Primary Earth Summit

On the 16th June we met early in the Sports Hall car park on what was to be a day of adventure! After arriving at Midgham train station we found the trains to be delayed, then cancelled. After a minor panic one of the earlier trains that had been delayed pulled up – we were on our way to Parliament! From Reading to Paddington we practiced our presentation then jumped on the Circle Line to Westminster. After we had been security screened we weaved our way through to Committee Room 10. Zac Goldsmith and other Primary Earth Summit supporters including: the European Commission, UK Parliament, MPs and Party leaders, Plastics Europe, Bayer Material Science, Recoup, INCPEN, the Marine Conservation Society, the Royal Geographic Society, WRAP, SEED, London Sustainable Schools Forum (LSSF), EDF Energy/ the Pod and DHL Envirosolutions amongst others were in the room ready to introduce the day and judge the presentations.

Zac Goldsmith MP launched the event and Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner of the Environment delivered the keynote speech. The presentations then began. We were entered into ‘Category 2: Collection Systems’ and so watched some fascinating presentations from schools from across the country until it was our turn. Our project had been based on promoting the importance of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’. We had created a series of posters and signs and had to explain the educational benefits of them, where we would display them and how we could fund our campaign, ‘Think before you throw’. Elstree was the last school to be called and the boys did an amazing job. The presentation was expertly delivered and all of their points were clearly articulated. I had a good feeling – I thought that Elstree had been the best (but I was biased!).

Fortunately Richard Benyon was in Parliament that day, so rather than having a tour with a group of 10 schools we had our own private tour. It was fascinating to learn about the history of such an amazing building.  We would not have learned nearly as much in a large group. Richard could not stay for the winner’s announcement so we returned back to the Committee Room to hear the announcements. We could not hide our delight when they announced that we had won!

We were then whisked down to ‘The Terrace’, Parliaments own private terrace overlooking the Thames for the Awards ceremony. After interviewing Zac Goldsmith and taking part in various media photo shoots, Ed Douglas-Miller of Remarkable Solutions presented our award which was fittingly made from recycled yoghurt pots!

Tired and hungry after a long day we thought that it was only fitting to have a celebratory very late lunch. Thankfully Siri was on hand to guide us to the nearest Pizza Express.

This is an amazing achievement in what is the first Primary Earth Summit. The idea is that the boys’ ideas will hopefully become a reality in some form, we will now have to just wait and see what happens!