Ethical & sustainable clothes detector game & lessons

This award winning ethical and sustainable clothes detector invention and game is teaching children and adults alike about the link between fast fashion and climate change.  Through our environmental education programme this year the invention has visited 40 primary schools in West Sussex, where we delivered free assemblies and lessons. We have also used the detector as part of clothes and climate change sessions in children’s groups and public events and delivered talks to adult groups around the subject.

Who invented such a game? Seven pupils from the William Penn Primary School in Coolham are responsible for this great green invention, which won a national award  at the Better Energy School Awards at London Zoo.  One hundred and fifty-nine schools entered the Awards, run by the Young People’s Trust for the Environment and 21,350 children were involved in the school projects. The judges selected a winner for the North, Scotland, Southern/Central and Wales/West. The William Penn School won the Southern/Central region, they received a shield and £1000 for their school.

The William Penn Green I.T. team consisting of six 10 year old pupils and one 11 year old, who attended an after school club run by Carrie Cort from Sussex Green Living and Phil Bellas a parent and governor at the William Penn and former I.T. teacher.  The team were challenged to use a credit card sized computer and £100 budget to make an invention which could save the planet.

Carrie’s 10 year old son Adam, one of the team members and WSCT winner of their Friend of the Environment Award explained “We discussed lots of ideas, eventually deciding to create an invention and game to show people the environmental problems with the fashion industry”. He continued “We researched the subject using IT, geography, science, English and citizenship skills, including Scratch, barcodes, clothes miles, shipping, crude oil, climate change, clothes materials, water use and electricity”.

Their invention, uses unwanted wine boxes to create a traffic light system, a barcode scanner, Raspberry Pi, LED lights and a Scratch programme, plus two donated display panels and a collection of T shirts. People read information about the five different T shirts then attach a red, amber and green star to the T shirts, to indicate which is the most environmentally friendly, OK and the least environmentally friendly.

Two of the team members created an infographic illustrating the shocking 31,000 nautical mile journey of a cotton t shirt. The team delivered a professional and confident presentation on stage in front of famous actors and children’s authors, MPs and about 200 children from three other schools, winners of each regional competition.

The William Penn award was given by Andy Stanton children’s author, best known for Mr Gum. Jeremy Quin MP for Horsham also attended to learn about their work and commend the children for their amazing achievement. Another of the Green I.T. members Charlie Bamsey said “My favourite part of the day was meeting all the celebrities including Naomi from CBBC and Jeremy Quin our MP. We were allowed to go around London Zoo, I really enjoyed seeing the animals”.

Carrie closed by saying “I am extremely proud of the Green I.T. team members, some of them have been attending my William Penn Green Club since they were 6. Their ‘Go for Green detector’ is conveying a powerful message in schools and events throughout West Sussex. Without their blue sky thinking this fun upcycled game would not have been invented. They are an inspiration to us all”.

This totally unique award-winning invention which reveals the shocking facts and highlights how the fast fashion industry is the 2nd most polluting industry, second only to fossil fuel.

It is available as an interactive educational stand visiting STEM Fairs and public events, clearly highlighting the link between the fast fashion industry and climate change.

To learn more about the FREE school textile eco warrior assemblies and lessons visit The sustainable and ethical clothes detector will be at the Kinder Living Show, County Hall North, Horsham on Saturday 2nd March and Sunday 3rd March 2019 as part of the Horsham Repair Cafe, another Sussex Green Living community outreach initiative.  It will also be at the Sussex Green Living Share, Care and Repair Fair, Horsham Carfax/market as part of the Horsham District Year of Culture, on Saturday 6th July 2019, more information to follow soon.

We have just been awarding a Rampion Offshore Wind grant to deliver environmental assemblies and lessons in 30 primary schools in Worthing and Lancing. We are also continuing to offer free assemblies and lessons in other parts of West Sussex. Please contact us if you would like our brochure and booking form or want to discuss details and dates.




Eco Beasts take over West Sussex!

Eco Beast Competition

Eco Beast Sculptures migrated from across West Sussex and took over a marquee in Horsham Park at ‘Funday Sunday’ on Sunday 9th July.  Children from all over the county had wonderful fun making Eco Beast Sculptures out of waste resources. The best sculptures from schools and children’s uniformed groups formed a stunning public exhibition at this family event. Read more

7 Billion Ideas at the William Penn

Blog posting by Adam Cort 8 years old (Carrie Cort’s son)

Yesterday my school, the William Penn Primary School in Coolham had a really exciting day sharing our ideas about how we could Change the World.  This ‘World Changing IDEA Day’ was sponsored by the Billingshurst and District Lions Club and presented by 7 Billion Ideas Education.

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FUNdraising Roman invasion expected at school fête

NEWS RELEASE – For immediate release

William Penn School in Coolham is to pull out all the stops with a Roman-themed summer fête on Saturday, June 18th from 1-5 pm. Parents and pupils of the UK’s only state primary school with a Quaker foundation are hoping to raise funds towards a much-needed new classroom. Read more

William Penn Christmas Fayre

Green Christmas presents

William Penn Primary School Christmas Fayre

Press release……On Thursday 12th November from 6:30pm until 8:30pm a feast of festive treats awaits at William Penn School’s Christmas Fayre in Coolham!  Experience an uplifting evening of unfettered shopping from our assortment of sparkling stalls to get you in the Christmas spirit at the UK’s only Quaker Primary School. 


