Monkton acts for Climate change
Friday, 15 February 2019
In response to Greta Thunberg’s inspiring strike action, Monkton handed period 1 to the pupils today to lead their own discussions about effective protest and the climate change issues. Thunberg, who recently gave her own TEDx talk and spoke at the UN climate change conference in Katowice, encourages pupils to make their own stand against the impending potential catastrophic effect that carbon emissions is having on the planet and make their voices heard.
Monkton recognises the issue but rather than support a one off protest event, which many pupils might just have seen as a day off school, designed its own event to help pupils shape their own views. Pupil led discussion forums and Art from Ruby Marriott then led pupils to choose to lead a two minutes silence to consider what action they could take. The focus of the day was not only to make them aware to the issues of climate change but to encourage them to think about how they make themselves heard as a generation.
Comparing it to the charity of the year, Send A Cow, Principal Chris Wheeler said, ‘We can let pupils feel they are protesting by allowing them to take part in a rally (and if they have permission what sort of protest are they really making) or we can encourage them to work out what it really means to make their voices heard. We want to do the latter. We want to send out hundreds of Greta Thunbergs into the world so that this generation can shape the world it will live in.’
After watching Greta’s speech to the UN, pupils spent time discussing ways in which they could protest the inaction of world leaders and change their lives to try to reverse some of the damage that has already been done. At 9.20 the whole school held a two minute silence in the inner quad to take more time to reflect. ITV west were on hand to record the proceedings interviewing some of the pupils including Miriam Galpin who led the silence and A level Art student Ruby Marriott whose activist quilt on climate change was displayed on the steps outside the library during the course of the day.
The change to the timetable comes as thousands of school children across the country skip school in protest at climate change.
You can watch Greta by following these links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg