Climate resilient schools in London

The Climate Resilient Schools Programme in London is a partnership between City Hall, the Department for Education and Thames Water to enhance the climate resilience of up to 100 of London's most at-risk schools. This is being achieved by improving water efficiency, reducing surface water flood risk, helping schools create climate adaptation plans and teaching children the importance of climate adaptation. In the summer of 2007, flooding in England resulted in widespread school closures that amounted to 400,000 lost pupil school days, at an estimated economic cost of £12m.

As part of this project, FreeStations are being deployed across many of these schools to monitor rainfall rates, temperature extremes and the effectiveness of surface water flood-risk-reduction measures installed at the schools. The participating schools have an automatic weather station and a data logger monitoring water storage by planters that have been installed to capture rainwater from roofs via the down pipes. In some schools students are involved in building the stations as part of STEM enrichment activity, in other cases Geography students are maintaining the stations. In all cases learning resources are provided to help students learn about local weather, weather variability, weather extremes and climate resilience, using data provided by the stations.

This project will help develop a dense, london-wide network of weather stations measuring rainfall, wind and temperature extremes in greater detail than any other network. It will also help better understand the function and design considerations for climate resilient interventions such as rainwater planters under different meteorological and architectural settings. Finally, it will build on existing efforts (EduStation, RaspberryPi Teach, Arduino Education) to support technology-for-environment education in the classroom, for both STEM and non-STEM GCSE and A-level programmes.

FreeStation planter logger at Salisbury School, Manor Park

The station measures the volume of water stored by the planter in relation to the volume produced by the downpipe and thus the contribution of the planter to reducing surface water flooding on the school premises.

FreeStation automatic weather station at Tiverton School, Haringey

The weather station measures rainfall total, instantaneous rainfall rate, air temperature, humidity and pressure, solar radiation, wind speed, wind speed (gust) and wind direction.

Typical response of planter water storage to incoming rainfall events

The planter's storage of water increases rapidly with the onset of rainfall and drains slowly over a few hours to a day, thereby reducing the input of roof water to drains during high volume or high intensity rainfall events

Access all Climate resilient schools network data

Climate resilient schools data. These data are raw from the data loggers. Some of the loggers are live but some have their data collected monthly so data gaps reflect the rota for data collection