Children at Arundel Court Primary Academy have created a project about living in a healthy city and have discussed their findings with Portsmouth City Council cabinet members
Fifteen classes from Arundel Court Primary Academy in Landport took part in activities to show Portsmouth City Council what they think makes the city a healthy place to live, and what could be done to make it healthier.
Pupils from Years 2 to 6 looked at their local environment in different ways and described how it made them feel and if they thought aspects were healthy or unhealthy. The activities included a walk through the centre of town, describing the area where they live and having a classroom debate. Posters, photographs, writing and a video described their findings.
Some of the things that they felt helped their health and wellbeing were green space, including gardens and parks, and the seafront. Some areas that they said weren't good were smoking, car fumes, litter, dog mess, too many fast food restaurants and anti-social behaviour. Some children didn’t feel safe walking home or playing outside and bad smells from litter and dog mess also put them off being outdoors.
Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cllr Dave Ashmore and Cllr Lynne Stagg from Portsmouth City Council visited the school to hear about the children's experiences and present them with a certificate to thank them for their work.
Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care, said: "It's been really interesting seeing things through the eyes of the children and finding out the things they think help and hinder their health and wellbeing. It's great they recognise being active is important to being healthy so it's our job to help make sure they have enough opportunities to do this."
Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: "It's clear from listening to the children that clean air is important to them and that they like being outside but want it to be safe, and free from litter and fumes. We'll continue to work hard so that they can live in a city like this."
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: "The children said they want less traffic on the roads so that they’d feel safer walking and cycling and would have nicer air to breathe. Hopefully we can use their voice to encourage adults to ditch the car whenever there is another option they can use."
Mary Keable, Key Stage 1 Leader at Arundel Court Primary Academy, said: "The children really liked doing this project and I'm proud of how much effort they put in. They're really excited that their feedback is being seen by the council and will be used as part of their plans to help make the city a healthier place to live."