A cluster of five primary schools in Hull began working with partner schools in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in 2010.

Since then, they have embedded learning about the Sustainable Development Goals in every year group, right across the curriculum, and have been taking their message about plastic pollution to the residents of Hull in an innovative and eye-catching way.

During a visit to their partner schools in Freetown, the teachers worked together to identify the issues that are prevalent in both communities.

The teachers from Hull were impressed by the lack of waste that they saw, and this inspired them to create action plans and organise a series of activities that embraced the Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on ways to reduce waste and live more sustainably.

Activities across the schools included developing planting schemes in the school grounds from re-used materials, taking part in cross-curricular lessons based on the book Someone Swallowed Stanley by Sarah Roberts, and holding school assemblies to raise awareness and share information about the dangers of plastic pollution. The schools had regular video chats with their overseas partners to share their progress.

Next, staff organised a competition to design outfits made from re-used materials. Each class produced their costumes, and the Chair of Governors chose the finalists. The winners from each school were then invited to take part in a special event – a fashion show in a local shopping centre, where pupils could share what they’d learnt with people from the local community.

During the event, the pupils modelled their recycled material costumes on a catwalk and shared their messages about the dangers of plastic pollution using information boards and flyers, which they handed out to members of the public.