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Primary school inspired to take action on climate change.

Year 6 pupils at St Barnabas and St Phillips CoE Primary School in London were inspired to make their own video message about the future of our planet. Year 6 teacher Charlie Spencer tell us more about what they’ve been up to:

"During the Autumn term, Year 6 studied climate change in their humanities lessons. At the very beginning of the first lesson, they were shown WWF's Fight For Your World advert, which immediately got them sitting up and feeling inspired. We then used the Shaping Our Future resource to help the class understand what climate change is - they had all heard of it and seen it mentioned in the news but had very little knowledge about it. The class were soon able to recognise the impact humans have on the climate and the challenges our world faces as a consequence.

Just before the half term, we watched together David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet which left us all devasted by the changes our planet is going through but determined to do something. It was at this point that we did not want our learning confined to the four walls of our classroom but rather for us to do something that could reach others. As a class, we decided that we should make a video that would help educate others and hopefully encourage people to take action. We listened to Benjamin Zephaniah perform his poem Future Visions and knew that we wanted our message to be the same: the future can be beautiful."

"We had a Zoom call with Swenja Surminski, Head of Adaptation Research at Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, so we could ask her questions to deepen our understanding. A few weeks later, Swenja got back in touch to say that at a speech she went on to deliver to business managers and politicians, she referred to the chat she had had with us and asked them if they could look an eleven-year-old in the eyes and honestly say that they are doing all they can to solve climate change? She said it was an important job that we were doing, reminding adults to do more. This motivated us even more to carry on and make the best video we possibly could. Before Christmas, we were able to show our school community the finished video we made.

Two students, Marina and Julia, produced leaflets and handed them out in their local area. Marina said, "Learning about climate change was heart-breaking but a brilliant unit which has taught me so much."

I can see how proud each child is in having played their part in this project. I truly believe that the learning Year 6 have done this term will stay with them and already they are starting to take action. As a teacher, I would like to thank WWF for all the resources they provide because they break down a very challenging topic so it can be fully understood by the students and leave them inspired."

Thank you to Charlie and Year 6 at St Barnabas and St Phillips CoE Primary School for sharing their brilliant work with us!

We would love to hear more of your school stories based around important environmental topics such as climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation and endangered wildlife. You can share your stories with us by emailing education@wwf.org.uk or by joining our Facebook community group facebook.com/groups/learntolovenature.

Resources

Twinkl have also developed some fantastic Key Stage 2 / Second Level teaching resources based on David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. The resources are free to download and focus on four key environmental concerns covered in the documentary: eliminating waste, reviving our oceans, using less space, and going carbon neutral.

Hold your own screening

Did you know that you can hold your own screening of David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet in your school? Let us know if you hold a screening by registering on our website and uploading your ‘steps for change’ manifesto to show other schools the commitments you’re making to restore nature. By doing so, you’ll also receive a David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet certificate for your school!

As the documentary covers some difficult themes, such as animal trade, habitat destruction and future climate projections, we recommend that teachers watch the film first to assess for suitability. We suggest only showing to students aged 9 and above.

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