As part of the EY3’s learning into ‘People can impact living things and habitats’, the children have taken action towards being responsible for habitats and living things. Through their investigations, they became aware that forests are being cut down at an alarming rate. First, they worked with Nelda, a local NGO, who plant saplings in Pune. The PTA had kindly donated money for the school to purchase 10 saplings and the school held a workshop on making seed balls for all the EY children and teachers. The children then asked family members to purchase saplings for themselves or loved ones. We had an amazing result with 36 trees being purchased by families and the PTA. The children enjoyed tallying the number of trees purchased, watching the class pictograph grow and practiced their counting skills.
When inquiring into sea habitats, the children became aware that there are gigantic patches of plastic in the ocean; mainly washed into the sea from drainage systems. There are five patches in total, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is to name one. This patch is bigger than France, Germany and Spain combined. It has more than 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic! This really concerned the children as they became aware of sea life being entrapped by plastics and marine animals eat plastics thinking it is food. The children have been principled through collecting washed plastic wrappers to donate to Aarohana, another local company, who hire villagers to make the fabric from the plastic wrapper waste. We asked members of our community to support this cause too. Shockingly, we purchased items that saved a least 750 plastic bags from going to landfill or waterways. We even went for a learning excursion to find out how the wrappers are made into fabrics and turned into pencil pouches, tote bags, lamp shades and many more items. Some important points that we had learnt were:
- on average a bag is only used for 20 minutes
- every minute 1 million bags are used
- it can take up to a thousand years for bags to decompose
When it was time to move onto a new unit, the children were devastated and worried that their action would come to an end. The conversation went like this:
Diya: ‘We need to collect more plastic’
Olivia: ‘We can sing and ask for help’
Namanpreet: ‘We can ask the whole school to help’
Nandita: ‘Even DP/MYP’
Their request for help was heard, loud and clear, they wanted to share their important information with their peers. A Primary assembly was a perfect place to share this knowledge. All the children were risk-takers, they carefully shared their understanding of the unit with their senior peers. They sang songs, learnt in their music class, they illustrated the lyrics using digital applications and they shared their promises to the Earth in English and their mother tongue. The Primary teachers and children were shocked by the extensive knowledge that the EY3s had shared. The school is truly proud of our eco-warriors.
So, through listening to the children’s voices, it is imperative that we take this time to spread their news to our whole-school parent body, website and our Facebook feed. We encourage you to think wisely about the waste you make. Is it necessary to throw all of your waste away or can you find alternatives for them? Could you plant a tree or buy items that are recycled, repurposed or reused? Could you support local organisations to make our world a better place?
EY 3 Homeroom Teaching Team