This is a brilliant example of how immersive a Green School Awards project can be. When the children of Pilling St John’s bought an acre of coral reef off Indonesia, the idea for the project was born. The children decided that they would like their own coral reef at school. They did lots of research about the life of the coral reef before concluding that they would knit their own coral reef at school! The children had help from the local W.I. and spent a day knitting their reef.
A subsequent visit to the Blackpool Sealife Centre inspired them to create their own sealife centre at school. This incorporated the coral reef, but also included lots of mini aquaria, which the children made from old shoe boxes. Their aquaria were filled with models of a wide variety of sealife and they were placed on display in the school corridors. The sharks section was particularly impressive, as it was blacked out and lit with blue lights, and the walls were decorated with life-size paintings of sharks. They wrote a guide for their Sealife Centre and invited local people to visit. Each visitor was charged an entry fee of 20p and all of the proceeds were donated to a turtle conservation charity.
The children also wrote poetry and performed a song written by one of the pupils at the opening of their centre. Since then, the Coral Reef has been on tour and was shown first in Pilling Methodist Church Hall before going on to be exhibited at the Aquarium of the Lakes. This project had everything – cross-curricular learning, care for the environment, community involvement and even fundraising.