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Tackling Air Pollution with Environmental Research

Sadly, Putney High Street is the most polluted high street in London...

While this is a sad fact, we have never been a school to rest on our laurels, and so we've taken our research background and looked at ways we can improve our environment so that it has a positive affect on student learning and wellbeing.

Recently Putney High School was cited in the Times article 'Classroom Pollution to be tackled through Ofsted-style inspections'. The article was published on June 22, 2019 and can be found here:

Putney High School was worried about air pollution so filled classrooms with plants in a four-month experiment. It found that the plants improved well-being, increased creativity, enhanced learning and even made maths relaxing.

Air quality was markedly improved, while three quarters of pupils felt healthier and lessons were calmer and more relaxed, the school said.

Pupils also enjoyed caring for the plants and half of children felt that they made the classroom seem bigger.

The project, which was held over the winter months, examined how environmental factors might impact upon learning and behaviour.

Three sixth-form classrooms were used for the study; one with a large array of indoor plants, the second with a visual representation of a forest, while a third was left unaltered.

The rooms were monitored for air quality and atmosphere as well as student behaviour, concentration levels and feelings of well-being.

A spokeswoman for the school said that monitors showed air quality had improved by an average of 10 per cent in the room with the plants.

One sixth-former said: “I love being in the maths room, I really think it changes it. The room is less bare, more vibrant. The plants really have a calming effect. They change the atmosphere.”

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