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Yorkshire students embrace 'rubbish art'

Pupils at two Dewsbury-based schools were taking part in a novel recycling initiative

Posted by Julian Owen | March 30, 2018 | Sustainability

Student Council representatives from two Dewsbury-based schools recently took part in a recycling workshop encouraging children to think differently about the materials they waste, and possibilities for making the world more sustainable.

fairandfunky - a community interest company focused on empowering participants to take their own little steps to change the world - delivered the project, which made use of plastic straws and bottle caps to create a collage. 21 student council representatives were in attendance, from Boothroyd Primary Academy and Thornhill Junior and Infant School.

The event was held at Boothroyd’s eco-house, which was built in 2016 and produces five times the amount of energy that it consumes. It was the first to be built in Yorkshire, and features a 152m² double classroom that is ultra-energy-efficient, and will cost the academy nothing to heat and light over its 60-year design life.

It also generates clean energy and revenue for the school through its solar PV roof.

Recycling is high on the agenda for the schools, with Thornhill receiving a shout-out from local MP Paula Sherriff during Prime Minister’s Question Time – pupils had sent her a letter concerning the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels.

In January, the school council at Boothroyd Primary Academy hosted its own version of ‘Question Time’, interviewing the MP about how her role supports the people of Dewsbury, and asking what more could be done to save the local and wider environment.

"Recycling is just one simple step each and every one of us can take to change the world."

Thornhill’s headteacher, Michael Rowland, said: “We are all responsible for the future of our planet, and as a Trust we place a lot of importance on ensuring that our pupils understand how to live sustainably.

Two of the key themes we focus on at Thornhill are respect and responsibility, and this workshop was a perfect way to get the Student Council – who can then relay the information to their peers - to start to think about how to respect our planet, and how to take responsibility for securing its future.”

Kyrstie Joslin, the Principal at Boothroyd, said: “We work towards a set of values here at Boothroyd which place importance on caring, sharing, being fair and daring to do things differently. This workshop was a great opportunity for the children to put those key words into practice on an environmental level, and they had a great time doing it!”

Boothroyd Primary Academy’s Head boy said: “The workshop was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed making art out of the rubbish and learned a lot about how important recycling is, too!”

fairandfunky is a Huddersfield-based community interest company that runs workshops focused on the topics of Fairtrade, recycling and the environment, working on the belief that ‘recycling is just one simple step each and every one of us can take to change the world’.

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