Archive for the ‘CAFOD’ Category

World Environment Day

Posted: June 19, 2018 in CAFOD, the World

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Matthew Offord MP visited our school on World Environment Day to answer questions about litter, climate change and the melting ice caps. Student from all year groups lobbies him on both local and national issues.  Having studied Environmental issues as part of his degree his answers were excellent.  He is going to take two of our questions to parliament.  We look forward to his response.

This week we are looking at role models who do a lot to help the environment.  After quite a bit of research, we discovered that quite a few celebrities campaign and care for what is happening to the earth.  Here are a few of our favourite:

WoodyWoody Harrelson, as well as being an actor, is also an environmental activist. He loves attending festivals, has attended protests on environmental issues and on one occasion climbed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to unfurl a banner that read, “Aren’t ancient redwoods more precious than gold?”

In October 2009, he was given an honoraryLeo degree by York University for his contributions in the fields of environmental education, sustainability, and activism.  We love you Woody!  (By Kayleigh)

Leonardo Dicaprio has made several films to educate the public about environmental issues, including 11th Hour. On July 7, 2007, Dicaprio was a presenter at the American leg of Live Earth (see pic).

He joined Al Gore at the 2007 Oscar ceremony to announce that the Oscars had thought about the environment throughout their planning and production processes. (By Alice)

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James Cameron, director of movies such as Titanic and Avatar, has just directed a new documentary series called “Years of Living Dangerously”. The series focusing on global warming.

The first season premiered on April 13, 2014 in the USA. Cameron has involved many famous actors including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt Damon, Jessica Alba and Harrison Ford.   The project consists of a series of separate stories on climate change, which unfold over nine episodes. Below is the first episode:

We didn’t realise that so many celebrities wanted to make a difference. (By Julia)

The CAFOD Climate Blogger Team

Day of prayer as the Pope visits the UN

Posted: September 24, 2015 in CAFOD, Papal
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Our climate bloggers reflect on the Day of Prayer.

Thoughts from Alice:

On Friday 25th September, we were asked to hold a day of prayer. Pope Francis addressed the UN on this day to talk about 17 Global goals needed to make the world a better place (see bottom of post). The main 3 goals that we hoped would be agreed on are 1) an end extreme poverty, 2) fight inequality and injustice and 3) fix climate change. I believe that’s these 3 goals are very important.  The below link takes you to the transcript and video of the event:

http://time.com/4049905/pope-francis-us-visit-united-nations-speech-transcript

Thoughts from Julia:

prayer 2Why pray? Prayers have very important meanings.  During prayer we place the needs of the world in God’s hands – the poor, the vulnerable people and people who have lost everything but have not given up on life.

This week we have been raising finds for CAFOD refugee crisis.  Over £500 was raised. We were inspired by CAFOD and their amazing organisation that helps people. I think that when children grow up they should have good intentions to help everyone.

Thoughts from Kayleigh:

Pope climatePope Francis has a lovely personality who when I grow up I would want this personality. He has a lot to say about the climate and cares about a lot of very important things such as: climate change. He is inspiring me to care a lot more about our world too. 

Thought from Finlay:

Many schools across the world taught children about the 17 global goals.  We prayed to: End poverty, fight injustice and combat climate change. We lit a candle for each of the 17 goals. We will hopefully become the generation that changed the world for the better.  

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Combatting climate change

Posted: September 10, 2015 in CAFOD
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Our wind turbineAs we start this new year, we thought that we would update you Wind produced
on our progress.

We at St James’ are trying to be very environmentally friendly.  Before we started blogging, we already had a few things in place.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the instillation of a wind turbine and solar panels at the school.

This news article shows you more about our launch 10 years ago:

http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/603207.School_set_to_pioneer_solar_power/

The electricity generated feeds straight back into the National Grid and students can see how much energy is produced each day. Below is todays solar reading (it was a cloudy day).

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Providing information about alternative energy sources has been a lot easier to do with these great visual aids. We hope that they inspire students to use alternative energy in their homes.

We are re-launching the e-squad to let people know what we have done and can do ourselves. The e-squad’s motto is recycle, reuse, reduce. Here is our notice board that raises awareness and reminds other the small changes we can all make. 

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Bins across school              What we do

Throughout the school, recycling takes place dividing litter into three different categories.  If everyone does their bit, then we will can make a difference together.

Have a good week,

Kayleigh

St James’ Climate Blogger

The Popes new encyclical on climate change has just been launched with the opening paragraph setting the tone for the document.

The Earth “is protesting for the wrong that we are doing to her, because of the irresponsible use and abuse of the goods that God has placed on her. We have grown up thinking that we were her owners and dominators, authorised to loot her. The violence that exists in the human heart, wounded by sin, is also manifest in the symptoms of illness that we see in the Earth, the water, the air and in living things.”  Pope Francis (June 2015).

The document calls for swift action, and action was what some St James students were upto today.  Several year 10 students joined schools from across the country to lobby their MP on Climate Change.  After a training session in Romero House, the team headed for Archbishop Park, where students prepared and shared their climate concerns with the other schools.

