ENVIRONMENTALLY aware youngsters have been showing their green credentials by joining an international demonstration about saving energy.

The students at Royal Manor Arts College on Portland carried out work in class to tie in with Earth Hour, a global protest to highlight climate change.

Around 400 of them encouraged their families to turn off their lights for an hour. Text messages were sent out to all staff and parents reminding them to switch off.

Jonathan Smith, science teacher and head of year 11, said the activities being done in class were changing the way youngsters think about things.

He added: “When they got involved in this it changes the way students think about things.

“We are hoping some of this will filter back to the other year groups.

“It’s the children telling the children instead of the parents.”

Royal Manor was one of 10 schools in Dorset hosting Earth Hour activities in the run up to the event.

Activities were spread across different subjects including science, citizenship and ICT.

Mr Smith said classes developed ‘eco islands’ in science to show how a community could live in a sustainable way.

He added: “Several groups in year seven are engaged in developing their ideas to join a ‘climate cops’ competition being run by npower. They will need to develop an idea and show how their project has made a difference to their local and therefore the national and international environment.

“As part of the competition they will be producing DVDs to show off their projects.”

In citizenship, year 11 students have organised a campaign to look at reducing energy usage and have put posters up around the school.

They went into year group assemblies to spread the message about the work they have been doing.

Students are also living the good life to highlight the cause.

“A group has taken on some allotments at The Grove with the idea of encouraging a mixed age group of people to get involved, get outside and get healthy.

“The project invites young and old people to work together and foster a stronger sense of multigenerational community,” Mr Smith added.

A recycling project is being developed in school to build a plastic bottle greenhouse.

Staff and students are being encouraged to bring in used bottles for the scheme and they will then be used for the ‘Green’ Greenhouse.

Mr Smith added that links to the Earth Hour project and the World Wildlife Fund have been put on the school’s website.

He said: “We looked for as many different ways as possible to engage the students in getting involved and taking care of their planet.

“The students have shown that they do care and want to make a bit of a difference.

“Now is the ideal time to catch them as a future generation that will start making a difference.”