Pupils inspired to help the rainforests after inspirational learning seminar

By Jill Dando News

St Anne’s Church Academy Year 5 pupils in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, had a Zoom seminar hosted by geography expert Catherine Owen, Subject Lead in Education for The Priory Learning Trust.

She told the pupils about her visit to Mabira forest and how it is threatened by plans to cut a third of it down so that more sugar cane can be grown.

The lessons helped the pupils further in their studies about the rainforests as they tussled with the complex idea of balancing the need for development with the need to protect important ecosystems.  

They asked excellent questions and developed their learning.  

Students from one school are writing letters to their head teacher asking them to plant more trees around the school site and were keen to think of points to include to justify their idea.

Catherine said: “I am lucky to have been able to visit the rainforest and was delighted to have the opportunity to share my experience with others.  

“The students’ behaviour was exemplary and their questions were very useful to move learning forward.”

Head of TPLT Primary Education Lisa Dadds said: “Catherine delivered an outstanding interactive presentation for the pupils and they were eager then to write about the subject and to explore it further.”

Earlier this year, Catherine received a prestigious award from the Geographical Association for her national and international work in geography education. The nationally published author was commended for developing ideas and resources to support quality teaching about international issues and for her work in Kampala, Uganda.  She was delighted to be appointed to the SLE role in the summer.