We were delighted to welcome pupils, teachers and headteachers from 13 primary and seven secondary schools from all four regions of South Yorkshire to Victoria Hall on 2nd March. Many travelled by public transport, and pupils brought with them clothes for the clothes swap and their entries for our competition!
In the morning keynote address Richard Souter (Schools Climate Education South Yorkshire) welcomed pupils and teachers to the conference. He was followed by Juanita Shepherd (Sustainability and Climate Change Policy Lead from the DfE) who spoke about the National Education Nature Park and the Climate Action Award scheme.
Pupils then thoroughly enjoyed a variety of different workshops run by enthusiastic session leaders!
Lunchtime provided the opportunity for students to participate in a quiz and to investigate a variety of interesting stalls.
In the afternoon South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard answered challenging questions from students, read out by Rafia Hussain (SCESY), such as ‘What are you personally doing to reduce your carbon footprint?’ and ‘How are you working to help promote green skills and jobs in our region?’
Students were very moved by the account from Hafiz Anwar Zahidy of the impact on his family of the dreadful floods in Pakistan last year. And Yorkshire Water on behalf of the charity Water Aid gave an insight into the life of a child living where there is not enough water.
Juanita Shepherd (DfE), Mark Lallemand (SCESY) and Cllr Abtisam Mohamed had a challenging time when it came to choosing winners of the competition from some truly amazing entries! The primary category was won by Meersbrook Bank Primary with a playful and ingeniously designed home-made marble run, showing what actions lead to negative impacts and what lead to positive impacts in relation to the climate emergency. Meadowhead School won the secondary school category with an interactive educational exhibit highlighting the significance and long-term impact of litter on the environment.