Environmentalists of the future on the biggest screen in Europe.
Regular readers of our blog will be aware of our support for Plastic Times, the environmental school resource based around the work of Tim Nunn’s Plastic Project. Its aim is to draw children’s awareness to the issue of plastic pollution, before empowering them to tackle this growing problem by producing and filming a persuasive news report for others.
Some of these news reports have since been selected to feature at LitFilmFest – a brand new film festival for 7-11-year-olds at the London IMAX on June 19th – and we’re delighted to be attending! Today we hear from Tom Keene, a Year 3 teacher at Snowsfield Primary, whose class were delighted to find out that they’ll be watching their Plastic Times reports on the biggest screen in Europe.
What made you decide to use the Plastic Times project in your classroom?
I began the Plastic Times with an open mind about how our children would respond to it. I chose this particular project for a number of reasons, but a main motivation was to address a growing issue in cities of how we deal with rubbish and where it ends up. We are a school in central London, where this issue can be especially prevalent, and the children have been alarmed at the damage plastic is causing to the oceans, and determined to do something about it.
Building a news story in manageable chunks from beginning to end, the children have learnt the importance of writing for purpose and an audience. They’re persuading people, writing emotively and with a passion and heart that can only come from having a real energy and passion for the subject matter.
Not only have the children loved being immersed in a project with a tangible outcome, they’ve also been hooked by its real world context. They have deconstructed reports produced by CNN and avidly followed the journey of Tim Nunn and the Plastic Project, which has really inspired them to write, produce and film their reports.
What lasting impression has the project had on your children?
The children have used the project as a springboard to design and form their own solutions to the issue of plastic in the oceans and beaches of the world.
It’s encouraged them to think about how humans are affecting not just their own local environment, but the wider, global environment. The children have been genuinely shocked at how damaging plastic can be to animals across the world, and have become very active in promoting the right message to their peers and families. In particular, children have commented on how dangerous it could be if micro plastics began to enter the food chain, and how that might affect our lives in the future.
Our school is now full of posters championing the importance of recycling and they volunteer daily to ensure that each classroom has their recycling bins emptied, and that other children understand its importance too. The whole experience has been a huge eye opener for our children. Having our film shown on the biggest screen in the UK is the cherry on top of an awesome cake.