Schoolchildren Get Involved in Flood Awareness Project

Schoolchildren in Essex have been the first to benefit from an educational programme that teaches them about all aspects of flooding and flood alleviation.

Pupils aged 10-12 at Margaretting Primary School, near Chelmsford, have started work on the project using colourful workbooks which set them a series of tasks, activities, quizzes, games and fact finding missions. A teacher toolkit has also been provided.

The programme, which has been developed by Floodcom, is designed to complement many of the key subjects in the school curriculum.

Aspects of the workshop use the internet and modern technology so that children can watch video clips, conduct research and gain an awareness of the issues presented by flooding. An education website is currently being developed as an additional tool for the children to use and which will enable the sharing of information between locations and schools across partner countries.

The programme will be rolled out to schools in France and Belgium within the next few weeks. The Magaretting pupils are being encouraged to correspond through pen letters and Skype with children at Gaspard Malo College, in St Omer, France.

In March, the English children visited their counterparts in St Omer during a day trip sponsored by Floodcom for a tour of the school, before visiting Dunkirk for a fact finding mission.

The education programme will be accompanied by a geocaching activity- a high-tech treasure hunt where the children and their families will hunt for a hidden coin at the location of the partners’ flood alleviation schemes as a fun, but also learning activity.

Hazel Newton, Floodcom Education Officer at Essex County Council, said: "Feedback from Margaretting School has been fantastic – the children were really pleased with their workbooks and materials and very enthusiastic in talking about flooding and climate issues."

The education programme is also being shared with the Essex Fire and Rescue Service which is exploring how the Floodcom education project can be integrated into their existing education work.

A spokesman for Floodcom said: "As the schools are in areas affected by flooding, this is an important opportunity to raise awareness about it and why we build flood alleviation schemes. By getting the message to school children, awareness can also be spread to their parents and the community at large."

Floodcom is a European-funded project involving five partners across four European countries: from the UK, Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council; from Belgium, Waterweegen en Zeekanaal NV, in Antwerp; from France IIW, in St Omer; and in the Netherlands, the City of Breda.

Floodcom promotes positive water management in European lowland areas facing climate change. All partners come together in regular meetings to share best practice and the technical learning from their projects.

 Floodcom is hosting a conference, "Sharing Best Practice on Flood Alleviation", in Antwerp, Belgium on Wednesday 24th September 2014. Topics covered will include climate change, the social impact of flooding, and responses to flooding. Information about this and other aspects of the Floodcom initiative are available at