We've released our new primary school resources for children to run their own assemblies and be led through classroom activities.
Thanks to the South Hams Climate Engagement Fund we've spent the 2022 - 2023 academic year working with children across 6 primary schools in South Hams, Devon. We trained young people aged 3 - 12 to run our school assembly on the planetary emergency and we supported teachers to deliver our classroom activities so the children could find their creative voice and ideas for change.
The inspiration came from CEO of Devon Wildlife Trust Harry Barton's Letter to the Earth that he wrote for us in February 2021 after we co-facilitated the Bigbury Net Zero Assembly on Burgh Island.
In his letter he says:
"We promise to do everything we can to put back some of what has been lost, and to help others to do the same. We will do this in our towns and cities, in our gardens and farmland, in the uplands, the valleys, in rivers and lakes, and in the seas around us.
We promise to give more and take less. We will stop polluting the air, the soil and the waters you provide, and do what we can to make good the damage we’ve done."
And so, he and his team generously facilitated us working with their Wildlife Champions - primary school children across Torbay and South Hams who receive support to develop their own projects inspired by their natural surroundings.
We trained 59 Wildlife Champions across 6 schools to deliver our school assembly in front of their teachers and peers, and each form group then dedicated a class to writing their Letters to the Earth, as a response to what they'd learned and to give voice to what matters to them most.
1000 pupils across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 wrote their Letters, and we published a book of each school's children's Letters, giving copies of the books to the children and placing them in school libraries and classrooms for future children and teachers to read and be moved by.
Primary schools can now download our Assembly and Classroom Activities for free and prepare to use them.
Our Assembly script can be used by teachers and/or children to deliver a 20-30 minute school assembly on the climate and nature emergency.
Our classroom activities are designed to follow on immediately from the school Assembly and lead the children to write their creative response to the climate and ecological emergency in the form of a Letter to the Earth, and to consider what changes can be made. It could be included in an isolated PSHE, English, RE, Geography or Art lesson and would support any eco award or sustainability scheme that your school is part of. Outcomes: Literacy, Courageous Advocacy (for religious schools), British Values: Democracy, Individual Liberty, Rule of Law.
If you'd like support or for us to design and publish your school's own Letters to the Earth book then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org