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Each school with the help of CAFOD had organised an appointment with their MP.  St James’Catholic High School is located in the constituency of Hendon.  Matthew Offord MP met us just outside Parliament and talked with the group for about 45 minutes.

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After a quick photoshoot the students got to business asking about electric cars, renewable energy and concerns about lack of green space for all the new houses being built in Colindale.  Having a Geography degree, Mr Offord MP was very clued up about the climate and impressed the students with his answers.  We will have another post soon with a video of his answers.

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In addition to answering the many questions, Mr Offord MP agreed to take part in our chatterbox activity.  He ended up going head to head with Autumn.  We certainly gave him a run for his money with the questions.

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We hope that this trip is just the beginning of both learning more about climate change, and putting the Pope’s encyclical into action.

Young Climate Blogger training weekend

Posted: January 31, 2015 in CAFOD
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St James’ climate bloggers training weekend:

“Don’t use your hairdryers … “ was one of the first pieces of advice we were given on arrival at the Othona Community in Bradwell on Sea “ … Hairdryers use more electricity than all the ovens, lights, fridges and freezers in our community joined together. If you use a hairdryer it could overload the system”. As the Orthello Community was off the main grid, frizzy hair it was to be.  This was the first of many lessons learnt whilst experiencing sustainable living. The hard work and fun was about to begin.

After settling in, our first activity was to trial a new CAFOD game. The aim of the game was to make certain items, whilst experiencing the challenges faced by different countries around the world. We thought that it was a great game as it was fun, and we began to understand the obstacles preventing some people from making a living.  I hated when the radio broadcast went off … it usually meant trouble ahead!  Our first video gives you a glimpse of the game.

Day two started with a Skype call to Bangladesh.  After a few attempts to connect, we asked Mowdudur Rahman questions to find out what impact climate change was having on this part of the world and what their needs were. More cyclone shelters was the answer. It was amazing to hear from someone there, working in partnership with CAFOD.

The morning ended with an inspirational talk from Louisa Casson (UKYCC).  She showed us a video of a Canadian 12 year old who silenced the Rio Climate change conference by speaking from the heart. This clip inspired us to go for it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHPgEqctPYU

As well as telling us about the power of the youth voice, Louisa challenged us to think about what we would be doing in 2050. I would be 63 – ahhhh! It is a scary thought.

Jack Regan launched our afternoon activities by introducing to us the power of social media and the impact it has on getting a message out. After training that included a skills workshop on how to take great pics, it was finally time to put these skills to practice. Watch out for Jack’s jokes towards the end of the video.

Day 3 was all about the launch of the One Climate One World campaign. As well as showing our first blog, we were to present to Year 6 students at Brentwood Cathedral. The climax of the launch was a human heart photo. Needless to say we were all quite nervous.  Check out our final video for this post showing you what happened behind the scenes:

Thank you CAFOD for this amazing opportunity. We are now all trained up and ready to take back everything we have learnt to school.  We hope you keep popping back to see how our campaign is getting on.

Thanks for reading,

St James’ Climate Bloggers

St James’ Climate Bloggers

Posted: November 29, 2014 in CAFOD
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We are St James’ Climate Bloggers. Welcome to our first post. Our team includes Kayleigh, Ryan, Gabriella and Finlay.  We are Year 8 students with a passion for our world.

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St James’ is a school in north London. We already have an “E” (Environment) team. The whole school recycles and many of our staff do their but too:

What we have found is that whilst the staff do amazing things, many of us students are quite wasteful and are not aware of the impact we are having. We thought that we would start with changing things in Year 7. We asked our head teacher if we could help out at the Year 7 retreat. With the help of CAFOD we helped run a simulation game about a flood, and the responses needed. It was soooo frustrating as another disaster happened and our plans went up in smoke. You can download the game by clicking on this link: The Flood Game We then got all the Year 7 students to write a pledge about how they can change their habits and therefore help the environment too.

Year 7 Pledges

Gabrielle helping on the retreat

Our next steps are to

– Help launch the One Climate One World campaign in our school in January

– Go into assemblies and talk about the small things that can be done, and the change this would make if we all did it together. We hope to talk to staff too plus take over a notice board at school.

– During Lent we are going to ask everyone to think about the environment when giving something up, and encourage simple living.

– We will create and display a prayer board in the chapel where everyone’s environmental concerns are placed and then prayed for.

– We have a stall at the Grahame Park Festival which is attended by our local MP’s. At this we hope to find out about environmental issues in the community and talk to our local MP and present him with the school pledges.

– We know that Pope Francis is thinking and praying a lot about the environment. In the 2013 Easter message he said

Take good care of creation. St. Francis wanted that. People occasionally forgive, but nature never does. If we don’t take care of the environment, there’s no way of getting around it.

We have heard that further writings on the environment by Pope Francis are going to be published next year.  We hope to take his thoughts and ideas and try and make them happen in our school.

Our Chaplain has allowed us to post a monthly blog on this site so that you can follow our progress. If CAFOD choose us to be their bloggers then our work and the work of the E team may even be posted further afield. Please please please comment on our post and let us know what you think – especially if you have any more ideas on how we can help change the carbon footprint of our school community and beyond. Thanks for reading this, Kayleigh, Ryan, Gabriella and Finlay