16Jul 2019

SuDS not floods

Charlene Duncan, South East Rivers Trust


A new animation created by pupils of Harris Junior Academy Carshalton explains how Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can benefit the whole community.



Over the last year, the SuDS in Sutton’s Schools project has been working very closely with both Muschamp Primary and Harris Junior Academy Carshalton.  The project will be installing extensive SuDS schemes at each of these schools over the summer holidays.  An essential part of the project has been engaging both the pupils and staff.


Getting children excited about SuDS can be challenging – it’s a dry name for an exciting (wet!) topic.  The South East Rivers Trust Education Officer, Charlene Duncan, has carried out a range of activities at both schools including assemblies, outdoor activities, experiments and public campaigns.  One of the highlights of this work has been making a stop animation film with the pupils at Harris that explains the need for SuDS.


The school was keen to involve a whole year group in the making of the film which meant four classes, and over 100 pupils, were involved.  Artist Wendy Scott worked with the children, explaining how animation is made and then getting the children to have a go.  Charlene and Wendy spent half a day in each class and another day with a select group to finish off the film and record the sound.  The aim was to get the children to make most of the film themselves.


By choosing Year 3, the project was able to link to the topic being studied in class – the Victorians.  Simple animation first became popular during Victorian times when zoetropes and flipbooks were used to bring illustrations to life.  Each child created their own animation using these techniques which was then incorporated into the film.


The project also linked to the school’s Arts Week.  A range of media was used to produce the artwork for the film including charcoal, felt tips, watercolours and collage.


The text for the video was created and spoken by the children.  It demonstrates how well they took on board the principles of SuDS and the value of SuDS to the community.


The success of this project stems from the fact that it was integrated with the school’s needs.  Adapting the process to include four classes, making links to the classroom topic and including it as part of Arts Week meant that the project was further valued by staff.  The support of staff contributed not only to the success of the film itself but also helped children engage with the message – SuDS not Floods!


View the original blog here.

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