Run a themed event focused on energy use

30 Whole-school activities KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

Activity summary

Hold a 'Switch Off Day' when the school tries to spend the day without using electricity.  By switching off electrical appliances for just one day, you can encourage children and staff to think about how much energy is used (and wasted) and find ways to reduce your school’s energy consumption.  Items to turn off: Lights, Computers, Whiteboards, Monitors, Printers, Photocopiers, Projectors, Laminators, Sound systems, Microwaves, Kettles, Toasters. You may consider asking catering staff to reduce their energy usage by making a cold/picnic lunch and snacks.

Step 1: Audit your school to find out how many electrical appliances are used. Which ones could be turned off for the day?
Step 2: Tell everyone about the Switch Off day. Explain the reasons for doing it.
Step 3: Decide which appliances will be switched off. There may be exceptions e.g. office staff may need to use telephones and computers. Label them as essential to ensure they are not switched off.
Step 4: Plan electricity free lessons and activities for the day. Outdoor spaces and resources may need to be timetabled.
Step 5: Spread the word and remind everyone about your switch off day by using assemblies, posters, newsletters and blogs to engage children and adults.

Run a No Energy  Hour when all electricity and gas usage is stopped across the school. You may need to check with your IT support about the impact on servers, and timetable the No Energy hour so office staff can plan other tasks, and to avoid meal preparation in the school kitchen. Some schools find the last hour of the school day works well. Ensure doors and windows are closed to retain heat.

Promote Earth Hour 2018: 24th March 2018, 8.30-9.30pm with a community wide Switch-off event. See for further information.

Run a ‘100 Club Challenge’, where families are challenged to reduce their electricity use to under 100kWh a week. Those who are successful are celebrated in assembly and receive a special certificate designed by pupils. You can also have a ’50 club’ for your super savers. This challenge communicates a strong message in school and at home that we can save both money and the environment if we reduce our energy. Pupils can monitor families' energy use either via their home Smart meters, or by taking manual meter readings at the start and end of the week.

Run a Love your Jumper Week, where classroom temperatures  are turned down to 18C, and everyone is asked to come to school wearing a jumper, cardigan, sweatshirt or fleece that they feel comfortable wearing indoors. Wearing a jumper can give you an extra 3C heat, and for every 1C you reduce the classroom temperature you save the school about 10% of its heating costs. An average primary school uses about £5,000 of gas per year. Think how much you might save, if you reduced the temperature in your school by 2C.

Step 1: Monitor classroom temperatures for a week prior to your Love your Jumper Week. Record  how many children and teachers wear jumpers or similar in the classroom in the same week.
Step 2: Tell everyone about the Love your Jumper  week. Explain the reasons for doing it.
Step 3: Adjust  the heating thermostats at the start of the week.
Step 4: Monitor classroom temperatures during the week, and compare energy use using the Energy Sparks charts.
Step 5: Share how much energy was saved during the week using assemblies, posters, newsletters and blogs to engage children and adults.
Step 6: Agree a long term policy for classroom temperatures.

Switch off Fortnight runs nationally from 20th November to 3rd December in 2017. See for more information. 

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