“Create something that would help solve a world problem”


Entries for the DT competition 

Sometimes it is difficult to get young pupils engaged when learning about the environment and global problems. One school in Bradley Stoke had a great way of getting their pupils involved in learning about international problems and got them to think of creative ideas of how to solve the problems.

St Mary’s Catholic Primary school in Bradley Stoke, Gloucestershire, recently held an interesting competition to create something that would help solve a world problem. The pupils thought of some wonderful inventions and learnt more about what CAFOD does and how they can help.

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We got to speak to Ms Burdge, who is the Art and Design Technology Coordinator for the school. It was her idea to create the competition and she tells us about her inspiration and the entries, she said:

“Before the Easter holidays we set a competition to design and make an invention out of junk, that would help solve a world problem. We suggested they looked at the CAFOD website to find out what problems people are having to deal with in our world and they came back in with lots of great ideas.

“The competition was offered to the whole school from Reception to Year 6, we had two entries from reception and Key Stage 1 and the rest were from Key Stage 2.

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“We had a variety of water filters and systems, a robot that would carry and collect water so children could go to school. One pupil created a refugee transporter which would transport people quickly and safely to safe countries.

“Another pupil made a vegetable plot which was encased in a safe cocoon that would be protected from all weather conditions. Another entry was a sustainable animal and vegetable system that acted as a contained farming cycle.
“The children produced such creative and inspiring ideas we really wanted to share them!

“The winners were one boy from Year 1 who designed and made a water flitter including gravel and the Key Stage 2 winner was a girl in Year 3, who invented a robot that would drive itself to clean water areas and collect water so the girls could go to school. These were truly deserving winners as they supported this year’s CAFOD’s water projects.

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“Inspiration? As a school we have created lots of imaginative Art competitions but this term I wanted to go with DT and inventions, so I thought what better than making something that would actually help someone who a real need. The children have been touched by the stories and scenes on the CAFOD website of the refuges and water projects, so it seemed right to link it to this, particularly at Easter.”

Thank you to Ms Burdge for organising this amazing competition and to all the pupils that took part!

Bath Students join green hearts campaign for Valentine’s Day

Students from Prior Park College wearing their handmade green hearts.

Students from Prior Park College wearing their handmade green hearts.

Last Sunday was Valentine’s Day and it has become a tradition to ‘Show your love’ through gifts such as chocolates and roses. However, students at Prior Park college gave something a bit more special this Valentine’s Day to raise awareness of something truly irreplaceable, creation.

Year 7 students from Prior Park College made hundreds of felt hearts which they handed out after a whole school assembly just before Valentine’s Day to raise awareness of climate change.

The students learned about CAFOD’s appeal in collaboration with the climate coalition to ‘Show the love’. By making and wearing their own green hearts they were able to spread the word and raise the awareness of the campaign.

The Assistant Head at Prior Park, Charlotte Cummins said:

“The Year of Mercy is an amazing opportunity for the Church around the world to bring the love of Christ into every community. I hope that all members of the Prior Park community – staff, students and parents – will get involved in whatever ways they can.

Coming to know God’s love for us, and bringing that love to others is a transformative experience. I hope that we will all be changed by the celebration of this Jubilee Year.”

A handmade green heart with sequins and musical notes

A handmade green heart.

The ‘Show the love’ initiative is being run by The Climate Coalition, a group of more than 100 organisations ranging from charities such as CAFOD to groups such as the Women’s Institute.

Everyone can get involved through making your own hearts, wearing it and sharing pictures on social media.

Elizabeth Baldwin from CAFOD Clifton, said:

“By wearing a green heart you can ‘Show the love’ for creation and lobby for change.”

Famous designers including Wayne Hemmingway and Maria Grachvogel made hearts for celebrities such as Dame Kelly Holmes and Jessie J to wear, while the National Trust held art installations in their properties across England and Wales, including a giant heart sand sculpture on a build in Cumbria built by local people affected by flooding.

The campaign also features a short film called I wish for you… starring Jeremy Irons and Maxine Peake, which tells the story of a poignant letter written by a grandfather to his granddaughter about the earth he loves and the life he wants to protect for her.

Join the campaign and make your own hearts.