‘River Champions’ schools project – year two update

Over summer we spent some time with schools in Sheffield and Doncaster delivering year two of our ‘River Champions’ project funded by the Brelms Trust (https://www.brelmstrust.org.uk/). The grant enabled us to engage 146 young people  living in disadvantaged areas in Doncaster and Sheffield. This allowed us to go into schools and teach them how to become custodians of the river through a program of environmentally orientated lessons. Pupils learned about the ecology of the river told through the story of the mayfly enabling them to build a model of the river in the classroom and seeing mayfly nymphs metamorphosise before their eyes.

Schools were also invited out to a field visit to the river; this is something disadvantaged schools have limited funds for, particularly for coaches. During their visit to the river classes had the opportunity to do some river dipping, seeing what invertebrates live in the river. During the field trip we delivered ‘Yellowfish’ – a EA project that aims to teach pupils about how pollution affects the river ecology and how they can help stop pollutants entering the river system. This proved to be an engaging method of making the link between human activity and environmental impacts.

This project hopes to inspire the next generation of environmentally-conscious young people by broadening their horizons and stimulating new interests, in turn having an impact in the physical environment of their local areas. The grant contributed towards staff costs, pupil’s transport and tank equipment. We would have not been able to deliver this project without the grant funds from the Brelms Trust.

A few comments from the teachers that took part in this year’s project:

“They loved it, it is not something we do enough of in school so this opportunity was very welcome”

“They had little knowledge due to it not being taught during the curriculum so having these sessions really improved their knowledge and encouraged them to ask questions to learn even more”

Y6 Teacher at New Pastures Primary


“The facilitators were very knowledgeable and shared a lot of information with the children.”

“Children understood the life cycle of the mayfly and were able to identify the different stages”

Y4 teacher at Watercliffe Meadows Primary School

If you know of a primary school that would be interested in taking part in this project in Spring/Summer 2020 please get in touch with us at info@dcrt.org.uk or call us on 01302 439081. This is the last year this project will be fully-funded so take the opportunity to access these classes for FREE whilst they’re still available.