Last autumn, children in schools across Nottingham were called to take part in the Great Green Read, a non-fiction writing project focused on important environmental issues.
Over 400 pupils wrote entries for the competition, capturing their ideas on how to improve the world we live in via letters, essays, diary entries and posters. They were judged by Read on Nottingham, the local campaign from the National Literacy Trust, and members of the Rotary District 1220.
The overall winner was Lucy Clarke, a student at Highbank Primary and Nursery School in Clifton who wrote a poignant letter to COP 27 Leaders fuelled by her passion for protecting the planet. An extract from her letter reads:
We can’t continue to be surprised by the cause of this crisis. For many years, the evidence is crystal clear that global trauma is clear but ignored. You tell us you’re on our side and you care. We have no reason to trust you. If you know of all this damage and still don’t make a change then you’re the worst to look up to. Don’t you care about your future generation?
Lucy Clarke, with Nottingham Hub Manager, Charlotte Malik, and Martyn Bye, Rotary District Governor
Lucy won £750 towards developing her school’s outdoor eco space along with a large bundle of books for the school library and classroom. Martyn Bye, District Governor for Rotary District 1220 presented Lucy with her award and was shown around the grounds to gather ideas for their Eco Zone project. Highbank School has a forestry area, a forget-me-not garden and a small pond that would all benefit from the investment. Furthermore, to celebrate the school held an assembly with the whole of Key Stage 2 in attendance (and Lucy’s siblings!) so that they could learn more about the books and the eco-space plans.
Charlotte Malik, Read on Nottingham Hub Manager said: “It was wonderful to visit Highbank Primary and Nursery School today and thank every pupil who took part in this competition. We were amazed at the quality of entries from all the schools taking part and the students here at Highbank were incredibly proud of each other and cheered when we announced our winner. Lucy read out her letter so confidently and sat with me afterwards to talk through her English book and latest writing pieces. She is incredibly talented, confident and caring towards everyone she meets and a credit to her school, I hope she continues to write for years to come.”
Lisa Lister, Head of Highbank Primary and Nursery School added: We are so proud of Lucy and so glad that her phenomenal talents are being recognised on such a large scale. She has made such a positive difference and we are so grateful to both The National Literacy Trust and the Nottingham Rotary Club for taking the time to visit our school and meet us all. We have such talented students here at Highbank and place a lot of emphasis on ensuring that students grow their passions here with us. So that they step out into the world with confidence, opinions and most of all kindness and respect for others.”
Running from September to December, the Great Green Read explored eco-projects, creative writing challenges and author events including with award-winning sisters Amy and Ella Meek who founded the charity Kids Against Plastic and authored the book Be Climate Clever. Participants learned how to write persuasively about the environment and how to use their literacy skills to be change-makers in their local community.
The Great Green Read Runners-up were:
- Josiah Hatfield - Springer, from Bluecoat Primary Academy, designed an ideas map on 'How We Can Help Climate Change'
- Navaeh-Grace Linley, from Glapton Academy, wrote an imaginative letter featuring a mouse addressing a woodcutter about the damage caused to woodland creatures by cutting down trees
- Majula Jammeh, from Mellers Primary School, wrote a persuasive letter to the school cook on making the Mellers kitchen more eco-friendly.
- Sophia Edmondson, from Robin Hood Primary School, wrote a passionate letter about palm oil sustainability and the effect palm oil production has on wildlife.
Nottingham's Great Green Read will return with a different theme in late Summer 2023.
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