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Senior School pupils have been leading the campaign for cleaner air this week, promoting sustainable modes of transport and urging pupils and staff to avoid coming to school by car where possible.

This is the fifth year that members of the Pupil Environment Committee have run a week-long action against air pollution.

They explain: “We want our school community and the local residents to be able to breathe clean air: air pollution in London is, after all, dangerously high and regular exposure is particularly harmful to children, with thousands of Londoners dying every year as a direct result of poor air quality.” 
Imperial College London 2019

Sarah Mynott, Lead Teacher for the Environment, added: “As Londoners, we are really lucky that sustainable travel is an option for almost all of us. Walking, cycling, or taking public transport to/from school or work not only reduces air pollution, but it makes our city safer and helps to address the climate crisis. As awareness of air pollution and climate breakdown grows, it is becoming less socially acceptable for people to take short journeys by car, particularly when that involves driving past a school.”

Members of the pupil environment committee distributed leaflets to drivers each morning and after school, with information about air pollution and alternative travel options. For those pupils who arrived at school by bicycle or scooter, they were greeted in Chapel Quad with a celebratory pastry!

During the week, a bike maintenance workshop enabled pupils and teachers to service their bikes and learn basic maintenance tips to use at home. Senior School pupils were also offered a free bus trial during the week, to encourage use of our school bus service.

Sarah Mynott concluded: Pupils have really enjoyed taking meaningful and visible action on this issue this week, and it has been great to have such a positive response from so many parents and carers. We would like to thank everyone who travels to/from school in an environmentally and socially responsible way – collective action is powerful!”