Youngsters beat the cold on environment mission
Year 2 pupils from Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, in Peterlee, took part in a beach clean and survey after learning about the ocean habitat and marine life in their science lessons.
Class teacher Susan Jones said: “When the children saw images of what litter can do to sea creatures, they were desperate to take part in a beach clean.
“They really wanted to help and make a real difference and they weren’t going to let sub-zero temperatures put them off.”
She added: “Everyone just wrapped up and got on with it.”
After a safety talk, the group picked up rubbish and conducted a survey of the different litter they collected – including plastic, dog toys, scraps of metal, empty cans, fishing equipment and even a piece of carpet.
The group then created some beach art including mermaids, a turtle, jellyfish and killer whale.
After lunch and a hot chocolate at the Dunes Cafe to warm them up, they went on a winter walk around the dene.
The children are keen to invest in litter-picking equipment so they can carry out more litter picks in the school grounds and in public places across Peterlee.
Mrs Jones added: “They said that they would like to encourage other year groups to take part as well so that we can protect the wildlife and make Peterlee look beautiful!
“We always try to promote our school values of Ready, Respect, Safe and we know the importance of respecting our world and keeping everyone safe.”
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School is part of the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust.
Teaching assistant Marguerite Elwick said: “It was wonderful to see the children so enthusiastic and involved in helping our community by picking up litter in sub-zero conditions.”
The trip has fired the litter-picking group’s passion to keep the environment clean and they are already making plans with environmental group Explore SeaScapes for a summer trip to carry out a survey comparing the amount of litter found in summer compared to winter.
The trip was organised after the school liaised with Explore SeaScapes.