On Thursday, 8th June, 25 boys from the ‘Dulwich Prep Eco Warriors Club’ from Years 1 to 5 went to visit the RSPCA’s Mallydams Woods Education Centre in Hastings. This was our school’s main prize for winning the ‘Most Outstanding Group Award’ at Dr Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Annual Awards in March.
The boys spent the day learning about animal welfare and rehabilitation from an expert – pet needs, the types of pets and injured wildlife that get brought into the animal hospital there, how a de-oiling station for sea animals works and why it’s needed, and how our litter impacts on oceans and marine life. Mr Stoker, who helps runs the Years 5-6 club, Miss Johnson who will take over the running of the Years 3-4 club next term and Mrs Wilson who runs the Years 1-2 club went along, as well as Mrs Whitehead, Head of Pre-Prep.
The weather was perfect for spending a day outside in the woods! We followed a marine trail, spent time in a Bug City and made litter pledges. It was wonderful to see the boys bonding with each other over the day and sharing their ideas. The Year 5s watched over the Year 1s as they raced through the woods looking for clues and everyone happily partnered up in the Discovery Centre as they worked together to spot the potential environmental hazards for local wildlife. The Year 3s have been learning about marine life and environmental hazards facing our oceans in their ‘Under the Sea’ topic. Yet even they came away saying they had learnt something new! It has also heightened the boys’ awareness of litter in our local community and the need for us all to be active global citizens – spreading the word, recycling where possible and doing our part to keep our environment tidy. A new school project would appear to be in the air!
The boys had so much to say:
“This is awesome – I never knew crabs could see like this!”
“Symbiosis is when animals help each other out. We need to be more like that for our planet, don’t we?”
“My pledge is to help the planet by making sure I don’t drop litter. It can blow into oceans and kill fish and turtles. They’re quite endangered now and we can help stop this if we’re careful”.
“We have to be so careful the next time we go to the beach! People need to know this” (about dropping litter: plastic bottles in rock pools and a fishing hook in a stork’s neck).
“This was a great day!”
“I was hugely impressed by the knowledge of the staff and Anna in particular. The boys were fascinated during her talks and thoroughly enjoyed each activity that was planned. Everything was very well resourced which really helped bring the environmental messages to life. They especially loved being outside for so much of the day and having a hands-on experience with nature. We were so lucky to have had this visit and I know the boys will remember it. I’m sure it will have some impact on our next projects in school. Thank you RSPCA and Roots & Shoots for making this visit happen!!”. Mrs Claire Wilson