Pupils carry out a spot check to see if lights or electrical items are left on at lunch time

5 Investigating energy usage KS1, KS2

This is the perfect task for your Energy team or a group of children who enjoy being 'detectives' and checking to see which classes are remembering to turn lights, boards and monitors off in empty classrooms. Design your own simple recording sheet, or use one from the B&NES website:

Click here for a simple recording sheet using a tally, suitable for KS1 and lower KS2
Click here for a more detailed recording sheet suitable for upper KS2 and KS3

Before you start monitoring, explain to the rest of the school why it is important that lights and electrical equipment  are not left on in unoccupied rooms.  Each class could appoint an ‘energy monitor’ to ensure that lights and electrical equipment are switched off at break and lunchtimes and at the end of the school day.

As pupils carry out spot checks, they might like to leave feedback for each class or room they visit, praising the occupants for energy-efficient behaviour (e.g. 'Well done for switching your whiteboard off!') or reminding them of the school's aims to save energy (e.g. 'Please switch off your lights when you go to lunch to save our school energy and money.') To save time,  agree some standard feedback comments and photocopy them, so that children do not need to spend time writing their feedback in each room.  Some schools have used a token system where good performance is rewarded by a green token in a pot in the classroom and poor performance is recorded by a red token in a different pot. This creates a visual view of the performance of a class. The class with the most green tokens at the end of an agreed period of time gets an award. Discuss the best approach with your team of detectives - they are sure to have good ideas!

Don't forget to share the results of your detective work with the rest of the school, focusing on the positives as well as highlighting the potential for saving more energy. You'll find 'Well done class 5 for switching everything off! If they can do it, we can all do it!' is more motivating than naming and shaming those who have forgotten. 

Keep a record of what you find on each spot check, so that you can see if things are improving. And how about creating charts using your spot check data as part of maths lessons?

A lunchtime electricity spot check is an activity that can be repeated regularly - don't forget to enter it as a new activity and earn more Energy Sparks points each time you carry one out!
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This activity will score your school 5 points!

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