PRIMARY school pupils keen on raising awareness for the environment have won a competition for their creative design.

Windmill Primary School in Headington beat off competition from five other schools to create an anti-air pollution banner.

The contest was organised by Oxford City Council and Oxford Friends of the Earth to raise awareness of air pollution, and was open to all pupils in Years 3 to 6.

Fifty posters were submitted and judged by a panel, including the council’s deputy leader Tom Hayes, Friends of the Earth, council officers and Oxford children’s author and illustrator Mini Grey.

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Mr Hayes, cabinet member for green transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “The voices of our young people are key to tackling the climate emergency and cleaning up Oxford’s air, they will be around for longer to suffer the consequences of climate inaction and are disproportionately affected by toxic air.

“I am delighted that the city council is able to present Windmill Primary School with its winning banner, which will join banners across the city.

“As a judge of the entries, I was overwhelmed by the quality of the designs and the commitment of young people.

“We are confident that the banners will help to promote sustainable travel to school and raise awareness of the impact of air pollution.”

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The banner joins five existing ones used by the council across Oxford to encourage sustainable travel, and will be used in future environmental campaigns.

Windmill Primary will receive £250 worth of play equipment and pupils in the winning class will receive ‘Oxford Air Needs Your Care’ t-shirts. Schools that took part will receive signed books by Ms Grey.

Chris Church, from Oxford Friends of the Earth said: “It’s great to see schools getting involved in this work. Our city needs cleaner air, and it’s down to all of us to help make that happen. More children cycling and walking to school means fewer cars on the road at rush hour which means less pollution, while cycling and walking help keep us fit and healthy.”

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Former primary school teacher Ms Grey added: “Our experience from lockdown over the past six months has shown what a wonderful thing sparkling clear air is. The schools involved have submitted fantastic banner designs and it was a pleasure to judge them. We can see how much our young people value our environment and the natural world.”

The competition was part of the council’s STOP (Schools Tackling Oxford’s Air Pollution) project.

Schools that would like to get involved in the project should email: