Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow

A blog post by Laura Slinger

Laura Slinger

Posted 15/06/2021

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In January this year, we awarded 25 schools across Scotland with a £200 Litter Less grant to support the development and implementation of campaigns in their school and wider community that would help tackle the looming litter emergency.

St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow was one of the schools which received a grant - here Laura Slinger, Principal Teacher, tell us about how they used the money and how the children got involved.


At St Joseph’s, Woodside, Glasgow, we were delighted to be notified that our application for the 2020/2021 Wrigley’s Litter Less Campaign was successful and that we would be receiving a grant of £200 to improve a litter-prone area around our school grounds. Over the past two sessions, we have been working hard to develop our Learning for Sustainability entitlement, creating a Sustainable Development Goals curricular programme and also launching our Eco-Committee as part of our Eco Schools Award application.

We acted quickly from March 2020 to get our learning online and whilst it would have been preferable to not have a second period of remote learning after Christmas this year, we were able to adapt our Litter Less campaign to our circumstances and school context. For our Key Worker children, who remained in school, we implemented a series of two week programmes consisting of litter themed learning experiences. The resources that Jamie at Keep Scotland Beautiful signposted us to were extremely helpful in the planning and teaching of these experiences. Not knowing how long remote learning was to last, we then incorporated some other aspects relevant to the campaign, for example, exploring habitats, animals, mini-beasts and birds within our school grounds. The pupils also carried out and recorded the first couple of litter picks within our school grounds.

Our Key Worker children enjoyed these experiences and we created a display wall with their learning. Children working remotely also engaged in various learning activities, although not as prescriptive as our children in school. We also decided it wasn’t appropriate or safe to ask our pupils to litter pick at home given our urban, city centre location. All, however, were encouraged to take part in the #Litterlesstogether competition. Our P1 pupil, Jackson, was delighted to win with his junk model and is now excited to be put forward to represent Scotland later this year.

Once all pupils were back in school, the learning themes explored with Key Worker children were briefly revisited and consolidated with our P1 pupils as these were the target pupils for the Litter Less campaign. This then supported the launch of our #Litterless Superheroes in which the P1 children became Superheroes tackling litter within our school grounds (complete with masks decorated from playtime snack wrappers).

Jackson Marshall with his winning junk model

Despite the challenges this year has presented, by being flexible, we feel we have adapted the campaign successfully to give our pupils a creative and purposeful experience. We have spent our grant on some litter picking supplies and will add the remainder to our budget for the re-development of space surrounding our newly installed pitch. Here we hope to cultivate a wild garden and environmental learning space. 

Find out more about the Litter Less campaign, part of our Eco-Schools Scotland programme.

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