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This cross-curricular project can get across some important pollution and health messages in a really fun and engaging way. What’s more, your low pollution route map can be put up as a banner on school gates, and put up on families’ fridges at home, as a constant reminder of these vital messages.


Why do it?


Children are exposed to as much as 60% of their daily air pollution during the school run and while at school. That’s because, whether they travel by bus, car, bike or on foot, they are likely to be travelling along roads with vehicles, and therefore pollution.


A really simple way to reduce the amount of pollution children breathe in every day is to ensure that they are always choosing quieter, low pollution routes to get to school, rather than busy roads with lots of pollution. Walking just one road back from a busy road can reduce your exposure by as much as 50%.


Project overview

This is a great project for a KS2 class or an Eco Team. After watching our Video class lesson about pollution, pupils think about what roads in their area might be more or less polluted.


Pupils can then look at a pollution map of their area, or undertake some monitoring themselves (we have monitors we can loan to you). In the second half of the class, they can help to create images for a map of the area, which will highlight the cleaner (and greener) roads in the area, and which polluted (and red) roads they should avoid.



  • Fun, cross-curricular project covering geography, art and science.

  • Pupils can get involved in citizen science, measuring pollution levels on different routes to school.

  • Long-lasting impact - your maps can be kept for years to come.

  • Simple way to reduce pollution exposure every day.


Time requirements

  • 4 hours Prep

  • 3 hours delivery - lesson and monitoring

  • 5 hours to produce the map.



  • Approx £40 for PVC banner

  • Approx £80 for 450 stickers



  • Choose which class / group to undertake this project with (best suited to: KS2 class / Eco Team)

  • Prepare the resources for the lesson

  • You will need to choose how big the area for your map will be (ideally at least as big as your catchment area) and then produce a map of that area (e.g. using google maps).

  • Draw a giant version of the map for the class (at least a1 size).

Find a way to compare busy and more polluted roads with quieter roads. This could be: 

  • A pollution map of the area (search for your post code using Kings College London pollution map, or ask your local authority if outside of London). 

  • If not, you could do vehicle counts for different roads in the area.

  • Or undertake your own monitoring using personal exposure monitors (contact us at to see if our monitors are available for loan).

For the class, sou will also need:

  • Our Video Lesson

  • Paper and pens for the drawings

  • Personal exposure monitors (if using).



The lesson plan could entail:

  • At the start of the lesson, ask the children to draw on a map the route that they normally take to school, and what mode of transport. Some children may not be sure, so you may need to help them with this (10 mins).

  • Show our Video lesson which will educate the pupils about pollution and mapping (15 mins).

  • Ask the pupils to draw their favourite place in the map area (25 mins). A couple of volunteers could colour in the polluted roads red, and the cleaner roads green. You don’t need to include every road in the area, but enough to give the children an idea of where they live, more or less.

  • If you have personal exposure monitors, a few pupils could go out and do some monitoring to compare pollution levels on busier roads with quieter roads. You can show this to the rest of the class when you get back.


If you want a more professional look, you could see if there is a parent at the school with graphic design skills who would like to volunteer to help. Or if you have some PTA funding, you could pay a graphic designer / illustrator to do the work for you.


Select some of the children’s drawings to go on the map. You could scan the pictures and shrink them to the correct size, if they are too large. Place the drawings on the map, and your pollution map for the kids created by the kids is ready.


To have an impact across the whole school, you could do some or all of the following:

  • Arrange for the map to be printed onto a PVC banner (they cost around £40 each) which could then be put up at the school, to remind people of the cleaner routes message every day.

  • A4 versions could be printed for families, and put in book bags for children to take home.

  • Have a launch assembly (or lesson) telling the pupils about the project.

After the project has launched, you could survey the pupils again to find out what route they are taking to school. Are they now taking a cleaner air route than the one they mapped out in the class? 


By comparing your post-project results with the baseline, you can see what impact your project has had. You could use our ‘Superwalker’ stickers at registration every day one week, and any child that has walked a clean air route can have a superwalker sticker. Then you can count how many stickers you give out each day, as a record of how many pupils chose a clean air route that day.


For pupils who do not walk to school, you could ask them if they are choosing cleaner air routes for other journeys, such as to go to their friend’s / family’s house.

Now you can let us know you’ve completed the project, and we will send you a Clean Air In the Making certificate.

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