Mayville High School in Portsmouth comes together for climate change protest

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CHILDREN at Mayville High School have been holding a protest to raise awareness of climate change.

Leading the playground march and pro-environment chants were Eco Council members, Anna Douglas, 14, and Amelia Cox, 13.

(left and right) Anna Douglas (14) and Amelia Cox (13) lead the protest.''Picture: Sarah Standing (210619-1419)

(left and right) Anna Douglas (14) and Amelia Cox (13) lead the protest.''Picture: Sarah Standing (210619-1419)

Anna said: ‘We’re hoping to send a message to the government and major organisations that school children are taking action. It’s vital for young people to raise awareness as we are the ones who will feel the effects most.’

Amelia, 13, added: ‘Part of today is about raising awareness of what we can do to reduce our own carbon footprint. Our Eco Council has already been successful in getting rid of single use plastic bottles in school.’

Led by the school’s Eco Council the pupils arrived to school dressed in green, made banners and also produced a pledge poster with handwritten commitments of what they intended to do to support the environment.

Pledge statements included ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, ‘use a refillable bottle every day’, and ‘animals don’t kill us so why kill them’.

Mayville High School in Southsea, staged their own Climate Change Protest.''Picture: Sarah Standing (210619-1405)

Mayville High School in Southsea, staged their own Climate Change Protest.''Picture: Sarah Standing (210619-1405)

The initiative is part of the international programme of School Strike for Climate protests - a movement started by Swedish student Greta Thunberg. However, unlike previous school strike demonstrations, with the support of school leaders, it was decided to hold a demonstration during the school day which involved all the students.

Anna said: ‘This allows us to have our say but without damaging our education. I was involved in the last protest strike. It was just before my exams and it has been difficult to catch up.’

Fellow protestor, Oliver Snow, 14, added: ‘Holding an in-school protest is a good idea as it allows more people to take part and be heard.’

While the event has been supported by teachers at the school the initiative has been very much student led.

Kate Jones, head of science.''Picture: Sarah Standing (210619-1467)

Kate Jones, head of science.''Picture: Sarah Standing (210619-1467)

Head of Science, Kate Jones, said: ‘The idea came from a meeting of our Eco Council. The students wanted to do something to support the movement but realised it would be difficult for all the children to get permission from parents to demonstrate outside of school. We are currently walking into a climate crisis and the children wanted to do something to make a difference.’

(back l-r) Mia Carey-Sizer (5), Penny Stiles (5), Eliza Stiles (5), Luca Shaw (5), William Ramsey (5) and Marnie Braithwaite (5) with (front l-r) Devin Stray (5), Sebastian Bates (5) and teacher Alison Flower.''Picture: Sarah Standing (210619-1450)

(back l-r) Mia Carey-Sizer (5), Penny Stiles (5), Eliza Stiles (5), Luca Shaw (5), William Ramsey (5) and Marnie Braithwaite (5) with (front l-r) Devin Stray (5), Sebastian Bates (5) and teacher Alison Flower.''Picture: Sarah Standing (210619-1450)