Sign a tree-ty

8th June 2007 at 01:00
A website is helping to develop a sense of social responsibility in the young. Jan Trebilcock reports

Liam can be defiant and disruptive in class, but he's proud of his special green leaf on the pledge tree on the classroom wall at St John's Church of England Primary in Sefton.

The six-year-old and his classmates spent "circle time" discussing pledges they could make that would help their school and people less fortunate than themselves. Each wrote their pledge on a leaf to be stuck to the branches of the tree. Liam's reads: "I pledge to help people more."

The pledge tree is one of a wealth of free ideas, lesson plans, stories, assembly ideas and other learning activities aimed at inspiring compassion and social responsibility on the Citizenship Foundation's Go Givers website launched this week.

Daniel Hains, head of St John's, has been using the resources with his key stage 1 pupils. "The site is easy to use, bright, fun and it is teacher and child friendly," he says. "There are lots of ideas, all linked to learning objectives in citizenship and other parts of the curriculum. And it dovetails nicely with our own work on creating a climate of emotional intelligence in the school, which has made a huge difference to behaviour."

Carol Green, assistant head at Tivetshall Community Primary in Norwich, is another fan of Go Givers. "It's whizzy and colourful," she says. "You can plan your class's curriculum like a virtual-learning environment, and it makes for enjoyable teaching."

Carol also says the site is packed with useful stuff. The Nifty Gear section covers everything from a ballot box for pupils to register their votes, to mind-mapping, prioritising and decision-making tools. And for an international perspective on drought and areas of conflict in the world, check out the interactive 3D World Viewers.

Go Givers includes more than 70 lessons aimed at four to 11-year-olds.

Teachers simply need to register at using their school's DfES number. For more information visit

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