Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Keep Wales Tidy Deliver a Virtual Education Session with a Difference

17 July 2023

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Eco-School Wales team at Keep Wales Tidy have brought the wonders of the outdoors indoors, with an interactive and online education session focused on minibeasts, their characteristics and their habitats. Hosted at the Cilfynydd Environmental Education Centre, the session involved primary school pupils from Key Stage 2 year groups and offered an unique learning experience.

The initiative forms part of Welsh Water's well-established education strategy, which has reached over 600,000 pupils to date. The not-for-profit company is committed to inspiring the younger generation about water through its unique approach of annually seconding teachers to deliver its educational program.

Claire Roberts, Welsh Water’s Head of Community Engagement, highlighted the collaboration's importance: “We often collaborate to deliver joint education sessions, and foster wider social benefits for communities. We’re delighted to work with the Eco School Wales team at Keep Wales Tidy on this exciting session. Seeing the children so engaged and committed during these sessions brings immense joy. It helps to ensure our future customers understand our work in maintaining our essential services and protecting the environment."

The 40-minute session involved a quiz, a microscope investigation activity, information on a variety of species – from a Freshwater Shrimp to a Damselfly Nymph, homework, and discussion. In line with all of Dŵr Cymru and Keep Wales Tidy’s provision, it was led by the National Curriculum for Wales; closely aligned to the four core purposes – capable learners, enterprising contributors, informed citizens and confident individuals.

The excitement and intrigue of discovering the world of ‘minibeasts’ were brought right into the classroom. This innovative approach to environmental education allowed the young learners to gain insights into the diverse habitats and characteristics of these tiny creatures, without leaving their school premises. It provides a creative solution to foster a sense of stewardship for the environment among the younger generation, regardless of the weather or location.

Tim Wort, Education Manager at Keep Wales Tidy, praised the initiative: "We were delighted to partner with Welsh Water for this interactive and exciting event. The sign-up numbers have been outstanding, reflecting a real appetite from schools and pupils to learn about the many ways they can take action and make a real difference. It’s also relevant to the Eco-Schools Wales Awards programme.”

A total of 3,264 pupils across 121 classrooms participated in the session, with positive feedback received from participants.

Welsh Water and Keep Wales Tidy's commitment to bring outdoor environmental education indoors on such a large scale offers invaluable benefits to pupils who may not have the opportunity to access these experiences otherwise. This innovative online approach allows the pupils to explore and connect with nature to help create informed future custodians of our planet.