Young pupils at a Bradley Stoke primary school have been gathering opinions on the hot topic of plastic waste pollution after finding rubbish all over their playing field and watching films of animals trapped in plastic waste. The children, in the age range 5 to 7, conducted investigations and proudly presented their findings at a special event held on the last day of the spring term.
The project, at Bowsland Green Primary School, formed part of an ‘imaginary inquiry’ approach to learning called ‘Mantle of the Expert’.
Speaking to the Journal, Lottie Harris, Key Stage 1 teacher, outlined the work the pupils had undertaken in the build up to the presentation:
“Each year group takes on the role of a responsible organisation or team, who need to carry out an imaginary commission for an imaginary client. This term, Key Stage 1 were news reporters. Searching for a local news story, they were horrified to find lots of rubbish on their school field. When they investigated further, they learnt about plastic in our oceans and the danger that our animals are in. This made these young news reporters feel frustrated and angry! They were determined to share this story across the world.”
“After exploring the opinions of different people, including toy factory workers, families, the government and the environment agency, each class set about taking action and finding different ways of getting their story heard. We imagined working with clients such as BBC World and the environment department of different newspapers, creating news reports, new flashes and posters which we shared with the editor of the Bradley Stoke Journal during the concluding presentation.”
Ms Harris added:
“Working purposefully promotes such high engagement from our learners and they spoke passionately about their ideas about this environmental issue. This was a great end to the spring term!”
Stephen Horton, editor of the Journal, comments:
“It was a pleasure to be invited to the school to hear the presentation, from which it was evident that the children had put in a tremendous amount of research on a topic which they clearly feel very strongly about.”
“The recognition that restricting the use of plastics might have some unintended negative consequences, such as toy factory workers losing their jobs, demonstrated remarkable empathy from such young children.”
“And when challenged to explain what they were doing to cut down their own use of plastics, particularly within the school environment, it was clear from the children’s answers that the work had made them better appreciate some of the sustainability initiatives already in place at Bowsland Green. Top marks to all involved!”
Photo: Pupils proudly display their written work at the end of the presentation.
This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 25). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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