Heart for the Earth
The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) and Church of England General Synod (February 2020) stimulated heartfelt discussions upon climate change. Many highlighted the current climate emergency and the factors which had contributed to it, and the subsequent expression for the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and live more sustainably. A number of agreements and plans were made with a vision of a more sustainable future, one which sees the flourishing of the planet and all life upon it. It is this vision which is animating much discussion and action, not least amongst children and young people. Climate change is a key moral and spiritual issue of our time. In responding to this, the Diocesan Board of Education wishes to support diocesan schools’ thinking around climate change and carbon neutral and have launched a two-year project called 'Heart for the Earth'.
How we think (head), connect (hearts) and act (hands) towards the earth is vital in ensuring the flourishing of all creation, including humanity. Our curriculum offer here at St.Michael's aims to attend to all three aspects to enable our children and adults to respond in an informed and considered manner to climate change. Bringing together all three aspects form the basis of a ‘pedagogy of hope and action’ throughout the curriculum where pupils are empowered to act as advocates for the planet. Indeed, focussing on hope alongside meaningful and achievable actions (hands) can help alleviate the climate anxiety and despair that exists around us.
As we continue to engage with the Heart for the Earth resources and look at new ways to embrace our vision of being 'effective global citizens' we will use this page of our website to share our journey with you.
Reflection time: Exploring this at home together
Litter Picking Club
The children at St.Michaels have always been passionate about making a difference. Following work undertaken on global warming and environmental care last academic year, some of the children had an idea to establish a litter picking club. Donations from the PTA helped to purchase the equipment and the club has finally got up and running. This week, the children began the task of clearing the litter from Apton Road and collected three whole bags of rubbish, especially lots of bottles and cans. Members of the public who met the group thank them for making a difference to the local community. The children cannot wait to get out and continue their work. Headteacher, Rachel Griffiths, said of the group, “we are immensely proud of our students. Their passion for making a difference in the world shines through and they are always thinking of new things to do. It is a privilege to listen to their ideas and bring them to life. They truly are our future.”
Year 1 - Exploring the school environment
· What would a world without electricity be like?
Did you know.......?
1 Only 5% of the power drawn by a phone charger is used to charge the phone – so remember to turn it off when you are done!
2 A typical microwave uses more electricity to keep its digital clock on standby than it does heating food.
3 Renewable energy creates three times more jobs than the fossil fuel industry.
4 In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power electronics is consumed while the products are turned off (on standby). Each TV or computer left on standby is estimated to cost you 2p per hour
5 If everyone boiled only the water they needed every time they used the kettle, we could save enough electricity in a year to power the UK’s street lights for nearly 7 months.
6 Turning the thermostat down just 1°C saves 8% in heating costs.
7 A fridge freezer can account for up to 5% of a household’s annual electricity bill. Defrosting it regularly could save you quite a bit of money.
8 Laptops use up to 85% less electricity than desktop PCs.
9 Insulating your hot water cylinder could save you approximately £150 a year. If your tank is already lined with factory foam, savings could amount to £20-30 a year.
10 Installing external wall insulation can prevent up to 40% of heat loss from your home.
11 A new gas boiler is normally about 25% more efficient than a 20 year-old boiler. You could save up to £270 a year on bills by replacing it.
12 Your radiator also emits heat out of the side facing the wall. If your walls are un-insulated, this can leak straight through to outside. Stick radiator reflectors behind them to save yourself money and keep your house warm.
13 Washing clothes at 40°c uses a third less energy than a 60°c cycle.
14 Turning your thermostat down one degree can save nearly £100 per year.
15 Up to 4% of household heat can be lost through an uninsulated chimney.
‘Only 1% of the water on this planet is usable’
How important do you think this fact is for how wisely we use water? I wonder how this might inspire your actions?
Questions to think about at home:
Water is so amazing – we need it to live clean and healthy lives.
Do you think it is important to use water wisely? Why?
Water treatment plants use a large amount of energy to ensure our water is safe and clean to re-use. How could we save water so that less energy is used? (The average British person uses 150 litres a day!)
Do you think we need to be more grateful for the water in our lives and around us? Why?
A growing Christian view is that we live as part of a ‘community of creation’. How would wise use of water help all life on the Earth to flourish?
Is there something we could place around the house to help remind us to be wise, grateful users of water? Perhaps a picture or message?