Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective; not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest.  We require a new and universal solidarity. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation”, from Laudato Si’ by Pope Francis.

Upper IV Alpha explained to us in assembly on Monday 15th May that Pope Francis is asking us to take care of our environment, and that one way of doing this is to become less dependent on cars by walking to school (where possible) in order to reduce our carbon footprint.  To encourage participation, Upper IV Alpha organized ‘Wacky Walking Wednesday’.  “There will be prizes!”, they said, “Ms Keep, Sennen, Siya and Emily of Lower IV will make a point of visiting every class and being the judges. They will have a camera!”.  Whether it was the incentive of prizes or the chance to model their crazy creations in front of a camera, staff and students made an impressive and imaginative effort on Wednesday.

Where pedometers weren’t being used, everyone was encouraged to make a note of their journeys so that the Eco-School Team could calculate distances using maps.  Each Form appointed a secretary to collate the results from their class, and the winners will be announced next week.  The Eco-School team will work out the averages by dividing the total metres by the number of students in the class. However, each Form can select a walking hero!

The mapping challenge requires girls to produce (on a single sheet of A4) a clearly mapped route which they followed on Walk to School Week.  These are to be handed in to Mr Chappory by Monday 22nd May for the Lower VI Geographers to judge.  The winner will receive an Ordnance Survey map of any area in the UK they want.

Girls were also cautioned to stay safe on their walks to and from school;

  • Any walks to or from school which are different to what you normally do must be agreed by your parents. They need to write it in your planner/diary and sign it.
  • You should find a partner to walk with. Plan the route together. Avoid alleyways and stick to routes well used by other people.

We’ll show more of the fantastic maps next week with the results of the competitions!

“We know that walking to school makes children feel healthier and happier, while reducing congestion and pollution outside the school gates.  In addition, as car journeys are reduced by walking to school, so are carbon dioxide emissions and lowering our carbon footprint means fighting global warming”, Upper IV Alpha.

Visit the St Augustine’s Geography Twitter feed for more photos of Wacky Walking Wednesday!

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