What do dragon’s breath, thirsty dinosaurs and sweaty trees have in common? They were all topics of conversation during a lesson with a difference at Harbour Primary School in Newhaven last month.
Pupils from Year 4 took part in a day of activities learning about their local water cycle as well as how dirty water is treated in order to make it safe to drink.
The lesson was part of a new environmental education programme in Newhaven and Peacehaven on the local water cycle called “Our Water Matters” (OWM) facilitated by The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere programme and supported by South East Water.
180 children took part in the lessons, using Minecraft to explore their local environment and water cycle from high up in the clouds to deep down underground – without leaving their classroom!
The virtual learning was complemented by real-world outdoor education in school grounds with practical activities including building their own water treatment works in an old plastic bottle.
Emma Goddard, Head of Environment at South East Water, said: “People are often unaware that most of our water comes from groundwater which has naturally filtered through the rock of the South Downs.
“We hope that by engaging with pupils at an early age we can enhance their understanding of the water we supply and inspire budding water engineers for the future.
Year 4 Class teacher Catarina Granville, from Harbour Primary School, said: “The pupils really got involved and were clearly so interested throughout the lessons. They really enjoy the practical experiments and seeing the water cycle brought to life really improves their understanding.”