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7,000 kids join UK’s biggest ever school trip

Energy, water and healthy living will be the highlight of the timetable for 7,000 school kids this week (7 – 11 November) as they join the UK’s biggest ever school trip to get a real taste of learning about sustainability outside the classroom.


Energy, water and healthy living will be the highlight of the timetable for 7,000 school kids this week (7 – 11 November) as they join the UK’s biggest ever school trip to get a real taste of learning about sustainability outside the classroom.
At The Co-operative’s ‘Green Schools Revolution: LIVE!’ events up and down the country, all 7,000 pupils will get to visit one of eleven UK Science and Discovery Centres, including the Eden Project (Cornwall), the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (London), Thinktank (Birmingham), Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester), W5 (Belfast), Satrosphere (Aberdeen) and Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) (Wales) for a special Green Schools Revolution lesson.
During the week, each venue will bring unique experiences into the Green Schools Revolution programme, from pupils ascending 305 steps to the top of the world’s only climbable wind turbine at Ecotech in Norfolk, to exploring the importance of plants and the vital role they play in sustainable and healthy living at Kew Gardens.
Entry to the venues for all 7,000 children is fully funded by The Co-operative, with the first 100 schools to have registered also landing themselves subsidised coach travel.
According to research by The Co-operative, 92 per cent of children (aged 7-14) want to learn more about green issues, helping to save the environment and healthy living*, which are the key components of the Green Schools Revolution.
And parents are backing the initiative too with 87 per cent of them wanting their kids to learn more about green issues*. This could be down to the fact their own green knowledge is lacking – over half of parents are confused about what causes climate change*. Clearly educating their children has a much wider impact as parents are willing to learn from their kids with 95 per cent saying they have become greener as a result of their kids pester power*.
The Co-operative’s Green Schools Revolution education programme, part of its Inspiring Young People campaign, was launched in 3,000 primary and secondary schools in September by farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty. It has been designed to inspire the next generation of green pioneers, with free lessons including recycling tips, trips and green activities and leisure ideas available to all UK primary and secondary schools.
Michael Fairclough, Head of Community and Campaigns, said:  “We are lucky that our youngsters have such a tremendous appetite to learn more about green issues. Green Schools Revolution LIVE! will be the UK’s biggest ever school trip giving school children from all four corners of the UK the opportunity to visit their nearest Science and Discovery Centre for an inspirational school visit that will ensure the next generation are better equipped for the challenge of building a more sustainable world.”
Jean Miller, Head teacher of Hottsbridge Primary School in Waterbeck near Lockerbie, said: “This superb event will enable schools to build upon and develop important skills for our children to become creative, inventive and enterprising adults in a world where the skills and knowledge of the environment are needed across all sectors of the economy for a sustainable future.
“Green education is so important to us and this programme fits in perfectly, not only with our Science, Social Studies and Health and Wellbeing curriculum, but also with our overall school ethos and the School Improvement Plan. With the Co-operative’s strong environmental credentials behind Green Schools Revolution, we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out on being part of this exciting programme.”
To find out more about Green Schools Revolution visit
*Opinion Matters interviewed 1,027 children aged between 7 and 14 and 1,002 parents of children aged 7 – 14 in August 2011
Additional Information: 
The eleven GSR: LIVE! venues are:- Eden Project (Cornwall), Kew Gardens (London), At-Bristol (Bristol), Ecotech (Norfolk), Thinktank (Birmingham), Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester), Centre for Life (Newcastle), W5 (Belfast), Glasgow Science Centre (Glasgow), Satrosphere (Aberdeen) and CAT (Wales). 
All 3,000 GSR schools across the country have access to a wide range of free cross-curricular classroom resources and activities through, giving young people and teachers the tools to inspire change in their schools, homes and local communities.
The Co-operative is offering schools free fun and educational visits to its own wind farm to see renewable energy in action and to seven Co-operative Farms to see firsthand how food grows and how to cook it. Schools will be able to take advantage of free high visibility jackets to help set up “walking buses”, helping them take practical action to cut their carbon emissions.
Green Schools Revolution is a comprehensive learning resource prepared by education specialists and available to all UK primary and secondary schools for free. 
The Co-operative’s Ethical Plan has 47 distinct targets, among them a cultural shift in youth perception and opportunities for young people through Green Schools Revolution, an Apprenticeship Academy and the creation of 200 Co-operative Schools by 2013.
As Britain’s largest farmer over 50,000 children have visited one of our 15 Co-operative Farms, gaining hands-on experience about where their food comes from. 
The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies almost 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at
For more information please contact:
Kieran Howlett       
Senior Public Relations Officer
The Co-operative Group
Tel:      0161 266 3592      
Mob:     07739 657 585


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