Primary school children are being taught about climate change and sustainability thanks to a North Ayrshire Council programme.

The council’s sustainability team has visited 13 schools and delivered 33 lessons on tackling climate change.

Subjects covered so far have included: climate change, global warming, sustainability, energy, biodiversity, waste and transport.

Classes of children in P5, P6 and P7 enjoyed an interactive lesson focused on important issues with the aim of generating discussion among the group, and hearing any feedback and ideas they have.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Dreghorn Primary pupilsDreghorn Primary pupils (Image: NAC)

Pupils used renewable energy kits, which – on a mini scale - demonstrate the production of electricity using solar, water and wind power.

And they also create their own Climate Change Action Plan, outlining what they feel their school community could do to improve the efficiency of their school environment.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Work by West Kilbride and Glebe Primary pupilsWork by West Kilbride and Glebe Primary pupils (Image: NAC)

Their final task is to design their own tree, featuring five leaves with an idea on each explaining ideas we can all put into practice to help halt climate change.

Ideas flagged up by young people during the sessions include how to encourage more walking and cycling, recycling, using reusable water bottles rather than single-use plastic ones and planting trees at school.

The sessions use local information and examples and have been made available to all primary schools across North Ayrshire.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Work from Glebe and West Kilbride pupilsWork from Glebe and West Kilbride pupils (Image: NAC)

Our planet is facing a climate and nature crisis. Climate experts have warned that the world has until 2030 to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. If we can’t hit this target, damage to the planet will be irreversible.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Green Environment and Economy, said: “Climate change can be overwhelming – not just for children, for everyone – and it is important that we have conversations with our young people about what is happening to the planet.

“These sessions are helping to inform the children in a fun and positive way that engages them. “Behaviour change is a huge part of action on climate change, and we want to engage with young people and the wider community about the steps we can take to help reduce carbon emissions.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Pennyburn pupilsPennyburn pupils (Image: NAC)

In summer, a new council plan that lays out the strategic priorities of the council was agreed. One of the key priorities is climate change – achieving net-zero by 2030.

This centres on embedding net-zero ambition in all decision making; reducing the council’s estate carbon footprint; protecting the environment; supporting local businesses as they meet their climate change obligations and working with communities to adopt low carbon behaviour change