PRIMARY school children in Wiltshire have been encouraged to switch off in class for the few weeks as part of a nationwide eco campaign.

Minety Primary School is one of almost 4,000 schools across the country that signed up to EDF Energy’s switch off fortnight.

Olympic gold medallist Katherine Grainger backed the campaign, organised by EDF’s national education programme The Pod.

The aim has been to inspire schools to reduce their energy consumption and to encourage pupils to take the energy-saving message home and inspire family and friends.

Year 6 pupils at Minety school turned energy detectives as part of the fortnight, carrying out an audit of classsroom lights.

Class teacher Ben Johns spearherded the eco campaign at the school. “The children have really loved it and it fits in well with our curriculum topic on Antarctica and climate change.

“Pupils have been sneaking around the school seeing what computers and lights were left on. They have produced posters and will be writing an article for the newsletter. It is a really useful and practical campaign and so vital that children understand and respect the environment.”

Robyn Thorn, EDF Energy’s national education programme manager said: “Switch off Fortnight continues to be a great Pod initiative that raises awareness of energy issues within schools and their local community. We hope it will spark year round energy saving behaviour. This year we’re excited to be encouraging children to ‘take it home’, doing some of the great activities they’re been working on at school back at home.”