Last week, just before half term holiday, I visited St Swithun Wells primary in Eastleigh to talk to Year 5 and 6 about what it might mean to be good stewards of God’s creation.
I started by asking pupils what immediately came to mind when they thought of the words ‘climate change’ and many mentioned images of flooding, droughts, melting icecaps and polar bears. We then talked about how climate change will have different effects in different parts of the world and looked at some of the problems already being experienced by CAFOD’s partners in Bangladesh and Niger. We then thought of all the energy we use during the day and how much of it is sometimes wasted, before looking at where this energy usually comes from, the production of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and their effect on our climate.
Finally each class took part in a quiz – designed to get everyone thinking about these issues. Questions included topics such as what uses the most energy in a house (heating), what are greenhouse gases, and what is the biggest contributor of CO2 (electricity generation). We then talked about the 4 ‘rs’ – reuse, repair, recycle and reduce – and how they might help us be better stewards of creation. Finally we ended the session by talking about our Act on Poverty campaign and asked each pupil to show our Prime Minister how serious they were about this issue by writing down what they were prepared to do to tackle climate change.
I will recycle everything that I can and use less electricity.
I will turn off lights when I’m finished with them.
I promise I will switch off every energy wasting thing I am not using in my house.
I will turn off the tv once I’ve done with it.
I will turn off electric sources at the end of the day and reduce heating and recycle old things.
I promise to turn off anything I don’t need. I will also make sure that I don’t litter.
I promise to reduce or reuse plastic carrier bags when I go shopping with my parents.
I promise not to waste power.
I promise to recycle and turn off the tv when I go to bed.
I will make sure that I recycle paper so I won’t use a paper shredder because it wastes electricity and paper.
I’ll make sure that I’ll walk to places ten times more!
I promise to pass on games and clothes if I grow out of them instead of throwing them away. I also promise that I’ll turn the taps off when I am washing my hands or brushing my teeth.
I promise that I will try to walk more and I will turn my tv off standby when it is not in use.
I promise to recycle paper, cardboard and plastic bags.
I will act on poverty and climate change by never leaving a computer on standby.
I am going to promise to repair things that are broken.
I promise to put on a jumper instead of turning on the heating.
I promise to switch of my DS at night.
I will switch off all my electrical devices when I am not using them.
Each promise was then stuck onto our big Number 10 door, photographed (as you can see above) and posted off to CAFOD in London. The photos will be presented in a special book to the Prime Minister. We finished with a prayer and asked God to help us create a better world in which everyone does their best to look after the environment and share everything they have with others in need.
Thank you to Mrs Clark and all the teachers for inviting me in to the lessons and a special thanks to all the pupils who were so engaged and enthusiastic! Thank you all!