Whilst studying the topic “The Deep”, Year Six pupils at South Wilford C of E Primary School have been learning about the causes and effects of climate change upon the oceans and seas of the world. They have researched, discussed and analysed various facts and opinions and used them to make informed judgements. As the topic progressed, they became more passionate about this issue and decided to write letters to the Government to persuade Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to act now and change government policy.
During the topic, the children became increasingly concerned about the future of the planet’s seas and oceans. Idina asked, “Can you imagine a world without the wonders of the oceans?” Erin stated that, “Climate change is affecting our lives and if we do not do something soon, then it will be the start of a catastrophic era that we will have to live through.”
Greta Thunberg, environmental activist and pioneer for ensuring that governments worldwide address climate change and global warming, has captivated the children with her ideas. Harry stated that, “Climate change is caused by anthropogenic burning of fossil fuels and deforestation” while Abigail said, “Due to global warming and rising sea levels, many species of marine creatures are fleeing their habitats to follow their food sources. This is disrupting food chains as well as life-cycles.” The impact of changes to seas and oceans will affect people throughout the world.
The budding environmentalists have discussed changes that could be made at family, school, local and national levels. Nikhil suggested people use their cars less, through car-sharing schemes, or use bikes or electric transport such as the tram, whereas Ryan proposed that, as a country, we plant more vital trees and promote local businesses so that people’s carbon footprints are reduced. Maja urged the Government to “empower architects to design and build more eco-friendly housing, promote solar panels, as they draw in energy from the sun, and decommission power stations so that the land can be used for solar farms”. Increasing the country’s use of renewable energy sources is one way that future generations could address the need for power without burning fossil fuels.
Within school, the children have been encouraging others to turn off lights and electrical equipment when not in use and they hope that their suggestions to the Secretary of State will be acted upon by the new Government.