E.ON Energy Experience e-newsletter | September 2007
Current Energy Issues Brain Gym Curriculum changes Amazing facts
Bringing the world of energy into teaching

Welcome to the fourth E.ON Energy Experience e-newsletter for primary teachers across England, Scotland and Wales. The newsletter aims to keep you up to date with the latest energy issues and relate these to your curriculum needs.

Current energy issues

Intergovernmental moves to bring about climate change

The 27th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will meet in Valencia in November 2007 when the 4th Assessment Report of Working Group III of the IPCC will be published. This report is concerned with mitigation and covers the following topics:

  • Observed climate change and its effect
  • Causes of climate change
  • Climate change and its impacts in the near and long term
  • Adaptation and mitigation options and responses and the inter-relationship with sustainable development at global and regional levels
  • The long term perspective of adaptation and mitigation, including both scientific and socio-economic aspects
  • Robust findings and key uncertainties

The report is already available online from the IPCC. Other reports available online include:

  • The IPCC Special Report on carbon dioxide capture and storage
  • The IPCC Special Report on safeguarding the ozone layer and the global climate system1

Work with your pupils to investigate ways to safeguard the ozone layer and help protect the global climate system by using the activities below:

->5–7s: Using energy: Energy sources

->7–11s: Power
Saving Energy
The town is going renewable

Helping from the grass roots

The National Energy Foundation has launched a new website www.icaremk.org.uk to inform the public about climate change. The foundation hopes to get 100,000 people feeding back by February 2008 saying that they care about climate change. The website includes information about climate change issues at home, at work, in the environment and those that occur whilst people are out shopping. It is part of a bigger campaign supported by DEFRA, The National Energy Foundation and others.²

Work with your pupils to find ways to save energy using the links below:

->5–7s: Wasting energy

->7–11s: On the trail of the energy wasters

Brain Gym

The Big Energy Blog

Do you know how much electricity you use in one day? Do you know how much you save?

We want 5–16 year olds across the UK to give us a snapshot of their energy use in a typical day by joining the Big Energy Blog.

In their own words, we want young people to tell us how they consume energy. For example, how many hours are spent watching TV, listening to MP3 players and using phones and computers?

It will also give us the chance to find out how much energy is saved through recycling or taking public transport to school.

Simply visit the Big Energy Blog website between 1 November and 14 November for more information and to upload your contribution.

Brain Gym

Brain Gym

Here is a fun brain gym activity to set the scene for a lesson on safety rules when using electricity. Choose an appropriate scenario, for example: 'Dan wants to switch on the TV but he's just got out the bath so he needs to dry off first. Remember water and electricity don't mix!' Now get pupils to carry out a brisk rubbing down, using right hands to dry off left sides and left hands to dry off right sides. Dry off as many places as you like but always move your arms and hands to cross the mid line.

Suggested Activities

5–7s: Do your pupils understand that electricity can be dangerous? Can they point out everything in the classroom that runs on electricity? Can they identify the power points and other danger spots (eg connections on the computer) in the room? Recap what behaviours are dangerous near live electricity. (eg fingers in sockets, water near electrical equipment etc.). Create two characters with your pupils and work together to build an 'Electricity and Safety' story around the two characters. Work with your pupils to create a wall display to highlight the main points of the story. Follow up with 'Safety at home' activities.

Work with your pupils to instil the safety precautions to remember when using electricity, using the link below:


7–11s: With older pupils recap electrical safety rules within both school and home but then extend into discussion on outdoor safety rules. Do they know where hazards might occur? Do they know the public signs which warn of danger from electricity or other hazardous substances? Can they suggest ways to avoid putting themselves into unnecessary danger? Can they work on some guidelines to warn other children how to keep themselves safe from electrical hazards outdoors? They could then find a way to share this information with the rest of the school, perhaps through an assembly or an awareness campaign with the support of the School Council. Could the pupils and School Council contact a public company (eg the railway authorities) who could send in a spokesperson to give a safety talk?

Use the link below to reinforce with your pupils the electrical safety rules for both indoors and out:

->Safety Topics

SAFETY FACT: The human body is 70% water. Water is a very good conductor of electricity. Be safe with electricity especially around water.

Source: Consumers Energy

Curriculum changes


With the new curriculum for 2008 encouraging pupils to become 'global citizens' teachers may be interested in two projects just launched as part of the Sustainable Schools Development Programme. The first is the Climate Challenge 2007–8 which is open to pupils from 11–18 who are concerned about climate change issues. Winners will participate in a European Climate Change Expedition and meet international representatives and senior government officials to talk about issues of concern.

The second is the 'Carbon Detectives' programme for pupils from 7–14 which help them work out their school's carbon footprint and then explore ways to reduce their carbon emissions. For details on both projects and further information on the role of the school curriculum in the climate change challenge, go to:



Learning and Teaching Scotland has launched a fantastic new resource, 'Climate Change' to help schools increase pupil awareness, understanding and action on climate change. The programme has been designed to complement the Environmental Studies 5–14 National Guidelines and is also designed to develop education for citizenship and core skills. This is an interactive website and as well as information on the causes and impact of climate change. It also offers an online image gallery, video footage and multi-media presentations. The programme encourages pupils to:

take personal action
make your voice heard
change your school
act locally
act globally

... and more importantly, provides the means and the support to help them do this.



In addition to the existing guidance on all areas associated with climate change and sustainability already available to schools through the ACCAC, the Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship website provides a wealth of support and information for schools. It provides lists of organisations that are able to offer expertise and resources. These include, amongst several others, the South East Wales Energy Efficiency Advice Centre, the Centre for Research, Education and Training in Energy and the Centre for Citizenship Studies in Education.


Amazing facts

Did you know that...?

  • Electricity travels at the speed of light – more than 186,000 miles per second.
    Source: Alliant Energy Kids
  • If you travelled as fast as electricity you could travel around the world eight times in the time it takes to turn on a light switch.
    Source: Consumers Energy
  • If you had a light on the moon connected to a switch in your bedroom, it would only take 1.26 seconds for it to light up 238,857 miles away.
    Source: Consumers Energy


  1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  2. The National Energy Foundation

© E.ON UK plc 2007