With our summer of Planet Protectors school workshops now over, it's time to reflect on the wider meaning of our CSR project and what we learnt from the children!
Having just completed our final Planet Protectors workshops for 2016 with years 3 and 4 at Holy Trinity Primary School in Bradley Stoke, we found the final workshops were again fantastic experiences and our team thoroughly enjoyed our time with the pupils.
It is easy to complete each workshop and feel great about having taught the younger generation; quickly followed by exhaustion from a manic afternoon! However, having stepped back from the crazy organising, rushing, excitement, mild panic and fatigue, we can now reflect on our CSR team’s successes and what we have learnt from the project.
Cause and effect
The first thought that struck us all was that the children, although only aged 7-9, were already incredibly knowledgeable when it came to the environment, and they were really quick to make the connection between cause and effect during our games.
That was an eye-opener for us, and very inspiring; reminding us of why we were doing the project in the first place. It stimulated us to consider that we could involve even younger children in the workshops going forward, when we initially thought it might be too advanced for them.
The deeper meaning
We were also vastly impressed with how the children grasped the deeper meanings behind the games. We initially had some trepidation that they would only see what was in front of them, a fun game, and not what it was representing. Would they connect the issues represented by a particular game to the bigger picture of the environment as a whole?
We need not have worried, the children took their understanding beyond our hopes. Some great comments from the children included:
“It is like real life, you have to be careful in Jenga and with nature"
“I found out that if things are bad for animals and plants then they are bad for people too”
Working together to protect
For me, a really interesting aspect of the workshops was how the games we had developed evolved between, and during, each workshop. In enviro-Jenga for instance, many of the different groups of children began working as a team to protect all of the animals and plants in the tower (see the wonderful picture at the top of this page!), rather than sticking to the traditional every-man-for-themselves Jenga.
This learning curve got me thinking; how do children think differently to adults? Are adults limited – or at least slow – in coming up with environmental options and solutions for making things better? The innovation we saw from such young people during one afternoon of games just showed how much more flexible and open the minds of children are.
When we practiced enviro-Jenga as a company, we stuck rigidly to the rules and nobody wanted to be the one to make the tower fall, the children instead wanted to help each other to support nature. If only this attitude was continued later in life, we could have a great opportunity to protect the planet we have already done much damage to.
Bringing the learning home
The children recognised this gulf as well, with one pupil from Holy Trinity School commenting afterwards:
“I think that grown-ups should play this game and then they wouldn't waste so many old mobile phones”
How insightful to realise that consumerism is ever-increasing and is a damaging habit of modern humans. Another child showed clear understanding that their parents didn’t have the appreciation of the importance of preventing waste:
“I didn't know that you should recycle so many things, I will tell my mum and dad to recycle the batteries at home now”
With the shock of Brexit still fresh in our minds, could the severing be a chance to improve our attitude and regulations regarding the environment? Perhaps, if we all thought like eight year olds when it comes to nature we could make a difference and steer away from the dangerous direction we are headed in. We will be consulting with our members through a webinar on how the regulations could be improved following Brexit, watch this space for more information.
And what's next for our Planet Protectors project? Well, we are planning to continue the initiative in the new school year and we will be publishing details soon on our website about how to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact our team to find out more on 0845 094 2228 or email email@example.com.
Key account manager
Olivia joined Ecosurety in October 2014 as a Graduate account specialist. Now, as a key account manager, her role involves working with our members to provide support across all aspects of the company.
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