When the children give a cry for help, it’s our responsibility as teachers to answer. But this anxious cry wasn’t the kind we’d heard before. This was one being repeated across the School with heartfelt sincerity and concern. This was a desire to make a stand for what they believed in. And what they believe is that climate change is real, hugely problematic and they’d like to do something about it.
As a result, I was excited to organise a group of students, parents and staff from St Chris to participate in the Extinction Rebellion peaceful protest on Sunday 13 October. The increase in climate anxiety and interest in making a difference has been palpable at St Chris of late, and there is a growing undercurrent of students wanting to get involved on a larger scale. As such the Be Green Committee felt that the ‘October Rebellion’, which began on 7 October in over 60 cities across the world, would provide an ideal opportunity for this. We joined the protest, took our banners to London to display and talked with and stood by climate change activists from across the UK.
There were plenty of activities to keep the students busy. There were science lectures in the street, on the spot t-shirt printing, stations where you could write letters to your MP, singing and performances, and plenty of top-notch people watching!
Students from I group to sixth form have been spending lunchtimes, company times, after school and options classes designing and making their banners. “I’ve seen better cabinets in Ikea” was a humorous public favourite, with “I deserve a future” bringing a poignant message home.
It was wonderfully peaceful there, and people were friendly and welcoming at Trafalgar Square – the designated family zone. Students left feeling inspired and motivated to make a change in their own lives too.
And this is just the beginning. Already the Junior and Senior Be Green groups are expanding, and the School has recently appointed a ‘Green Governor’. There is also a strong Be Green parents’ community, because it does after all, affect everyone. We have lots of new ideas and exciting projects coming up, so do encourage each other to get involved and spread the word!
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Be Green Senior School Rep