Childcare students take sustainability project into the community to support primary school pupils


East Coast College Childcare students have taken a sustainability project out of the classroom and into the community to help encourage young people to be more environmentally friendly.

Students from across the college were assigned the task of exploring sustainability and green skills as part of an induction project. A panel of judges evaluated the projects based on their ability to demonstrate effective group working, enhanced student knowledge, and the project’s ability to share that knowledge for broader community impact.

The Level 3 Childcare group from the college’s Lowestoft campus emerged as the winners of the challenge, with their innovative project delivered to around 60 children at Woods Loke Primary School. Their engaging learning activity involved a focus on using recycled materials for various purposes such as growing food, gift wrapping and crafting bird feeders, as well as educating the children about ocean pollution.

The Childcare group’s exceptional commitment and innovation set them apart from other group’s submissions. In addition to flawlessly executing the planned activities, they took it a step further by delivering a comprehensive presentation. Their additional activities encompassed cultivating cress and basil in repurposed plastic bottles, fostering self-sufficiency in food production; imparting sustainable gift-wrapping techniques using materials like string and ribbon; crafting bird feeders from old mugs and yogurt pots, promoting animal welfare and educating the children about the detrimental effects of litter on our oceans.

Alister Cooper-Smith, Childcare tutor at East Coast College said: “As well as learning about sustainability themselves, the project allowed our students to pass their knowledge onto younger children and contributed to their on-the-job placement hours where they used activity plans and were observed by an assessor.

“The project was a great example of the college engaging with employers and working with the community, and the school thoroughly enjoyed the activities – the pupils were excited to take them home to show their families!”

Julia Bates, Deputy Principal for Curriculum and Strategic Partnerships at East Coast College, said: “At East Coast College, we prioritise sustainability. This project not only enhanced our students’ understanding of sustainability and environmental issues, but also provided them with the opportunity to share their knowledge with young children in their placement setting, actively promoting environmental awareness and sustainability in the community.”

Other projects completed by college students included redesigning an outdoor space for wellbeing and wildlife, reusing jigsaw pieces and plastic as artwork to highlight issues around sustainability and taking part in a beach clean alongside staff from Sea Life Great Yarmouth.