Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by M&S Company Archive.

This resource includes suggestions for discussion and activity ideas (see below) that can be given to students as homework or one-off activities. 

Along with the related resource 'The Most Sustainable Suit in the World', it can be used to support teaching in the following curriculum areas, as suggested by members of the My Learning teachers' panel:

Curriculum Links

  • KS2 Science, Geography, Maths, CitizenshipUseful for topics around: Recycling, Sustainability, Product Design, Literacy, using the concept of an eco store to capture children’s interest and start discussions.
    Could be used as the basis of a school audit on being more sustainable, and thinking about how the school can be more eco-friendly. 
  • KS3 Cross-Curricular - this resource could be used in a number of subject areas including those shown below, to raise awareness of eco ideas and how contemporary big business is taking responsibility:
  • Geography
  • D&T product Design 
  • PHSE
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Art

Could be used to make a significant link about the eco-friendly approach of a contemporary big business,  in comparison to the 'eco warrior' approach which individuals sometimes take on. 

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of the various eco-friendly features of a new superstore
  • Understanding of how buildings are constructed and the choices that can be made about the materials used
  • Improved skills of researching environmental topics using the related website links provided

Discussion Ideas

KS2/3 Geography and Cross-Curricular:

  • Are there any ways you could make your school more 'eco friendly'?
  • Make a list of the different tasks that would need to be done to build a store like M&S Cheshire Oaks. Think about what is needed at different stages of the build e.g. electricity, water, communications, walls, floors, lifts, windows, roofs, furniture, car parks. Then think of ways that these elements could be made 'eco friendly'. Looking at the link below called Water, Energy, Waster, Biodiversity, Community and Materials will help you.
  • Read about M&S Plan A to find out how M&S intends to become the world's most sustainable retailer.
  • The Primary School near to this Cheshire Oaks store has its own Eco Committee and was involved in the design of the children's play area. Find out if there is any proposed 'new build' in your area that your school could get involved in. It might be a new playground, shopping or health centre, or an improvement to an existing building.
  • Imagine you can see into the future. In another 79 years, what do you think a new M&S store will look like on the outside? What will it look like on the inside? 

KS2/3 Art & Design/Product Design:

  • Design a new recycled M&S bag which promotes Plan A.

KS2 Maths:

  • If it took 550,000 hours to build, over three years and people worked an average of eight hours a day, how many people approximately would have been needed to build this store?

KS2 Literacy:

  • What do you think is meant by the phrase 'green store' and the word 'eco'?
  • This store took 550,000 'man-hours' to build. What do you think that means?


Biodiversity - the health of the ecology
Sustainability - the ability to support and maintain
'Eco' (Ecology)- the relationship between living things and the environment