Academic Focus on engaging in environmental issues through the curriculum and assemblies

For adults and children glitter has been a massive source of unbridled joy, adding sparkle and magic to many celebrations in all of our experiences, especially during our school days.  

Alas, we are now aware that this simple source of sparkle comes with a whole lot of environmental consequences that we have only just stopped to consider. This source of magic isn’t environmentally friendly at all: the tiny pieces of shiny plastic are getting into the waterways and harming animals and fish. Glitter’s effects on the environment are so severe that many scientists have proposed a nationwide ban of the loose, sparkly substance.

At Springmead we have been learning about the concerning effects of glitter and why scientists are so worried. Thankfully there are now environmentally sound glitter alternatives, at this stage it is very expensive but hopefully the cost will reduce over time as it becomes more widely available.

In a whole school assembly on Tuesday the children and I consigned our non-eco-friendly glitter to a large glass Christmas tree vase; this has been sealed and will be brought out each year and enjoyed. This teaching moment was thought provoking; the children could see why we were not throwing the glitter away but rather keeping it responsibly and then committing, as a school, to not buying any more.

Our Wednesday assemblies are split into three age groups. As a school we have decided to use these assembly sessions to look at the beauty of the world and create age appropriate opportunities to consider environmental issues.  These assemblies will sit alongside class curriculum work on environment, taught through themes, geography, science and PSHE.

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