Learning for sustainability

Learning for sustainability

The Council understands the importance of learning for sustainability

Learning for sustainability allows children to develop their own passion for action, develop knowledge, values and skills with the opportunity to put their learning into practice through reducing the environmental impact of their school.  The skills and knowledge that pupils gain can be transferred into their homes and communities and these skills help pupils to develop their role as our future.


Eco-schools is a seven step framework that thousands of schools, nurseries and colleges around the world use to introduce, manage and complete environmental actions in their organisation and local community. Uniquely, the Seven Steps aim to place young people at the heart of these environmental actions. This approach engages, motivates and empowers young people to care for our planet now and throughout their lifetimes.  

Schools can gain bronze and silver awards with a Green Flag being the ultimate accolade.

This film highlights why Eco-schools are so important in Worcestershire, featuring a case study of two schools.  

The film showcases projects undertaken and the benefits to pupils and wider communities.

For more information on support for schools please:

Contact sustainability

Follow us on Twitter @sustainableworc

Resources and support

We offer a range of services and resources to help support the delivery of Learning for Sustainability and Eco Schools in the school.

Reducing waste in school

There are several ways schools can reduce the amount of waste they throw away. Waste prevention is better for the environment and usually cheaper than either recycling or waste disposal. There are lots of hints and tips available on the Let's Waste Less website.

Severn Waste Services are the waste disposal contractor for Herefordshire and Worcestershire. All of the recycling from the two counties goes to Envirosort, near Worcester, for sorting. Severn Waste have a dedicated Education Centre at EnviroSort and they host classroom-based activities around waste and recycling, as well as tours of the recycling facility for schools and adult community groups. These visits are free and Severn Waste will also subsidise coach travel for schools. Details on how to book are available at the Severn Waste Services - Education page.

Training opportunities

Eco Schools offer support and training for schools who are working toward the Green Flag Award, please visit the Eco Schools website for more information.

Earth balloon

The earth balloon is a fantastic resource a 6.7m diameter inflatable globe which can be used for work across the curriculum but particularly for the Humanities and Sciences. In addition to supporting traditional subject areas, the resource can be used to promote the important concepts of Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship.

The earth balloon is big enough to hold a full class of students inside. You enter the globe through zippers located along either the International Date Line or the Greenwich Meridian.

Teaching resources linked to the curriculum to accompany the balloon can be provided.

The Balloon has 24 panels, one for each time zone in the world. The balloon inflates & deflates in less than 10 minutes. There is a Velcro rip-away seam in the floor which serves as an emergency exit.

We are really keen to see the earth balloon well used, it has a lot of potential for inspiring children about the world we live in. Please contact us if you have concerns over the hire fee or any other detail and we can discuss.

Essential information

The earth balloon can only be accommodated in an indoor room with at least 7 metres clearance in all directions including especially the ceiling with light fittings or other obstacles. For reasons of Health and Safety, and to avoid undue wear and tear to the resource, it is the policy of the County Council that the earth balloon is not for outdoor use under normal circumstances. If you do not have a school hall large enough, why not get together with another school with a larger hall, or perhaps consider using other community facilities?

If you are unsure about the suitability of your venue, please get in touch to discuss.

The normal rate for hire of the balloon is £100 per day. This can be discussed depending on the circumstances.

The earth balloon must normally be collected and delivered back to County Hall. The person who collects it will have to sign a collection form. The earth balloon folds up well – it will fit in the back of most cars with the back seats down.

A risk assessment template has been completed regarding the inflation, use and deflation of the balloon. The school hiring the balloon must adapt this risk assessment taking into account their own situation.

The balloon should be supervised at all times and care taken if moving its position once inflated. The balloon should not be touched or pushed by pupils.

If you would like to book the earth balloon or find out more information, have a chat about how it might be used in your school or cluster of schools, please just get in touch with us.

To hire the earth balloon

Contact learning for sustainability Team

We would be delighted to lend the Earth Balloon to you!

Frequently asked questions about the earth balloon

What scale is the earth balloon?

It's big! The earth balloon was constructed at a scale of 1cm represents 19km. At this scale:

  • the moon would be 210m away and 1.8 m in diameter
  • the sun would be 80km away and 730m high
  • the space shuttle would fly 14cm from the surface of the globe
  • jet aircraft would fly 0.65 from the surface of the globe
  • satellites would orbit 20 m from the surface of the globe

Why are there holes at the top of the globe?

The air vents let circulating air escape and help stabilize the globe.

What is the balloon made out of?

Flame treated satin polyester with state of the art high-resolution satellite imagery. The floor is a heavy gauge vinyl with a velcro seam along the bottom for emergency exit.

Where is the satellite image from?

Pictures were taken from outer space and put together to form a mosaic. The image was smoothed out and the clouds removed to give a beautiful accurate picture of the earth from outer space

How was it made?

Each panel was printed individually, and the globe was assembled after all 24 gores were printed.

Why does it echo inside the globe?

The circular shape of the globe causes voice distortion. Voices bounce off the sides of the globe causing an echo.

What is included in the kit with the earth balloon?

The Earth Balloon kit includes:

  1. fan
  2. can carry case
  3. duffel bag containing earth balloon
  4. transformer (to reduce mains 240 volts to 110 volts)

How do you inflate the balloon?

Full instructions are sent with the balloon. To give you an idea of what is involved:

To inflate the earth balloon, you must unroll the earth balloon from the duffel bag and spread it out as much as possible on a clean floor to create a 'flat earth' pancake with the 'umbilical' facing towards the fan and the earth balloon located centrally (or however best for specific characteristics of the room).

You must then velcro the umbilical to the outer rim of the fan with the seam directly at the top, with the fan still off. The fan can then be plugged in and switched on, on the High setting. Once the balloon is fully inflated, then the fan should be switched to Low to maintain the airflow.

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