Year 4 pupils from St Peters C of E Primary School in Aylesford have been just completed working on a project investigating their local CEMEX quarry. The project is being run by Groundwork Kent & Medway and has been made possible by funding from the CEMEX UK Foundation as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility program and efforts to work more closely with local communities.
The CEMEX Aylesford quarry is a working sand quarry and can process up to 1,000 tonnes a day of sand. A key part of the project was the opportunity to visit the quarry. The class was given a full health and safety briefing before visiting the site, so they learnt about the dangers a quarry site can hold. At the site they got the chance to see all stages of the sand quarrying process from the initial extraction from the water using a dredger, through to the washing, sorting and drying of the sand before it is bagged. The pupils enjoyed seeing the machinery at work close-up and especially getting the chance to wear the high-visibility jackets, hard hats and goggles!
Michael Hinson, Quarry Manager at CEMEX‘s Aylesford Quarry said “We were delighted to show the pupils round the site. Quarries give communities valuable materials to build schools, hospitals, roads even down to ingredients for toothpaste and china clay. But they are working areas and can be dangerous, which is why we wear protective clothing all the time. It was an opportunity to show the children the dangers there are and why they shouldn’t use the quarry as a playground.”
Back in the classroom pupils have been further exploring the different types of sand and their uses and looking at how quarries can be restored, including designing their own restoration plan for the Aylesford site.
During the project they also explored the history of the CEMEX site, finding out how sand quarrying has changed since the 1920’s and also what fossils have been unearthed onsite. During their quarry visit pupils got the unique opportunity to look for their own fossils in the clay, finding ammonites and belemnites. They were also shown some larger examples of fossils which have been unearthed on the site during the sand excavation.
Karen Godsell, Class Teacher at St Peter's said “We all had a great time at the quarry. We learnt lots about how it works and were very surprised that it was all happening just behind our school! Finding the fossils was the highlight for the children and we are all inspired to find out even more!”
Jenny Glanfield, Education Officer at Groundwork Kent & Medway commented “It is great that CEMEX are fully supportive of the programme and have given us the opportunity to visit the quarry, enhancing many aspects of the pupils learning. Most of the children did not even realise there was a quarry on their doorstep; the project helps the pupils appreciate and understanding what is happening in their local environment.”
Notes to Editor:
- Groundwork Kent & Medway is part of a national federation of
trusts delivering sustainable regeneration projects where they are most
needed. Working in and around more than 120 towns and cities, Groundwork
is the UK’s leading environmental partnership organisation.
- CEMEX is a global building materials company and leading
supplier of cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates. In the UK,
CEMEX also has a significant share of the asphalt, concrete block and
mortar markets. The company has a national supply network in the UK to
ensure that quality building materials is available to customers
locally. For more information, see www.CEMEX.co.uk or www.CEMEX.com
For further Information: Contact Jenny Glanfield