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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Water aids thirst for knowledge
Children in classroom
Pupils can sip from the bottles during lessons
Pupils across Merseyside are to receive free bottles of drinking water after teachers found it boosted concentration levels.

A class of nine and 10-year-olds took part in a pilot scheme at Woodchurch Road primary school, near Birkenhead, Wirral.

Teachers reported that children became more alert with longer attention spans.

The Merseyside Health Action Zone is now extending the "Water is cool in school" scheme to 700 other schools in the region.

They're enjoying water a lot more. I think they find it more refreshing than fizzy pop now.

Sally Faherty, teacher
The water is provided by a local supermarket in reusable bottles and at a discount price.

They have reusable sports-style spouts to appeal to the young people.

The aim is to prevent dehydration building up between breaks in the school day.

The children keep the bottles on their desks and are encouraged to sip the water.

Fewer headaches

Teacher Sally Faherty said: "The children suffer less from fatigue and their concentration spans are longer.

"They're enjoying water a lot more. I think they find it more refreshing than fizzy pop now."

Alison Merry from Merseyside Health Action Zone said: "Dehydration can cause poor concentration and headaches.

"Children should be drinking 6-8 glasses a day. Their needs are proportionately greater than adults.

"This scheme greatly improves their access to water."

See also:

03 May 01 | Europe
Bottled water 'a waste of money'
27 Apr 00 | Education
Water improves school test results
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