When St Thomas Aquinas School pupils in Milton Keynes heard about CAFOD’s latest campaign ‘Eyes of the World’ they wanted to join to help fight the global climate crisis.
The eyes of the world are on us this year as Britain hosts world leaders for the COP26 – the United Nations climate change talks, in November 2021. They will make important decisions that will shape the future of our global family. CAFOD is aiming for us all to call on the Prime Minister to support the world’s poorest communities affected by the climate crisis.
St Thomas Aquinas School has already achieved ‘Green Flag’ status and has both a School Council and an Eco Committee that make sure that the school Green Eco Code is followed. Pupils feel a sense of ownership of the school green agenda and are proud to be part of a world-wide effort to tackle climate change and to help others around the world.
A Year 4 pupil commented ”If every school had an Eco-Committee then more children would grow up understanding climate change”.
Pupils watched the CAFOD National Assembly and learned how the world weather patterns are changing and how the poorest communities are suffering the most.
A Year 6 pupil thoughtfully said “We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the poorest communities and act based on this”
The coronavirus crisis has shown us that change is possible and that governments can make rapid decisions when they choose to do so. CAFOD are saying now let’s come together to care for the world that is crying out for our help to tackle the climate emergency with even more urgency.
Bishop David also encouraged pupils to get involved with this CAFOD initiative and indicated that pupils must make their voices heard.
The pupils were very keen to have their voices heard to ensure the government used this historic moment to build a more sustainable world. They wanted to let local MP Mr Iain Stewart know how worried everyone was and to ask him to take their concerns to Government to help bring about change.
The School Council therefore took swift action and wrote to Mr Stewart. It explained that ’We are the future generation of this planet and it is very important that members of our government set a good example at COP 26.’ It went onto say ‘the world’s poorest communities must be at the heart of their decisions’. Pupils asked to meet the MP and wanted to ask him for advice tackling climate change and how to look after our world better.
Mr Stewart was pleased to receive the letter and a virtual meeting was arranged. Pupils asked loads of questions and Mr Stewart was full of praise at the children’s knowledge about climate change and their passion for change and improvement.
Pupils wanted more climate change aspects as part of the National Curriculum and Mr Stewart thought it a good idea. They also asked that their concerns about climate change could be taken to his colleagues and then to the COP 26 meeting. Mr Stewart was very positive and said he would do his best. He also promised to let pupils know about the outcomes of the COP 26 when he visited the school in November.
Mrs Kirkby who supports the School Council was very pleased that Mr Stewart was so helpful. She said “I’m very proud of St Thomas Aquinas pupils. I admire the efforts that children make to recycle, reduce plastic consumption, conserve and recycle water and try hard to make sustainable and environmentally friendly decisions both in school and at home. Pupils are knowledgeable about climate change and are responsible forward thinking young people.”
Mrs Hackett, head of RE, also commented “I love that our children are so clear on how to put faith, action, stewardship and compassion together in order to make a difference”.
Pupils thanked Mr Stewart for spending time with them and being a ‘friend of the school and the planet’.
Bishop David was absolutely delighted on hearing about this meeting.
Well done St Thomas Aquinas school. You are a wonderful inspiration to us all!