Watch: Changing habits to protect wildlife

Year 1 pupils at Raddlebarn Primary School describe their Make a Difference Challenge journey…

We started out by looking at pictures of our city, Birmingham. We thought of five issues that we thought we could help with: pollution, loneliness, litter, wastefulness and animals.

We each chose an issue that was important to us and went home to discuss it with our families. We made a poster, a slogan or wrote a speech and then presented this to the rest of the class. After putting forward our arguments, we used the democratic system of voting to decide the issue we would focus on and cast an anonymous vote. The issue that received most votes was litter!

We heard about a hedgehog that had got its head stuck in an empty tin of beans. We were worried about how litter affects animals and pets that live in our local area of Selly Oak and wanted to find out more. We listened to the experiences of the local community members who had found animals that had been hurt or trapped by litter in the local area.

“I was scared for the hedgehog.” – Miriam

“Someone left some paint out and a cat drank it. It got very poorly.”

We used the RSPCA website to find out what happens to animals when waste enters their habitat and found out that more people are reporting animals becoming trapped in discarded rubbish containers than ever before. We also found out that hedgehogs are still living in our local area. We felt like we needed to protect them even more. But what could we do?

We thought if we reduced the amount of litter, fewer animals would be hurt or stuck. Craig from Stan’s Cafe helped us make a stop-motion video using recycled materials. For example, we used old newspapers to create the animals. Our parents helped us to research the issue and provided us with t-shirts to reuse. Sue (our wonderful cleaner) donated bags for life to be reused for recycling bags to reduce and recycle the paper in school.

We did a survey to see if other classes were recycling their paper waste. They weren’t! We delivered recycling bags to them which made more classes start recycling. We designed a slogan and a picture and put them on our t-shirts to spread the message. Then we organised and led an assembly to inform the whole school of the effects of litter on animals in our local area. We wore our t-shirts and showed them the video that we had created.

There was an instant impact! After assembly, a little boy in reception made a poster. We had an extra t-shirt, so we gave it to him, and he made his own t shirt.

Sign up for the Make a Difference Challenge.