Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited in to St Finian’s RC school in Thatcham to speak to a number of pupils across the school and thank them for all their sterling support across the years.
The school is a long standing supporter of CAFOD and has a number of fantastic displays and global citizenship initiatives across the year. Just take a look at this fantastic noticeboard in the main corridor – along with a thank you certificate for raising £261.76 last Harvest Fast Day.
Pupils really put their heart into fundraising by bringing in money and placing it in the shape of a gigantic heart across the playground (see below). Great stuff!
During my visit, I talked to a wide range of pupils across the school on the theme of looking after God’s creation. After talking through some examples of our partners’ experiences of a changing climate, Years 5 and 6 then considered how our actions could impact on others living thousands of miles away and everyone took part in a short quiz.
After hearing facts such as it takes 100 yeas for a plastic bag to decompose and that a PC monitor left on standby overnight all year uses the equivalent electricity to 500 kettles boiling – we all thought up dozens of ways we could take action and reduce, recycle, re-use and repair!
Finally, pupils thought of one practical thing they could do to stop global warming and wrote it down on a special card.
In other year groups, we looked at the importance of water to all God’s creation, including ourselves. Pupils acted out a story from our partner in Kenya which illustrates the difficulties villages faced without a clean water source and the difference a new well made to their lives.
We thought of reasons why an area would not have clean water, why people may have to drink dirty water and the affect that might have on their lives. We ended by taking part in a quiz and again pupils were shocked to learn that 884 million people do not have access to clean, safe water and that on average people living in Ethiopia use 5 litres of water a day (less than the average toilet flush in the UK of 9.5 litres).
We learned just how precious water is, how little freshwater exists and ended by thinking of ways we can all conserve water.
It was a great day! Thank you all so much for inviting me in to speak to everyone and thank you in particular to Mrs Hume, Mrs Housden and all the staff for organizing everything so well and making me feel so welcome.
Thank you too to all the lovely pupils who threw themselves into each session with great enthusiasm and gusto!