The Waste Wise Kids team had an exciting and interactive day of teaching and learning with the pupils at St. Vincent de Paul primary school in Westminster, London. The primary school was nominated by PAYE, a leading stonework and restoration contractor in London and valued business member of Waste Wise Kids, to host the Waste Wise Kids programme. From reception class through to year 6, the pupils and teachers enjoyed a comprehensive and engaging sustainability and waste education workshop led by Waste Wise Kids’ presenters Stacey Bee and Lisa Hine.
Aimed at encouraging and inspiring environmental awareness, the Waste Wise Kids team conducted five separate sessions, each thoughtfully presented to cater to the levels of understanding in the different year groups. The sessions blended the Waste Wise Kids presentation with engaging activities, including the much-loved ‘drawing the ocean’ exercise that really resonated with the children. The children were inspired to think about what lives in the ocean, how waste can seriously impact marine life both in the oceans and on the beaches, and how we can all help to protect them. They realised that they could make a difference!
The reception year drew mermaids in their ocean scenes, reflecting their magical minds! Even the teaching staff joined in on the activity, demonstrating their artistic skills to communicate ideas about what lives in the ocean. The exercise really helped to foster a sense of responsibility for waste and where it could end up if not disposed of properly.
The pinnacle of the assembly was the creative task of crafting rubbish robots at home. Armed with examples of upcycled items, including a skateboard repurposed into a double dog bowl holder, the children’s and teachers’ imaginations powered up! Across all age groups, the engagement was infectious! This ripple effect continued as conversations around waste reduction and repurposing were had with guardians at home and within the broader community!
The impact extended beyond the assembly hall in the school as well. St. Vincent de Paul school didn’t have an eco-club, so they saw the potential and have decided to launch one, with the Waste Wise Kids program and the resource box provided as its cornerstone. The school’s commitment to environmental education has been further demonstrated by their integration of the Waste Wise Kids resources into their core curriculum.
Waste Wise Kids revisited the school later that month, for the momentous event of judging the ‘Rubbish Robot’ competition and awarding the deserving winners. The school had received an astounding 80 rubbish robot entries with every year group from the school getting involved! Creativity and innovation thrived, with every entry adhering to the brief of utilising and reusing waste to design and build their robots. Each age group produced a winner, culminating in the selection of an overall winner who exemplified exceptional creativity and sustainability awareness.
The collaboration between Waste Wise Kids, St. Vincent de Paul School and PAYE yielded more than just a memorable assembly; it has sowed the seeds of environmental responsibility, sustainability, and creativity in the hearts and minds of the students. From a social value perspective, it has demonstrated:
- Improved environmental awareness
- Family and wider community engagement
- Enriched conversations across year groups
- Empowerment of young minds to be active stewards of sustainability
- Creation of a new sustainability learning infrastructure within the school
- Importance of business education partnerships and corporate social responsibility
All of these examples showcase the depth and breadth of the Waste Wise Kids programme’s impact.
“As part of our commitment to a better, more sustainable future, our behaviour extends beyond what we do on site and in the office, it is also about what influence we can have on others. As such, we are proud members of the incredible Waste Wise Kids initiative and it was a joy to be part of this workshop to see how young minds were inspired to Stop, Think and Act when it comes to waste and its impact on our planet!” Steph Gibson, PAYE
We would like to thank the children and staff at St Vincent de Paul Primary School for such a wonderfully engaging Waste Wise Kids workshop!