More than ever before, children and young people taking part in the Young Leaders Award are choosing to take action to help the environment, when deciding how they want to make a difference and ‘be the change they want to see’.
Issues of climate change, sustainability and pollution are very much a concern for pupils. This is an area where children and young people have taken the lead and inspired those around them to make changes to help tackle this big problem.
We have seen a huge range of different environmental social action projects from our primary schools, including the wonderful examples below.
Year 2 pupils at St Peter’s C of E Primary School, Ashton-under-Lyne, took part in a project they named ‘Year 2 Does the Repurpose Shop’. Their aim was to use old, unwanted materials and turn them into valuable things that could be reused. The children learnt about their impact on the world and practical ways that they can help the environment and community. For example, making gifts from yoghurt pots and bird feeders from milk cartons. They also made posters to spread their positive message beyond the school community.
KS1 pupils at Ovingham CE First School created a community herb garden. The children planted herbs that are accessible for all members of the community to use within the village orchard. They understood they value of taking just what you need and offering this to all the community and not just an individual group. They took pride in providing this and enjoyed showing families outside of school time too. Their project also had the added bonus of reducing plastic packaging if the herbs were bought in shops.
“Taking action makes you feel proud because you know you're doing something for the community.”
Year 3 pupils at Holy Trinity First School organised two action projects to help their local environment. Working hard with a park ranger, pupils built a bug hotel and did some planting to make a wildlife area in school as well as completing a beach clean with a group of adult volunteers. These Young Leaders felt a great sense of achievement and pride and realised that it was within their ability to make a difference, even in a small way.
“I am proud because our class worked so hard to achieve all of the challenges. I am proud because I helped the environment.”
KS2 pupils at Felton C of E Primary School organised their own 'Walk to School Weeks'. The pupils were passionate about reducing the amount of traffic and parked cars in the village during peak times, so organised a fortnight long initiative to encourage as many of the younger pupils in school to swap at least part of their school journey from carto foot or bike. They recorded a virtual assembly, created a catchy jingle and advertised the challenge. Pupils even designed their own sticker-based reward system and recorded the children arriving at school over the weeks.
“The course gave my class the inspiration and self-belief to make a difference. They were highly motivated to complete their class project.”
It is so wonderful to see such creativity, ambition and dedication from these primary pupils as they do their bit to help the environment.