Our New Education Officer visits a local Primary School: 24.3.15.

Our New Education Officer visits a local Primary School: 24.3.15.

We are very grateful that, John Donovan, who has worked as Education Officer in the London Canal Museum, has agreed to be our Education Officer.  He and his wife, Jan have already worked as volunteers with us, and he has now started in his role with a local primary school.  This is an account in his own words:
I felt very welcomed at St Joseph’s Primary this morning. It is a vibrant, busy school and the children seem very happy, curious and confident – a marvellous combination! I was welcomed by Elizabeth Rowden, who is a Year 1 teacher and was offered a coffee by one of the teaching assistants. I met members of her class as they were leaving for break and then waited chatting a while as children from the School’s Eco Group began to gather. The children were un-phased by my presence and happy to chat about all sorts of things before the meeting started. These pupils give up their break willingly once a week to discuss issues around the school and local environments. They are drawn from and represent all age groups in the school.

In the meeting I thanked the children for meeting me, told them a little about the canal and its original purposes and then talked about how their Eco enthusiasm could bring them to picking up one piece of litter and take it home when they walked their dog or cycled on the towpath. We moved on to outlining a day that they could spend on the canal in the Summer Term, which could include a little history, some environmental science and canoe paddling, organised in a small group carousel. They were very happy and enthusiastic about the general idea and with working just outside the school site. Many of them have experienced the canal, including a surprising number who had taken part in the Sunday canoe sessions. The meeting ended with all the pupils voting in favour and Elizabeth agreeing to take it to the Headteacher. I had a very favourable visit and I think we may have got the pilot school we were looking for.

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