Lawrence Dodd, who is the Community Development Officer within BMBC’s North East Area Council team, worked with Sarah Riley, Teacher of Geography and Lead for Personal Development and Life at Outwood Academy Shafton, to develop a competition at the school aimed at students from Year 7-9, to come up with innovative and novel responses to the Climate Crisis.
The competition, which coincided with Cop26, aimed to instigate a conversation within the school & the wider community about both the personal changes that can be made to improve the environment, as well larger scale changes that could take place, starting from within the school itself, that could help address the Climate Crisis.
Nine students reached the final round, at which point they were asked to pitch their proposals to our panel of judges, which included local Councillor Joe Hayward, Hannah Cornish (BMBC Climate Change Strategy Manager) & Richard Souter (Schools Climate Education South Yorkshire). Students proposals were judged on the extent to which they engaged with the issues and causes of climate change, the originality & creativity of their proposals, and their communication and presentation skills.
Panellists were impressed by the students understanding of the issues related to climate change, particularly the winning student’s proposal, of a fashion swap-shop within the school as a way to reduce the 'throw away culture' of high street fashion. This is now a project that Lawrence Dodd will work with the students and the wider school to develop into reality!
All parties involved in the project felt that creating an exciting and engaging way for students to grapple with the challenges of Climate Change, made speaking and thinking about the issues less daunting and more empowering. The project has also improved the relationships between the local council, school and young people, and has aided a conversation within the school about improvements that can be made regarding it’s ecological footprint, which young people have and can continue to take an active role in.
A huge thanks goes to Cllr Joe Hayward, BMBC Climate Change Strategy Manager Hannah Cornish, & Richard Souter from Schools Climate Education South Yorkshire for serving as our panel of judges, Sarah Riley for working on this despite having classes to teach and a pandemic to negotiate, and to Cudworth Ward Alliance for funding the project.
By Lawrence Dodd