CHILDREN at St Mary’s C of E Primary School, Walthamstow, have become “agents of change”, urging families, businesses, and their MP to protect the planet.
Inspired by the school’s Church of England status, pupils wrote to shops and cafés asking them to stop food waste, and suggesting that staff make surplus fruit into smoothies, create compost, and donate unneeded supplies to the homeless.
They also wrote to Stella Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow, asking her to help to stop single-use plastic, saying: “Sea life is in hot water because of plastic.”
Each class chose its own topic. Year 2 and Year 4 classes asked their head teacher, Matthew O’Brien, to provide compost bins in the school kitchen and paper-recycling bins in each classroom.
Mr O’Brien said: “It was fantastic to see the children pursuing their own plans and taking some early steps in becoming active citizens, making a positive contribution to the society they live in.”
Year 2 children visited a foodbank with food, books, toys, and letters that they had written to families who are struggling at Christmas. Messages included: “We will pray that things get better for you,” and “I hope this gift will make you as happy as I am giving it to you.”
One of the Year 2 teachers, Rhiannon Williams, said: “Children see things in black and white, and they have a really strong sense of injustice. They want to do something about it and act to change things for the better.”
Other topics included making Christmas baubles from recycled paper to raise funds for Christian Aid to help child war refugees; designing leaflets on healthy eating to be displayed in doctors’ surgeries; and planting fruit and vegetables in public places for the community.
Some pupils called on others to stop littering, plant more trees, reduce food miles, and scoot, cycle, or walk instead of driving. One described climate change as a “gruesome chain reaction” that results in “the next generation being robbed of a healthy, joyful, and liveable future”.
Another pupil said: “There is no second planet for us to live on. . . We have the power to change.”
For more information visit www.stmaryscofe.org.