New recycling board game proves to be a big hit with school children

A new board game that teaches Kirklees’ school kids how to recycle more, proved a big hit with pupils when it was played for the first time at Nields Junior, Infant and Nursery School.

The game is the brainchild of Stacy Townend, Recycling Officer for Kirklees Council. Stacy is part of the council’s Recycling Team which is taking a proactive and strategic approach to working with Kirklees schools.

The Recycling Team aims to link with every school in Kirklees to help them introduce key recycling and environmental messages into the curriculum.

Stacy said “We want to engage with kids in a way that is relevant to them, is informative, and fun. I gave our design team a basic idea of a sort of snakes and ladders game, and they came up with a great design. The kids follow a path on the board that is littered with good and bad practice when it comes to recycling. It’s easy to play and the kids pick up key messages each time they land on a new place. We use it as part of our broader ranging environmental workshops that we run for schools and the kids just loved it,”.

Noah (6) was one of the first Nields School pupils to play the game. “I liked that everyone got to play together and learn things at the same time,” said Noah.

Karen Hill is a Trustee of the Parents, Teachers and Friends Association at Nields Junior, Infant and Nursery School and has been advocating for and teaching pupils at the school about environmental subjects for the last year and a half.

Karen is as enthusiastic about the game and workshops as the children and said: “We have been working with Stacy’s team for some time now on a wide range of green workshops. This new game is great. It really gets the children talking, it sparks conversations about why we need to look after the environment. What I loved seeing is the way they recognise their own responsibilities when it comes to recycling; many of them said they were going to go home and remind their parents about what they need to be putting in their green bins.”

Historically only a small number of Kirklees schools have engaged with the council. Now, with so many of them trying to become Eco-Schools, like Nields School did in 2021, Stacy and fellow Recycling Officer Jonathan Garside along with the team of Recycling and Waste Advisors are hoping that more will come on board.

As well as bringing fun games into the school, the team can also set up classroom competitions, recycling workshops, arrange litter picks and advise the schools on how to generate funds from recycling.

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Environment at Kirklees Council said:

“Seeing the schoolchildren respond so positively to the new game is really encouraging. Getting the message to our young people is so important, after all, it is they who will benefit most if we take positive action now to tackle climate change.”

Schools wishing to contact Kirklees Council’s Recycling Team should email it on recycling.officer@kirklees.go.uk.

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