Bright Futures

Primary pupils study Global Goals at conference

Primary school pupils delved deep into the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals at an event at Legislative Buildings last Friday (26th April).

Laxey and Dhoon Schools staged their second Bright Futures conference, with the Global Goals as the central theme.

They were joined by staff and teachers from other northern schools.

Opening the event, Martyn Perkins MHK, Political Member for Ecosystem Policy in the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), said: ‘We are taking steps to leave the planet a better place for your children’s children.’

Through interactive workshops, pupils then considered how the Global Goals impact on life in the Isle of Man and beyond.

These included sessions in the Tynwald Chamber, where they complimented the Isle of Man on policies that align to the Global Goals but pointed out areas that could be improved on.

Pupils had a practical demonstration of the sand dam project pioneered by Excellent Development, founded by Manxman Simon Maddrell.

At the end of the conference, pupils drew up their own action plan for the future.

Investigating the sustainability of their uniform, holding a competition to design a reusable bag carrying an anti-plastic message, staging an electricity-free day and ending boys versus girls initiatives in schools are among their plans.

Other guest speakers were marine scientist Rowan Henthorn, who works on plastics reduction and Biosphere at DEFA; Bill Dale BEM, founder of Beach Buddies and Ciara Sowerby, of the Isle of Man Student Climate Change Network, launched that day.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK – chairman of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man’s steering group – closed the gathering of 80 pupils, saying: ‘The Sustainable Development Goals provide an important global lead that every country in the world can work towards. We are currently looking at how the Isle of Man can engage with them.

‘The Biosphere work is based on the principles of sustainable development and the UN goals links well to what we are doing to protect our special Island and promote equality and wellbeing.’

The Chief Minister revealed the exciting news that Laxey and Dhoon schools had, that day, been shortlisted for the TES (formerly Times Education Supplement) Schools’ Awards, in the Sustainable Schools category. The winners will be announced on 21st June.

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