Can the youngest of students influence the practices of a whole school? St Peters Receptions have recently done just that!
Towards the end of last term, the Reception students at SPLS had been investigating their Sharing the Planet unit; “Practices can be established in order to sustain and maintain the Earth’s resources”.
They have been developing their reflective thinking skills, with lots of questions being asked of them and with them asking just as many questions in response to their learning. Some of these questions include: What would happen if we used all of the …(Earth’s resources)? How does the rubbish people make impact on the environment? How can we reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink? What can we do to help care for the environment?
In Week 8, the Reception children created water wise posters highlighting everyday ways they can save water at school. They believed it was important to share their messages with the rest of the school, so, in whole school meeting, they proudly stood up the front and held up their posters and read their important Water Wise messages. These posters are currently being displayed around the school near toilets, drinking fountains and sinks.
In Week 9, we took action by initiating a Rubbish Free Week at school, of which the rest of the school was also invited to participate. Some of the questions that arose out of this experience included: What is rubbish? Do you have any rubbish? Is it rubbish? What changes can we make for next time? What other foods could we bring instead of food in wrappers? What is a rubbish free lunch? Is that the best choice? We discovered that there were no rubbish bins out around our school which was exciting as we wanted our world to not be full of rubbish.
By the end of rubbish free week, the children were very good at identifying how they can make simple changes to make their lunch boxes rubbish free.
Some of these ideas included:
– eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables rather than highly processed packaged food items
– using reusable washable containers to store and keep food fresh rather than wrapping food in plastic wrap
– buying food in bulk like crackers and cheese, biscuits, chips, dried fruit, yoghurt and portioning out a single serve into containers rather than purchasing individual packaged bags or tubs.
The Year 4/5 class, who are the Reception’s big buddy class, shared with us that they thought rubbish free week worked very well and it helped them to think a lot about which foods were best to bring to school and that they thought we should use the school green bins to help manage organic waste.
It is empowering to know that from some of the littlest of people in our school community we can all learn so much from each other. We can all do something to make a difference and if we all put in a little bit of effort, amazing changes can be made for the better.
“In the PYP, it is believed that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include not only socially responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action. An explicit expectation of the PYP is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process. This action will extend the student’s learning, or it may have a wider social impact, and will clearly look different within each age range. PYP schools can and should meet the challenge of offering all learners the opportunity and the power to choose to act; to decide on their actions; and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world.” – IBO Making the PYP Happen
Leanne Mibus and Belinda Fox, Reception Classroom Teachers.