Climate Change Day
Friday 27th September 2019
Climate change is always in the news. As a result, we have found that many of our pupils feel very strongly about it. We decided to hold a day when we could focus on this very pressing issue in order to inform our pupils even more and change our behaviour to impact less on the planet.
Our classes looked at many different locations around the world in order to understand the effects that global warming is having. From the Arctic to the Great Barrier Reef by way of Bangladesh, the Maldives, Africa and many other places, we discovered that every corner of the world has been touched in some way. This might be in the form of drought, flooding, extreme weather, acidification of the oceans or the loss of many habitats and species.
Year 6 felt particularly fired up about the issue. Having seen what Greta Thunberg has been able to do, they wanted to lead an assembly that would motivate the rest of the school. They spoke loudly and clearly about the need for this generation to change their habits. The whole school joined in enthusiastically with ‘I’ve got the power in me’, a favourite song of Leatherhead Trinity School.
We also held a Citizens’Assembly to better inform our pupils and then to gather their views on what we could change as a school to be more environmentally friendly. This forms part of our British Values education as this type of gathering is used by governments and organisations around the world. KS2 were divided into small groups, mixing up age and gender. It is always a pleasure, even when you spend every day with young people, to hear them voice thoughtful and intelligent comments on serious issues. And not just year 6 - many of our younger KS2 pupils had plenty to say!
Did you know that it is estimated that 51% of the greenhouse gases come from animal agricultural? We might not all be, or want to be, vegetarian but reducing our meat intake is one way to help the environment. The canteen laid on a meat-free Save the Planet Pizza which was enjoyed by many and lots of children had meat-free lunch boxes. Even the staff made an effort with an exciting array of veggie lunches that day!
So the day wasn’t just a great opportunity to expand our geographical knowledge and to try some cool experiments with ice. The point was to make small changes that would lessen our carbon footprint on the world. We have made a start by planting 15 crab apple trees in the grounds and sowing a wildflower meadow to attract lots of bees next spring. We have also devised a charter that we, as a school, are committing to. This will be shared with the children next week. These steps to improve our environment came from the children in our Citizens’ Assembly. Please ask them to talk to you about it. Maybe you could support our efforts by tweaking your habits at home too…
Mrs Claire Bevan
Years 5 and 6 challenge injustice
On Monday, two speakers from Amnesty International came to visit Year 5 and 6. They explained about human rights to the children and shared some examples. The children will use this background information in literacy in the coming weeks as they study cases of human rights abuses in different countries around the world as part of Amnesty’s Junior Urgent Action. They will use their persuasive language skills to try to convince foreign governments to change their practice. These cases give our pupils a very real context for honing their literacy skills while raising awareness of human rights and encouraging them to speak out against injustices.
Global Learning at Leatherhead Trinity School
We were very pleased to have our ‘international learning’ recognised by the British Council by being re-accredited for the International School Award. Our journey with international learning began in 2010 and every four years we reapply for the award. The award recognises our commitment to teaching our children about the world around them and helping them to question and understand what they see. We do this through all areas of our curriculum but also through eTwinning projects with other schools in Europe and our link with St Mauritz Primary School in Uganda. In school, our language of the half term celebrates our diverse school community and our Newsround assemblies keep the children abreast of what is happening in the world. Curriculum events like Fairtrade Day and the Send our Friend to School campaign encourage our pupils to tackle inequality. At this level, we also have to undertake an ambassadorial role for international learning. Our role as an Expert Centre for the Global Learning Programme, working with other schools to share good practice and plan training, has contributed to this.
We have also been awarded the Primary Language Quality Mark at Gold Level. This is mainly due to our French curriculum, which had to undergo rigorous inspection. It met all the criteria with flying colours. However, the quality mark recognised everything we do in terms of language learning in our school – our curriculum, language of the half term, our lunchtime Spanish Club and all our international work.
We will obviously continue all our work in this area. If you have a particular area of expertise or would like to be involved in our work, please let us know. We would welcome your assistance.
Fairtrade Day February 2017
As part of our global education work, all classes have been learning about Fairtrade. This started with an assembly when, through the story The World Came to My Place Today, the children discovered how we are connected to, and reliant on, so many other countries for everyday goods. The aims of the day were to:
understand that we are interconnected through trade
understand that our actions can have an impact on others
understand what we can do as individuals to improve the life of others
In Reception the children watched a film about where bananas come from. They looked at the Fairtrade symbol on the bananas.
