Recycling discovery centre

Activities and the national curriculum

How does a visit link with the National Curriculum?


There are a range of activities at the Recycling Discovery Centre that will excite and promote learning. The activities are linked to the following areas of the KS2 National Curriculum:


  • investigative skills
  • considering evidence and evaluating
  • grouping and classifying materials
  • changing materials
  • forces and motion
  • health and safety


  • problem solving
  • reasoning
  • counting
  • percentages and proportions


  • geographical enquiry
  • knowledge and understanding of environmental change and sustainable development
  • localities


  • group discussion and interaction


When visiting the centre, children will be able to participate in:  

  • presentations about sustainable waste management and Southwark's Integrated Waste Management Facility
  • a tour of our materials recovery facility to see how huge amounts of waste are separated by different types of machinery and people
  • sorting different materials by operating our mini materials recovery facility
  • 'recycle or not' - find out who can select what to do with their waste the quickest
  • find out how many trucks of waste we could save by recycling certain materials
  • testing the properties of different materials, then finding out more about where these materials come from and what products they can make
  • working out the processes of how some products are recycled again and again
  • interactive quiz to reinforce learning and show who has learnt the most!

Learning outcomes

There are the following desired learning outcomes:

Why recycle?

Learn about the amazing journey of everyday items from their natural state to the products we buy. Understand that this process is wasted when we throw these items in the bin but recycling gives them a new lease of life.

What can be recycled?

Learn about the wide variety of items which can now be collected for recycling. Do you think you know them all? See what proportion of our waste is recyclable and how much would be left if everyone recycled.

How is the recycling sorted?

Learn about the state of the art technology used to sort our recycling. How does it all work? Our working model helps to demonstrate the different processes. Understand how important our sorting staff are to the process.

What happens next?

Learn about the different stages of the recycling cycle and the process of turning recyclables back into products. See how this journey varies for different materials. Understand that recycling materials means that they can be used again and again.

Page last updated: 12 January 2018