03 December 2010
We spent the day with Years 1, 2 and 3 at West Twyford Primary School in Ealing,
London, hosting a special Christmas themed eco-arts plastic workshop.
Children were introduced to the issue with a talk about how plastic enters the oceans
and the effects it has on marine life and human health. The children were amazed to
learn that plastic can persist for hundreds of years in the ocean before breaking down! .
The class saw some examples of Christmas decorations that the team had pre-made
from plastic "waste" – this included a sparkly fish, a tinsel covered octopus and a
glistening jellyfish. The children then created their own marine-inspired Christmas
decorations using an array of plastic bottles, packaging and containers.
At the end of the day the decorations were photographed for Global Ocean's 2011 Christmas cards before being returned to each class!
We were invited back to the school on December 13 to repeat the workshop with the rest of the school. Some of the children in Years 5 and 6 worked in bigger groups and made larger sculptures to sit under the Christmas tree including a large turtle, a starfish and a huge swordfish! The children had a wonderful time and learnt a lot about the issue.
Some of the children told us:
"You can make lots of things with plastic... don't just throw it away." - Jake, year 5
"If people knew the effect plastic has on the animals they would care. If we see other people throwing plastic on the ground we should pick it because if the plastic gets into the sea the chemicals from the plastic can poison our fish" – Klas (year 4).
"Old stuff that we have used can be turned into new stuff, plastic doesn't just harm sea life, it can harm us too!" - Nevil, year 6
A week later Melanie and Stephanie returned to the school with a Christmas surprise for all the children – their very own canvas bag! Now they can take it shopping with them and use it instead of a plastic bag.
Global Ocean would like to thank all the children and staff at West Twyford Primary School for all their hard work and 'Bag It Don't Bin It' for printing and delivering the canvas bags.