The children in Year 1 and 2 did some fantastic maths based on the price of fruit and other food items. Year 2 also found out about sugar farmers in Africa in literacy and made some fruit kebabs. Tesco very kindly donated the fruit for this activity.
KS2 found out about Fairtrade bananas. Some classes carried out a simulation game, with different groups assuming the role of banana workers, plantation owners, shippers, importers and then supermarkets in the UK. This activity sparked lots of discussion about what is or is not fair when the children saw how little the banana growers receive of the price of a banana.
All KS2 classes then got to work on the Snack Attack Challenge. This is a national competition which requires the children to invent a new Fairtrade snack and design its packaging and promotional campaign. The children in Year 3 tasted some existing snacks and were surprised at how few Fairtrade versions there are in our supermarkets. The children had to work well in a group for this challenge and use creative and presentation skills. By the end of the day, the best snack for each KS2 year group was decided. The overall winner was chosen in a special Dragons’ Den assembly after half term and this will be our school’s entry for the national competition. We hope the children enjoyed the fun activities about a very serious matter.
Leatherhead Trinity School has recently become an Expert Centre for the Global Learning Programme. We believe it is important to help our pupils to make sense of the world around them in order to best prepare them for the future.
We were absolutely delighted to receive a large envelope from Uganda when we got back to school this term. We had sent some questions to our link school, St Mauritz, last term and while we were on holiday the pupils there had been busy answering them. All classes from Year 1-6 have had the chance to look at the work they sent us. They were amazed at the beautiful handwriting and pictures the pupils in Uganda produced, as well as some of the answers! For example, the children do not have televisions and there is only one computer in the whole parish. The children at Leatherhead Trinity now think they are very fortunate as school in Uganda stars at 7.30am and finishes at 5pm. We thoroughly enjoyed reading their answers and they certainly generated lots of discussion.
We have also started an eTwinning partnership with a small school in Brittany, France. The École Sainte Jeanne d’Arc is a very small school with only 2 classes. We will hopefully be in frequent touch with this school. They are particularly interested in sharing some art projects. We are sending each other some information about our schools this month. Some Year 5 girls have been helping to make posters about Leatherhead Trinity School which we will send next week. Many more classes will be involved in this partnership throughout the year.
Year 6 have also started to communicate with a school outside Paris and a school in the Czech Republic. This three way partnership has ambitious plans for the year. We will let you know how we get on!
Send My Friend to School Campaign 2016
Our pupils from Year 1 to year 6 have been learning about the right of all children around the world to receive an education. Unfortunately, there are 124 million children globally who do not receive an education for a wide variety of reasons. 37 million of these do not go to school due to emergencies such as war, natural disasters and outbreaks of disease. These children are the particular focus of the 2016 Send My Friend to School campaign. Our government, along with many others, has promised to ensure that all children receive a free primary education by 2030. Our pupils have been making paper rucksacks with important messages for the government. These rucksacks represent the journeys these children fleeing from emergencies, and therefore from education, have made as well as the voice of one of our pupils. Through this campaign, we are joining over 4,000 schools across the UK in speaking out for those whose voices cannot be heard by reminding the government to make children’s education a priority. We are teaching our pupils about the responsibilities that go hand in hand with our rights and encouraging them to be active citizens. We are delighted that Sir Paul Beresford, a local MP, has agreed to come into assembly on Friday 1st July to receive these rucksacks and deliver them to David Cameron. Please ask your children to tell you what they have been doing.
International School Award Coordinator
Send My Friend to School Day 1st July 2016
On 1st July our local MP, Sir Paul Beresford, came into school to receive the rucksacks we had made. The assembly was led by some Year 6 pupils who are keen to speak out for others. They spoke about Malala Yousafzai and how she was an inspiration to the rest of us. They asked Sir Paul about the government's commitment to ensuring the Global Goal of providing a primary education for all children is met by 2030. He assured us that the government would do all it could to ensure that this goal is met. He stressed that there is no easy solution and that we needed to work for world peace if we are ever going to change the situation.
Instead of taking our rucksacks away, Sir Paul explained that he was going to arrange for some pupils to go to London to meet Justine Greening who is in charge of the Department for International Development. We will be able to see the House of Commons and deliver the rucksacks personally.