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House Days and Changing Our Thinking Ways…

I have previously written about the house system here at St Peter’s. (http://www.stpetersprep.co.uk/other-news/teaching-learning-houses/)

This community time is about building bonds and making pledges. Thinking of others, charity support and wider world wide issues; the pupils contributing within vertical age groups and sharing whole school events in a diverse manner of ways. I did comment in my previous article that learning intentions were not necessarily important when fun and games were to be had … but that said, Falkner house pupils had felt so enraged at some environmental topics which have been in the news throughout this year that we decided to do something a little different on our house day.

Please see our pledge on the right:

Please read on.
(More environmental issues to discuss next academic year).

Falkner House day

A day to remember the importance of our own impact on the environment.

“Change starts with one action – not one discussion.”
Mrs Ball, May 2019

I said this after proving to the children during the morning play litter pick, that we are all responsible for an escalating amount of litter in the world. We recognised that even on our beautiful site we are not trying hard enough to recycle, reuse and reduce waste – sometimes we are just throwing litter on the floor without a second thought!

We took time to try to be mindful of what we were trying to achieve on this unusual house day. We are all going to be thinking harder for St Peter’s solutions next year, when we focus in on all things eco.

The BIG St Peter’s Litter Pick

House points galore as the WHOLE school got involved in hunting the rubbish during morning play. There were a few disappointed faces that there were no cakes or games organised but instead, we registered a growing understanding that this would have just created more litter and plastic for our site – not less.

Fish and Chip lunch with a seaside view:

Whole School Beach Clean:
In the afternoon – (thankfully) a beautiful sunny afternoon – 152 pupils and numerous staff headed off from 13:00 onwards to Exmouth beach.

In different phases we tried to make Exmouth as litter free as possible just in time for visitors and locals to enjoy this incredible area of England over the Bank Holiday weekend. Year 3 & 4 swept the beach from the lifeboat station to end of the beach while Year 5 & 6 swept the whole of the Maer Local Nature reserve and Year 7 & 8 swept the Marina area.  EDDC were most obliging in supporting the event and we thank them for their support in providing litter picking materials and even collection of our findings.
Our conclusions are that food and drink wrappers are common ‘ blown away’ items, but that the main culprits seem to be smaller plastics – they were everywhere.
On the whole though our investigation told us that people are working incredibly hard in the community to keep these areas clean. Some pupils were disappointed that they only found one or two bits of rubbish – the staff, however, thought it was a really very encouraging sign indeed.

Assembly on the beach

Our Falkner House day ended in an Assembly on the beach. Sienna gave us an excellent bible reading (Jesus at the Sea of Galilee), Harriet read a prayer for the environment of her own composition and the whole school united both in prayer and song (“Eternal Father, Strong To Save”) when thinking of those who risk their lives on a daily basis, in work and rescue, on the waves. Although logistically it was a particularly challenging day (many thanks in this regard to Mrs Ball and Messrs Morrison & Hurley in the operations department), the environmental impact was minimal and the environmental benefit considerable.
A most enjoyable, memorable and thought-provoking day. Logistically a horrendous Falkner house day. Environmental impact – minimal. Environmental benefit – considerable.
An understanding that it is the responsibility of each of us to be environmentally conscious and active – TOTAL SUCCESS.

Lucy Ball, Deputy Head