KS2 PSHE: Have Your Say! 6: The environment

The audio resources explore the environment and the potential benefits and drawbacks of changing the local environment. The story focuses on a boy called Lee and his opposition to a proposed development to the local clay pits - where he goes fishing - into a theme park.

Voxpops 1

Young people talk about the things they like and don't like about their local environment.

I like my village because there's lot of trees and woods to make dens and you can go fishing in the canal.

I like it because it's not like a city - really busy - there's not much traffic.

I like the view near the river...and all the little ducks and swans swimming around.

I like the place where I live because there's lot of fields to play in.

I don't like where I live because there's rubbish everywhere...but I do like it because there's parks to go to.

I don't really like big cities because there's hardly anything to do, because of the roads because it's too busy.

I don't like crowded towns because there's quite a lot of pollution from the cars and it gets in your mouth and you start to cough.

There's nothing for kids...there's nowhere much to play games with your friends or hang out with your friends.

Drama 1

The presenter introduces the first part of the story. 500 years ago the environment in this country was very different to today. The country was covered in woodland and the influence of humans was hard to detect. This story explores how change happens and is about a boy called Lee and his friends Lucy and Des.

Scene 1: Lee is fishing on his own in the clay pits when Lucy comes looking for him. Lucy wants him to play with the skateboard...he's looking for peace and quiet. Then Des arrives too and tells him 'fishing will be out'. Apparently there are plans for a theme park to be built on the clay pits; there's been an article about it in the local paper.

Scene 2: They all go to Des's house to read the report in the local paper. They learn that the plans have already been given to the council and 'comments are invited.' Des is confident that the theme park will be built and he's looking forward to it. Lee and Lucy aren't so sure. Where will he go to fish in future? And what about all the rare wildlife at the clay pits - like kingfishers. But Des is sure 'it'll be the best thing that has happened around here for ages.'

Lee determines that they're going to try to stop the theme park development to conserve local wildlife and protect the environment.

Voxpops 2

Young people share their ideas for how the environment could be improved.

I think that we could improve the environment around this area by putting more litter bins because there's a lot of litter around the place.

I think there should be lots more shops in villages in the countryside.

I don't like the pollution that cars, with the petrol and gasses...they damage the trees and we need the trees to live.

I think there should be a law where people can't spit chewing gum out on the pavement or on the road because it looks horrible with those big, black blobs all over the place.

If I could change something in the environment I would change cars into electric cars and I would like to see more push bikes.

Drama 2

The presenter sets the scene again. The children's school is near the clay pits where the theme park will be built and as we rejoin the story we're with them in school...

Scene 1: In class. The teacher explains that a local councillor - Cllr Bletchley - has come to speak to them about the proposed development. Lee is planning to ask some searching questions.

The councillor explains the consultation process that will take place before a final decision is taken - lots of discussions will happen with local people about how they feel on the issue. Lee interrupts to tell the councillor about the rare birds at the clay pits. She is apparently sympathetic but reminds Lee that the local wildlife is just one of the issues that they need to consider.

Scene 2: The playground. The children consider Cllr Bletchley's visit. Lucy thinks a petition is the best way forward. As Lee does his paper-round they'll knock on doors to get signatures for the petition.

Scene 3: Lee and Lucy knock on a door - and get a very negative response. They're finding that local support is not as much in their favour as they had assumed: they have just 34 responses in favour of the petition and they're getting tired.

They arrive at Des's house and he invites them in where they meet his dad, Mr Lucas. They speak to him about the development and it becomes clear that he's very much in favour of the theme park being built: it'll mean new, permanent jobs, extra business for local shops, etc. It may mean the end of peace and quiet...but, for him, that's a price worth paying for the benefits the development will bring.

Scene 4: When Lee and Lucy leave Des comes with them into the street. Des explains that it's a long time since his father had a job and the theme park development might give him a chance to get back to work.

Lee reflects that originally he was certain that the theme park was a bad idea...but now he's not so sure.

Teacher's Notes - The environment

More from this series

1. Who needs rules?
2: Crime and punishment
3: Conflicting responsibilities
4: Self-esteem - proud to be me
5: Diversity - respecting differences
7: The media
8: Attitudes to age