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Summer Pow Wow at the William Penn


Summer Pow Wow

Horsham, West Sussex, 18th May 2015. Gather your friends and family together and join the William Penn Primary School tribe in a traditional Native American Indian themed summer fete. All are welcome to this very special Summer Pow Wow at the Coolham based school where there is something for everyone to enjoy! Read more

Diverting plastics from landfill

Carrie Cort on the Sussex Green Living Recycled Green Stand launching a new recycling scheme*.

As part of this recycling scheme we are participating in a nationwide recycling competition called the Febreze Freshness Rewards Contest. By collecting these waste resources local people can help secure a share of £5,000, which the scheme sponsors Febreze are offering (£1,000 being the top prize). Read more

New recycling scheme

Press release 

Sussex Green Living and the William Penn Primary School are taking part in a nationwide recycling competition called the Febreze Freshness Rewards Contest and is asking local people to help them be in with a chance of winning a share of £5,000 of charity donations (including a £1,000 top prize).   This contest is part of a new recycling initiative that Sussex Green Living has signed up to called the Air and Home Care Brigade which enables local people to recycle used plastic air fresheners and plug-in refills, air and home care product trigger heads, pumps and caps Read more

Rubbish or a craft resource?

After the festive season many people throw away their Christmas wrapping paper, Christmas cards and cracker content, not here!  These waste resources make stunning art materials for our Green Club.  Last week saw the start of our Pedro’s After School Green Club at the William Penn Primary School in Coolham, West Sussex. 15 children ranging from 6 to 11 came together to learn ways they can “upcycle” these materials into new Christmas resources. We made new crackers out of cardboard tubes, Christmas wrapping paper and unwanted cracker jokes and gifts.  Out of the Christmas cards we made present tags and Christmas cards for next year and thank you cards for this year.

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Christmas School Fayre Coolham

Green Christmas presentsWilliam Penn Christmas Fayre on  Thursday 13th November from 6:30pm until 8:30pm

Come along to William Penn School’s Christmas Fayre in Coolham and enjoy a relaxing evening of festive food, refreshments and an assortment of sparkling stalls to get you in the Christmas spirit.

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William Penn Primary School Summer Fete

Theme: Pirates of Coolham

Date: Saturday 21st June 12 noon until 4.30 pm.

Location: William Penn Primary School, Brooks Green Road, Coolham, Nr Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH13 8GR

There will be lots for all to do for the whole family:



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Outdoor Education Conference 20th March 2014

South Downs ConferenceThe South Downs National Park Authority and Learning through Landscapes are running an Outdoor Education Conference – FREE to teachers working in or near the South Downs National Park, come along and take part in experiential workshops and much more…. Read more

Sussex getting greener!

Horsham Quaker launchHorsham Quakers and the William Penn Primary School unite

Sussex Green Living with the help of Horsham Quakers and local residents launched a third recycling collection point in Horsham, last Saturday (7th Dec) at their monthly Green Coffee Morning and Mini Market.  This scheme will enable the people of Horsham to divert specific landfill waste resources into a recycling scheme financially benefiting the William Penn Primary School in Coolham. This is fantastic green community collaboration between the Horsham Quakers and the William Penn School which is a unique primary school with a Quaker foundation.  Read more

Biscuit wrapper recyclers

Biscuit wrapper recyclingCongratulations!

Together with the top 20 collectors on the McVitie’s Biscuit Wrapper Roundup, the William Penn Primary School with the help of Sussex Green Living and other competitors have saved over 47,000 Biscuit Wrappers from landfill!  Read more

William Penn School 13th in National biscuit wrapper recycling competition

Biscuit wrapper recycling postersHot news…. William Penn Primary School comes 13th in a UK wide biscuit wrapper recycling competition!

Sussex Green Living have been working with the William Penn Primary School in Coolham to launch and establish their TerraCycle recycling schemes, more information can be seen here. One of the waste resources they can recycle is sweet biscuit wrappers. The recycling scheme is sponsored by Mc Vitie’s, here are the competition results from TerraCycle……

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Biscuit wrapper recycling competition

School recyclingSussex Green Living is competing in the UK wide Biscuit Wrapper Recycling competition, the beneficiary being the William Penn Primary School in Coolham.  This competition is to see who can save the most used sweet biscuit wrappers (and brand) from landfill.  At the time of writing this blog we were 18th in the UK.  With a final push over the next 3 weeks we could be in with a chance of winning anything between £250 – £20 for the school, plus save all those biscuit wrappers from landfill.



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Waste Week 11th – 17th March 2013

Recycle binCome on Schools of Sussex get involved in Waste Week 2013

Waste Week is a fantastic opportunity to get the whole school learning about waste and thinking about how they can cut down on the amount of waste they produce, as well as how they can reduce the proportion that goes to landfill, by re-using, recycling and composting. Read more

Green Day at the William Penn Primary School – Press Release


Green Day at William Penn Primary School

The pupils at William Penn Primary School in Coolham took part in a Sussex Green Living Green Day to launch a special recycling scheme at the school. Read more

Sussex Greener Living Campaign

Pedro launches his Sussex Greener Living Campaign.

South American Tree Frog

Pedro has been very busy setting up lots of new recycling schemes to divert waste materials from the landfill in Warnham.  These great schemes will benefit the William Penn Primary School in Coolham, WAKOOS nursery in Billingshurst, Sussex Wildlife Trust and the The Philippine Community Fund.  Billingshurst Primary School have also set up some of their own recycling schemes.  Read more

Calling all Sussex eco schools, nurseries and children’s groups

Green Education

Share your ideas for greening up Sussex.  Or tell the world about your eco projects in your very own category under “Sussex Schools Green Blog”.  This new communications tool will enable schools, nurseries and children’s groups in Sussex to promote your organisation/group and give children an opportunity to put into practice their ICT skills on the World Wide Web! Read more