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Primary school children bring hope for change

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Mrs Nicola Kaye, headteacher of Swaffham Church of England Primary Academy, part of Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT), said: “This is a timely ‘whole school project,’ exploring the Christian value of hope and what we can do as individuals to help tackle climate change.”

The children have produced some fabulous artwork inspired by their research and ideas on how we can make a difference, and this will be on exhibition as part of the Swaffham Rotary Club’s 25th Annual Art Exhibition from the 29 to the 31 of October 2021.

The artwork includes an exploration of the colour ‘green’ by Year 6, reflections on what it means to be good stewards of God’s creation, our earth by Year 5, a visual representation of how we are treating our world using recycled materials by Year 3 and a visual representation of the impact of plastic on our world by Year 5.

The children of Swaffham Church of England Primary Academy have become advocates for change, and we now have a weekly class Steward Award for the class who can demonstrate putting their ideas into action with switching off lights, whiteboards, recycling materials and avoiding unnecessary waste.

The children have identified that we need an Eco Group within the school to ensure that they are doing their best to operate in a way that protects and promotes the school environment for future generations and that they address these issues within the local community.

During Collective Worship, classes have been exploring what ‘hope’ means to them.  The children have considered their hopes and dreams for the future and made spirals of hope and dream catchers to share what they are hopeful for.

A common theme that came out of this reflective work was a desire to consider how we mend and heal the impact of climate change on our planet.

Miss Bareham, Year 4 teacher and Science Lead, launched a whole school project to link our Collective Worship thoughts with our science curriculum and consider the question, ‘how can we make a difference?’ She said: “Each year group has taken a different conservation focus including water, air and land pollution, loss of habitats and biodiversity and climate change.  As part of their learning about conservation, each class made a video to share with our school and our local community on their findings and how we as individuals can make a difference to help and be good stewards of our planet.

“Our Reception and Year 1 classes looked at litter, food waste and saving energy.  Year 3 and Year 4 looked at air pollution and deforestation. Year 5 and Year 6 looked at plastics and burning fossil fuels.  The children have produced prayers of hope, made ‘promises to our planet’ and shared their ideas on what we can do in school and in our homes to make a difference.”

Fynley and Maxas in Year 1 said: “Turn off your T.V. when you are not watching it so that we save electricity and save energy.”

Arthur in Year 1 added said: “Wear a jumper instead of putting the heating on.”

Year 5 explored the Journey of a Nurdle and told us that, ‘we can make a difference if we all work together,’ and suggested that we try to use re- useable tubs and cups instead of throwing away plastic that just ends up in the bin adding that ‘fish ingest plastic, but don’t digest it.’

Mrs Kaye said: “We will continue to drive this work forward through our Collective Worship theme next term which is courage, turning our ideas and reflections into actions that make a difference within our school and local community.”