Jess: A picture is worth a thousand words, or "a kilo word", as my A-level physics teacher used to say! This picture is a seasonal favourite of mine. As a biology graduate, it was only a few years ago that I saw my first dormouse, and was lucky enough to help on a dormouse survey. Once a completely open area, this hazel woodland was planted in the millennium as part of the Woodland Trust's scheme. Now home to more fifty nesting hazel dormice, it is a real success story. I'm not generally a great fan of rodents, but these characterful, fluffy-tailed creatures are utterly enchanting and sadly endangered. The snoring of a dormouse can lighten the heaviest of hearts!
We design our content around the LOVE the Earth structure. Loosely based around the National Curriculum, we enable young people to learn how to be planet protectors by learning, observing, involving and enjoying.
We often start our workshops (after an icebreaker to engage the crowd!) with a story, a chance to gain the perspective of a conservationist or ecological tale to set the scene (Learn).
We then move on to thinking about a theme in more depth. After COP26 we focussed on the most powerful part of the body - the voice. Empowering young people to be a part of the climate change conversation is a real gamechanger (Observe).
Collaboration is key. In a world operating globally, we are all part of the effort to combat the effects of the climate change and ecological crisis, each and every one of us. It's imperative that we stay connected, have joined up thinking, work together. By working in small groups we nurture individual strengths as well as team work (inVolve).
Finally we give way to creativity for a craft activity, a way to express a message individually. We have designed T-shirts with environmental messages and written to a class fifty years in the future about our hopes for the planet (Enjoy).
We have been lucky enough to be hosted by many schools across the county in just a couple of months and have lots more bookings. With the good fortune of loyal sponsors, we are in the position to offer the first workshop fully funded to state schools thanks to the Devon County Council #backthefuture campaign and the many supporters who donated to our workshops. We are also very grateful to the Exeter Chiefs Foundation who have sponsored equipment for our workshop series.
If you know of a Devon school that might benefit from our workshops, and is in need of a bit of support when it comes to environmental efforts, feel free to send these words in a letter to the Head of School:
I am a parent/carer with a child at your school
I have recently come across Planet & People, www.planetandpeople.co.uk, a community interest company working to support schools in environmental education. They are currently offering FUNDED ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION WORKSHOPS - Planet Action Workshops - for schools in Devon. Co-founders Bethia and Jess are an experienced teacher and ecologist team based near Tiverton. I would think that the school would really benefit from some extra support from them.
This term's workshop is on the theme of 'Hope', inspiring children to think positively and be proactive in the face of ecological uncertainty. Next term they will be exploring an 'Environmental Healthcheck' for schools to raise awareness of how we can make positive changes by looking at our surroundings differently.
Perhaps you could get in touch with them to see if they can deliver a workshop at our school? Please fill in this form to register your interest. You can see more on www.planetandpeople.co.uk and contact them at email@example.com or on 07722301375 for further information.
Parent/carer of [YOUR CHILD's NAME]
Let us know how it goes - we are here to help!
FOR PLANET AND PEOPLE is a regular blog conversation by ‘Planet & People’ to reflect our values and behaviours and encourage open conversation on topical eco-issues.
We are the creators of the 'Planet Action Kit' and Planet Action Workshops, inspiring kids to LOVE the Earth. PAK is an educational resource and subscription activity box providing personalised learning resources engaging budding planet-friendly kids. The activities focus on the four main themes: Learn, Observe, inVolve and Enjoy and are centred around matters of environment and sustainability. We run Planet Action Workshops in schools and for large community groups where we develop the next generation of planet protectors using adapted materials from our Planet Action Kit. Find out more on our Website, Facebook group, and Instagram Feed.