This week in their English lessons Prep School pupils have been exploring themes inspired by the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. World leaders signed-up to these goals in 2015 with the ambition that they will have the power to create a better world by 2030, by ending poverty, fighting inequality and addressing the urgency of climate change. At Redcliffe we promote use of the Sustainable Development Goals in learning so that our children can contribute to a better future for everyone and to inspire them to take action to make a difference!
In their English lessons for this half-term, Year 4 and 5 are focusing on the third Global Goal: Good Health and Wellbeing. This is particularly relevant as it includes targets to support research, development and universal access to affordable vaccines and medicines.
Year 6 English lessons for this half-term are focused on the eleventh Global Goal: Sustainable Cities and Communities. This week they were asked to imagine that the year is 2030 and that the goal has been achieved. They were asked to write a narrative about a London Tour Guide taking a group of Year 6 pupils around London whose job it is to show the the pupils how the goal has been achieved. There were some fantastic examples of descriptive writing as well as some excellent ideas about how a sustainable city can be achieved.
Here is an example from Josephine:
The World’s Accomplishments
By Josephine K
Yesterday was the best day ever… and I’ll tell you why! I always wondered how everything came to be so lovely because my parents tell me how lucky I am to live in such a gorgeous and well cared for city. It wasn’t always like that, they told me. Yesterday, I woke up all jittery and excited because we were going around the city on a tour to see how humans have changed the world to become sustainable.
After waiting until everyone finally arrived, we set off on our open-roofed coach and before too long, we were all spotting many unique things that we hadn’t really noticed before. Kindly, our tour guide explained what everything was. “Wow, what are those?” exclaimed Aalliyah.
“Oh, those are solar panels. That means that they sit on roofs and absorb the sunlight and then turn it into power. Pretty cool right?”
“Definitely,” replied Aalliyah. Cosi glanced behind her and ran over to the window opposite – I followed. We looked over at a gigantic park where happy people threw electric frisbees and controlled balls with their heads only by wearing a special hat which was connected to the ball. People looked up at us as if surprised that we were using a coach (even though it was electric). As I looked up and down the road, I noticed that there were cyclists getting around on their speedy bikes. I marvelled at the thought that cars and other big vehicles were no longer used too much.
After driving for an hour or so, we stopped near an immense drinking fountain for lunch. We all sat on the steps for a break. Although the stones were cold, I stayed where I was because with the sun shining brightly, I could think of no better place to be. When I closed my eyes, our gentle guide came over to me and said, “The reason why the world is so beautiful is because humans decided that together, everyone would achieve all the global goals by 2030. This ranges from poverty to plastic. If you are not already aware, the global goals have been accomplished.”
She smiled at me and then gestured for my class and I to walk or skip (like I did) over to a construction site where our marvellous guide said, “Although it might be hard for you to believe, half this city used to be a dump yard and although it has been over 10 years since humans started to change their ways, some parts of this world are still working on making sustainable ways to do things. As you can see, this crane is not only helping put large amounts of dirt in other places, but also doing large deliveries of food to that supermarket. And the crane is doing both…alone.”
“What do you mean by ‘alone’?” Anais asked.
“I mean that no one is controlling these cranes – they are electric,” our guide answered. An ‘ooh’ went through the class. “Well, I think it is time to get going. All follow me!” our guide remarked.
Later that evening, I thought about how much I had learnt in one short day, but I had a feeling that I still have a lot more to learn. I shared everything I knew now with my parents and they seemed very impressed. After dinner, we played a new game I got for Christmas. It is called, Find the New Invention on Sustainability. For the first time since I got it (almost 6 months ago) I actually beat my parents based on my knowledge of sustainable cities. For my reading out loud, I read ‘Blue Planet 2’ and could relate a lot to the problems of what the planet used to look like before I was born. I went to bed feeling proud of my accomplishments.