is one of the main concerns raised. As such, we’re very proud to announce that the air quality enhancement projects around the school are bearing fruit.
For the first time since monitoring began the annual measure of air pollution around the site has reduced to below the legal limit.
The main reasons for the reduction in pollutants is the work that the City of London has promoted to improve the built environment in the local area. Two new open spaces have been developed—Mitre Square and Aldgate Square. Footpaths have been widened around the school site. Hundreds of plants and trees have been established.
Inside the grounds of the school our Gardener, Catherine Tidnam, has worked with the Air Quality team in the City to develop planting around the school, install green screens and develop awareness of environmental issues with our children through our gardening club.
Many of these initiatives were featured in a recent BBC News report about the improvement on and around the site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-43930705/how-one-london-school-is-fighting-the-city-s-toxic-air
We don’t plan to rest on our laurels though. Over the next few months you will continue to see improvements around the site and inside the school building. We’re currently evaluating our trial of an air filter in Explorers. Initial results have shown a dramatic improvement in the air quality inside after installing this. We’re also going to be continuing to develop our gardens around the school, installing a nature and quiet area in the main playground, improving our green screens and installing an indoor garden in the entrance hall.
Mr T Wilson
Air quality work in school
We’ve been doing lots of work in school this year in relation to improving the air quality in and outside of the building and improving awareness on high pollution days.
We we’re very pleased to see we were not featured in the 50 most polluted school in London article in the Evening Standard.
This is mainly because Nitrogen Dioxide levels around the school have steadily reduced over the last few years as a result of the traffic calming measures on Aldgate High Street and the establishment of public squares on either side of the school, reducing the traffic flow.
Over the summer the City air quality team supported installations of air filtration systems in the Baby Room. We are monitoring the impact of these systems before we make a decision about installing them elsewhere in the school building.
There have also been major improvements to the school gardens. In the early years this has included green screening the Aldgate High Street fence and the installation of watering systems on all of the Ivy planters to promote growth. Over the next 18 months you should see a thicker covering of ivy over most of the railings in school, helping to capture tiny particles.
Would you like to receive the new ‘City Air’ Newsletter?
At the City of London Corporation, we are starting a newsletter to keep everyone in the Square Mile updated regarding all things Air Quality. It will be going out 4 times yearly. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘AQ Newsletter’ if you would like to receive our new newsletter.
If you have any articles or news relevant to Air Quality that you would like to include in our newsletters, we would love to hear from you. Please email it to email@example.com.
We’re looking for volunteers to help out on the Roof Garden of the school after the Easter Holidays. Mr Wilson currently runs a gardening club on a Thursday lunchtime and is joined by Ms Lucas and Ms Caunter when their teaching commitments permit. We’d love some additional help earlier in the week either at a lunchtime or after school. Are you interested in gardening? Might you like to help out? Please speak to Mr Wilson if you are able to help.
Children from London schools and headteachers deliver a letter signed by over 100 London headteachers to London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, asking for him to tackle the air pollution crisis.
Moderate air pollution forecast valid from Saturday 20 September to end of Monday 22 September
Saturday will have a foggy start with isolated heavy thundery showers in places, these will clear with warm sunny spells developing later on. Sunday and Monday will remain dry with sunny periods although it will feel slightly fresher than recent days as winds increase and become more northerly.
Light easterly winds will continue to import polluted air into the UK from continental Europe that will combine with local emitted pollutants and lead to widespread 'moderate' particulate pollution occurring across London and the south east again during Saturday.
Strengthening northerly winds will bring in cleaner air that will aid in the dispersion of all pollutants and particulate levels are expected to reduce overnight into Sunday.
Air pollution is expected to remain ‘low’ throughout the forecast period for the following pollutants:
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