Primary school children carry out local beach clean to “save our seas”

A group of primary school children from Trinity Croft Church of England Primary Academy in Rotherham recently visited Cleethorpes beach to help pick up litter and learn about the environment and the oceans as part of their school curriculum. The visit was organised ahead of the United Nations’ World Environment Day on 5 June which seeks to encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. In the half an hour that the children were tidying the beach, they found over two hundred and fifty pieces of litter including plastic forks, a swimming goggles case, plastic tubs, polystyrene from packaging, bottle tops and CD cases.

Teachers were inspired to organise the clear up for 20 Year One and Year Two children by two different imaginative learning projects they are teaching at the school. The two topics, ‘Land Ahoy’ and ‘Splendid Skies’ were written and designed by South Yorkshire based primary curriculum provider, Cornerstones Education. Both projects are cross curricular taught across English, Science and Geography and a number of other primary subjects including Art and Design, History, Mathematics, Music and Physical Education. They cover topics such as the weather, changing seasons, the oceans, life at sea, maps and boats.

Trinity Croft Church of England Primary Academy, Assistant Headteacher, Maria Allen, said: “These projects have really sparked the children’s imaginations! They spend a lot of their school holidays at the beach, so it is something they really connect with. As part of their research they heard that children in Hawaii had found litter on their beaches from the UK – this really shocked the children and made them question how they could help to ‘save the seas’ so we decided to visit the beach so they could see what litter is on our shores for themselves. They were horrified to find so much rubbish on the beach and want to continue with this work in our local area. They felt likePrimary school children and staff cleaning up local beach eco warriors on the day and I think this passion shall continue for them!”

Caroline Pudner, Curriculum Developer, Cornerstones Education, said: “It was fantastic to join the children and take part in their beach clean. I was blown away by their knowledge and understanding of the harm that plastic and other litter can do to our beaches, seas and wildlife. At Cornerstones we are very conscious of the fact that we are helping to shape our planet’s future citizens and to know our projects have inspired these children into make a positive different to their local environment is so heart-warming!”

World Environment Day began in 1974 and since then the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

The Cornerstones Curriculum is taught in over 2000 schools to 500,000 children. Written and developed by Melanie Moore, a former primary school teacher with 20 years teaching experience, Melanie wanted to create a primary school curriculum that would develop the skills and knowledge required by the national curriculum, as well as being creatively stimulating and allowing children to explore their own fascinations. Realising that writing a curriculum was going to be a full-time job, she left teaching and established Cornerstones Education in 2010.