Trees bound for G8 summit

24th June 2005 at 01:00
Comic Relief and Live 8 are urging schools to link up with their counterparts in Africa to mark Make Poverty History week.

The charities also called on schools to hold assemblies during the week.

Events kick off on July 2 with Live 8 and end with the G8 summit on July 6.

Midge Ure, former Ultravox member and Live 8 co-organiser, said: "Help us make Live 8 and Make Poverty History the biggest global citizenship event ever by running a Live 8 assembly in your school in the week of July 1. Helping children understand they do have the power to change things and they can do this thoughtfully and responsibly, is vital."

The boyband McFly said: "If you are in a band you can be part of Live 8 too by putting a concert on at your school."

At the Warriner school, in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, Year 7 pupils will take time out of lessons on July 1 to tie white sheets round the hundreds of trees on the school site. The sheets will contain messages for the G8 leaders. Six of the school's pupils are going to Edinburgh with their families.

The Mighty Zulu Nation, an African theatre company, will be teaching Year 9 pupils at Darton high, Barnsley, traditional Zulu songs and folklore. This event is part of a cross-curricular drive to raise awareness about Africa.

Issues connected to the G8 summit will be discussed during Year 9 form periods.

Chrissie Yates, the head of English, said: "We are in a cultural desert. We are virtually an all- white school. There is one Sikh boy, two Chinese pupils and two mixed-race children. We are using the G8 summit to make our pupils aware of different cultures."

Eight British schools won a Department for Education and Skills competition to attend J8, a junior summit in Edinburgh, to draft a communique on Africa and climate change to be handed to Tony Blair on July 6. These were Aylesbury high, Buckinghamshire; Langdon school, London; Calthorpe Park, Hampshire; Oxford high, Oxford; St Colman's college, Northern Ireland; St Joseph's, Tyne and Wear; Waid academy, Scotland and Wallace high, Scotland.

Langdon pupils Shetal Patel, 15, Matthew Hector, 15, and Alfie Sadler, 14, will also appear at the rally in Edinburgh on July 2 and take part in a conference held by Unicef, the United Nation's children's fund, with youngsters from eight of the poorest nations.

A postcard signed by 5,000 pupils from 16 schools in Sheffield was sent to 10 Downing Street this week. It called on the Government to act against world poverty.

Assembly ideas, Primary forum 24, Leadership 29

* stephen.lucas@tes.co.uk

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