Learning about the impact litter has on the environment with Southsea beach clean

Pupils from The Portsmouth Academy who are passionate about protecting the environment went litter picking recently at Southsea Beach.

Year 7 and 8 pupils from the school’s Eco Club, which works to discuss and implement more sustainable and environment-friendly actions, gathered trash along Southsea esplanade earlier this week to learn more about the negative impact littering is having on the beach.

The afternoon in the sunshine follows weeks of classroom learning and planning about the issues of littering (particularly plastic) and what can be done to combat the issue.

Miss Payne, who teaches geography and leads the Eco Club, says it was encouraging to see everyone putting their classroom learning into practise.

"Teaching in a classroom gets you so far, but it’s putting that learning into practise in the real world that has a massive impact on your understanding, as that offers so much more than just being in a class. The Eco Club has been doing a fantastic job at discussing and exploring ways in which they can be more sustainable, which includes the increase of recycling bins around the school and litter picking in our field," she said.

Miss Payne continued: "We thought that the litter picking in the sunshine today would be an insightful opportunity to get them into the community to actually see what they can do to support the environment there.

"They are learning about oceans at the moment and the importance of protecting them, so it’s good to come here in Southsea today to see what it’s like. Some of them haven’t actually ever been to the beach or haven’t been in ages, so it’s a mixture of getting them out in the culture and seeing what this space is like in the summer, and also collecting the litter. We’re going to go back to the school later today and talk about the importance of our actions here at the beach."

As a treat, the eco-enthusiasts treated themselves to ice cream in the warm weather following their impressive collection of litter.

There are big plans for the Academy’s Eco-Club to do more in their efforts to make a difference to the environment," says Miss Payne. She said: "Next year, it would be brilliant to see our Eco Club engaged with one, or perhaps two, trips with a focus on protecting the environment. It’s wonderful working with a driven group of young people determined to do more to be more environmentally friendly, so I would like to ensure they have the opportunities to use that energy beyond the school’s walls."