Pupils on Isle of Wight Consider Life Without Taps

Excited pupils from four Catholic primary schools in Carisbrooke, East Cowes, Ryde and Totland Bay went head to head earlier this month at our first ever CAFOD’s Primary Public Speaking Final on the Isle of Wight.

Teachers, parents and pupils from St Thomas of Canterbury, Holy Cross, St Mary’s and St Saviour’s gathered together at St Thomas of Canterbury primary to hear the two finalists from each school present a talk on the topic “Life without taps?”


All the Year 6 classes in each school participated in the competition through research and preparation or by speaking on the night itself.

Competition organisers and CAFOD Education Volunteers, Rosemary Peacock and Liz Burden said,

‘‘For weeks the children have been learning about CAFOD’s work overseas and thinking about the issue of water.  Nearly 800 million people in our world don’t have access to clean water and 2.5 billion lack basic sanitation.  Here, we take it for granted that we have clean and accessible water, and don’t think about it until there is a problem.

“But far too many people have to spend every day travelling miles and queuing for hours to collect water, and worrying that the next drink they take will kill them or their children.  Diseases caused by dirty water claim more lives every year than any war.”


“Over the last few weeks, the children have been learning about what kind of affect a lack of water has on people’s livelihoods, education and health.  They’ve also been learning that it doesn’t have to be this way in the world.

Rosemary added,

“The children’s talks were rather special.  I really didn’t envy our judges’ job as I would have found it incredibly hard. The standard was very high I thought and I really admired the courage of all the children in standing up and speaking to so many people.”

St Thomas of Canterbury primary Headteacher, Maggie Sanderson also said,

“The children were so clearly committed and involved in the task.  I was so pleased someone else was judging as the standard was so high.  The pupils, the classes and the staff who prepared the children should be very proud of their achievements.”


The shield, donated by the Isle of Wight Catenians was won by Holy Cross primary and the 10 finalists and all those who took part received a thank you certificate. The competition was judged by Fr Gerard Flynn (Pastoral Area Coordinator for the Isle of Wight), Pat Goodhead (Head of Christ the King College), Adrien Hewison (Isle of Wight Catenians) and Roger Lille (CAFOD Education Volunteer Coordinator).

Thank you so much to the judges, the Catenians for their generous donation of the shield and all the schools who took part – all the teachers that helped prepare pupils, the pupils themselves for all their enthusiasm, courage and dedication and their parents and family members who will have helped them practise their talks (many times!) at home.

Thank you too to everyone at St Thomas of Canterbury school for hosting the competition, to Holy Cross Headteacher Tim Eccles for his permission to use his fantastic photos and everyone who attended and helped raise £94 for CAFOD on the night.

Last (but never least by any means!) thank you to our fantastic CAFOD Education Volunteers Rosemary Peacock and Liz Burden who organised the entire event and for making it go so well that it may now become an annual event. Thank you everyone!

For further information on how CAFOD’s work on water and sanitation is changing lives today please click here.





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