To find out whether or not you are successfully achieving the targets set out in your Action Plan, you must measure your progress. Pupils must carry out one example of Measuring for Litter plus each of your chosen two topics.
If you have been participating in Eco-Schools for a while, you might remember the Measuring element being called Monitoring and Evaluation.
Video - Measuring
Watch this video for an explanation of the importance of Measuring to the Eco-Schools programme, and how to do it well.
You will also need to consider how this information will be collected and shared. Will pupils weigh recycling or read electricity meters? What will you need to put into place in order to measure progress? Perhaps purchasing resources or arranging meter access.
Measuring might involve:
- Graphs or tally charts.
- Before and after photographs.
- Video or written diaries.
- Feedback from questionnaires or surveys.
- Calculating bill savings.
- Meter readings.
- Weights - for example: litter, recycling or food waste
- The results of a waste audit.
- Your school's travel survey (Hands Up survey).
- Traffic light indicators - for example: playground cleanliness
- Totalling funds raised.
- Be done by pupils whenever possible.
- Be shared with the whole school and community, for example on your Eco-Schools noticeboard.
How you choose to measure progress will depend on which topics you are focusing on and the pupils involved.
What information could you use to share your progress with the whole school and wider community? Maybe it is the amount of paper collected for recycling, or perhaps a decrease in the amount of energy being used.
For example, a school trying to reduce food waste might first measure the amount of waste produced on a normal day, and compare this with the amount produced after trying to reduce it. The results of a survey of which school meals are most enjoyed by fellow pupils might also be used to reduce food waste.
Measuring Case Studies
Park Primary School
The Eco-Committee at Park PS measures how much litter is found in each section of the playground using coloured dots. The dots make it easy to see when the playground is being kept clean and even the youngest members of the Committee can update the noticeboard.
St Ninian's High School
Using the figures from their Hands Up Survey, pupils at St Ninian's High School found that less than 50% of every year group walks to school. This was one thing the Eco-Committee felt they could change by encouraging more pupils to walk instead of using the car. They thought this would make a difference to air quality around the school and surrounding area by easing traffic congestion and possibly also make a difference to the road safety in the area.
Good example of different kinds of Measuring for Litter. Weights of litter collected during different Clean Ups are displayed on the left, while a bar graph has been made showing how clean the dining room exit has been at busy times of day.
A floorbook can be a really good way of recording observations and opinions from children in an Early Years setting. Here is one from Kirkcudbright PreSchool where the children talk about a day of treeplanting.
Blackburn Primary School
Measuring is important element of your Eco-Schools activities. How you choose to measure progress will depend on which topics you are focusing on and the pupils involved. Pupils at Blackburn Primary School use a number of creative ways to Measure their projects and share the results. Read more.
Blackhall Primary School
Pupils at Blackhall Primary School made sure to incorporate an aspect of Measuring in their work on each of their three Eco-Schools topics. Measuring work on Litter in particular, allowed the Eco-Committee to spot an increase in litter in their outdoor classroom and take steps to fix it. Read more.
Wallacestone Primary School
The Eco-Committee at Wallacestone Primary School have done an excellent job of embedding the element of Measuring with one example for each of their three topics: Litter, Waste Minimisation and Biodiversity. Read more.
Towerbank Primary School
The Eco-Committee at Towerbank Primary School have done an excellent job of embedding the element of Measuring, particularly in their work on Litter and Energy. Read more.