For One World Week, the school has been learning about the upcoming COP26 summit and recognising that our world was entrusted to us by God, but we are now damaging our common home.
In Year 6, we learned about the 4 main goals that Sir David Attenborough deems as being imperative to meet if we are to succeed in turning around climate change. These are:
- Phasing out fossil fuels for renewable energy sources
- Managing our oceans
- Reducing meat consumption
- Rewilding the planet
These areas became our foci for the week’s learning.
Monday and Wednesday
The children learned about the pros and cons of different renewables. We followed this up on Wednesday by walking to the local solar farm, which generates enough electricity to power 1000 homes in our town!
We learned that there are 3 main factors that play a part in destroying our oceans, which produce over half of the world’s oxygen and absorb 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. These are:
- Plastic pollution
- Global warming
We thought about ways that we can address the problem of plastic pollution on a personal level; that is, ensuring that we reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. We were then shocked to learn that man-made textile fibres – namely polyester and nylon – are essentially micro plastics. When polyester and nylon clothes are washed, many of these microfibres break free of the clothes, ending up in our water systems and, ultimately, our oceans. We saw this for ourselves by washing polyester fleeces in a bucket full of warm water, and observing the water thereafter.
We then moved on to learning about the impact that meat consumption has on the environment. Most memorably, it requires around 2500 litres of water required to raise and graze cattle to produce a single beef burger. Moreover, and quite horrifically, the area of rainforest equivalent to a football pitch is lost every second to deforestation. The reason for this deforestation is, first and foremost, cattle farming. This inevitably destroys ecosystems and leaves millions of animals without a habitat, not to mention the fact that rainforests are crucially the lungs of the world due to the oxygen they ‘breathe’ out.
The children took part in a debate in which they put forward arguments for and against the elimination of meat from our diets. They then thought about steps they could take in their own lives to help address this problem. Some ideas were:
- Choosing the green option for school dinners at least twice a week
- Having days or weeks at home that are meat free
Today, we pulled together all our learning from the week by writing a persuasive letter to Oliver Dowden, our local MP, calling on him to prioritise repairing our damaged world.
We also enjoyed some meat-free chilli that had been slow cooking overnight, following on from yesterday’s learning about the necessity to reduce meat consumption. It definitely got the thumbs up!
The Laudato Si Leaders have been in their element this week, passionately participating in class discussion, coming up with school initiatives to be better stewards of creation, and leading an act of worship in each class over the course of the week. I am so proud of the fantastic role models they have shown themselves to be. This morning, they also led our whole-school assembly, and then this afternoon, the Year 6s joined the Receptions to have a special act of worship to conclude One World Week.
The Liturgy Leaders have been absolute stars throughout this month of October, giving up part of their lunchtimes on most days to lead the Rosary for the rest of the school. Most notably, on Tuesday, they went down to the church to lead the Rosary for the rest of the parish and did an absolutely wonderful job. Well done to you all!
I wish you all a wonderful half term!