Carry out a spot check to see if lights or electrical items are left on after school
5Investigating energy usageKS1, KS2, KS3, KS4
This is the perfect task for a group of children who enjoy being 'detectives' and checking to see which classes are remembering to turn lights, boards and monitors off at the end of the school day. Don't forget to check other areas of the school, such as your school hall, toilets, offices, corridors, library, kitchen or resource rooms. 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
Pupils might like to leave feedback for each class / 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 home 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 develop a traffic light system, leaving laminated coloured discs or light bulbs in each classroom. 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?
An after school 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!
If classrooms are regularly occupied by teachers or after school clubs at the end of the school day, you will need to discuss with your teachers the best time and way to check lights and IT are switched off.