On Monday 8th November the whole School participated in the Holme Grange Mock COP26 Climate Change Conference.
Student delegates in Years 7 – 11 discussed the progress since the Paris 2015 agreement and thought about ways to be ambitious with plans to ensure the future of the planet. They formed alliances between their representative countries, learnt more about what impedes certain countries from doing more and found ways to improve the lives of those in less fortunate situations. They raised awareness of the consequences of doing nothing and considered what they could do individually to contribute to a successful outcome. We were also extremely fortunate to have Councillor Gregor Murray from Wokingham Borough Council who joined us for the plenary session.
The rest of the School took part in numerous activities throughout the day which linked to the 17 Global Goals (globalgoals.org). These were a mixture of problem-solving and thought-provoking tasks in mixed-age groups and included:
- designing and building a model of a flood-proof house
- finding a way to move the water you need for a day from one place to another
- racing their own eco-cars
- planting crocus bulbs and trees
- making cricket flour cookies in the Food Tech laboratories
- setting up a small community, not-for-profit business
- using “landfill” to create new model homes
- discussing gender inequality
- coming up with inspiring and innovative solutions for problems in our oceans
- clearing a fake oil spill
- making new products out of recycled paper
Our Year 11 students used their leadership skills working as facilitators to help those in younger years get the most out of each session. Roving reporters and journalists followed the event, taking photos and interviewing students. We even had a conference artist who recorded the event, sketching throughout.
Headteacher, Mrs Claire Robinson, said of the event “Our sustainability lead, Mrs Hughes, has rallied the troupes and enthused the Holme Grange community. Our Sustainability Strategy is an excellent example of our desire to educate all of us: staff, parents and pupils.”
At the end of the busy day, everyone was asked to reflect on what they had learnt and whether they had discovered anything about themselves. They were asked to write down what they could commit to doing to help in the climate crisis as a global citizen on a leaf as part of a School-wide pledge. These leaves will be added to our pledge tree in the Holme Grange grounds which will provide a constant reminder of our commitment.