Pupils' new app will help crackdown on litter and graffiti in Wokingham

St Crispin's, The Emmbrook and The Forest take part in contest arranged by Wokingham Town Council

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Wokingham graffiti
Pupils from The Emmbrook, The Forest and St Crispin's schools with Wokingham Town Mayor, Cllr Lynn Forbes Picture: Phil Creighton

YOUNGSTERS from the borough’s schools have been working hard to come up with ideas to stamp out graffiti.

Last Monday, pupils from St Crispin’s, The Emmbrook and The Forest Academy made presentations to a panel of Wokingham Town Councillors at the town hall, sharing three projects that could make a difference in the war against tagging and litter.

The project from St Crispin’s was deemed by the judges to be the winner and they will now receive £1,000 to turn it into a reality.

The winning entry focused on developing an app, that, with the help of young students taking photos of litter and graffiti,  will map the issue, and reflect hot spots.

Wokingham town mayor, Cllr Lynn Forbes, said: “The team identified that students are getting their smartphones at a very young age. We are told year 5 and 6 is becoming the norm.

“So to make this app fun and interactive is a step in the right direction with engaging with young students and making them aware.”

She added that that in their presentation the students recognised if they could work with Wokingham Borough Council, it could help in managing human resources to only focus on areas where there is work to be done, rather than having to look in every place imaginable for graffiti and litter.

The team from St. Crispin’s was led by teacher Leona Bennetts, and students Oliver Myers and Daniel Jenkin, joined by Cameron Kerr, Daniel King and Max Stroud.

Cllr Forbes added: “They demonstrated a clear project management ethos of pilot testing, refiguring, and demonstrating the app with the support of the school’s Senior Leadership Team.

“The students had a built-in sustainability element to their project thus ensuring longevity through the various stages of implementation.”

Last year’s winners, The Emmbrook, had a presentation that focused on Peppa Pig, and was taken to primary schools and clubs, reaching more than 1,000 students in the area.

“The results of which could be seen in the Forest Academy presentation this year, the seeds sown with last year’s winners’ presentation has certainly resonated with the young students,” Cllr Forbes explained.

“The Forest School surveyed each year and it showed the new Year 7s are a lot more aware of issues around them, hopefully a sign that the message is getting through.

“It is the second year that Wokingham Town Council has supported this initiative of senior schools educating primary school students and it seems to be working well.

“Wokingham Town Council are very proud of all three excellent entries and look forward to working with the schools on implementation.

“Well done to all students and teaching facilitators.”

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