Whilst part of the centenary celebration will be celebrating the past, an important element will be looking to the future. Young people are central to that mission. Indeed, one of our charitable objects is to make the centenary relevant for young people, it is central to the legacy of 2020.
In Welwyn Garden City there are 4 secondary schools, 16 primary schools, 2 special schools and a community college. In all there are over 8,000 pupils, accounting for perhaps a quarter to a third of the families in the town. For the past 3 years we have been working with representatives of all the schools to develop a programme which is fun, relevant, educational-and very important this-not a burden on schools and teachers! Where we can, we have developed ideas that are in step with the curriculum.
Now in its third year, this is an outstanding success with over 400 entries in the 2018 competition. The project is led by David Kell and Dennis Lewis with the WGC Photographic Club providing all the technical input and judging. The topic for WGC schools this year is ‘school and home’. Trophies and certificates are presented in July by the Mayor at a ceremony involving winners and their families.
Tree and Bulb Planting
Our second project is tree and bulb planting in school grounds in the autumn of 2019. This is a project which all schools can participate in, including young children and those with learning difficulties. Each school would receive 2020 bulbs to plant which will come up in the Spring of 2020. The local Groundwork Trust has agreed to lead on this and will include a teaching element tailored to the age range of the children.
WGC Schools Environment Survey
The third project is the WGC Schools Environment Survey. Again, working with the Groundwork Trust schools will be involved in the science of their surroundings, taking measurements of everything from water quality to air purity. The aim will be to provide a baseline of data against which checks can be made in the future-are we getting better or worse? Apart from the pure educational element-particularly working with ‘real’ scientists and professionals, the students will learn much about the town they live in and hopefully be much more open to sustainable options going forward.