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Children’s Festival 2024: Life Below Water

Posted: 12th June 2024

On Thursday 6th June, Greenfield School hosted its 5th annual ‘Children’s Festival’. Children from state and preparatory schools across Surrey came together for a day of activities and discussions around global equality and sustainability.

What is the Children’s Festival all about?

At the Children’s Festival, the aim of the day is to empower children to understand how their influence can be a force for change in the world. Each year we look at a different aspect of global citizenship, guided by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This year the Sustainable Development Goal that we focused on was number 14: ‘Life Below Water’, emphasising the importance of marine conservation and the protection of endangered species. The issue of marine pollution has been a focus for the Future World Team at Greenfield this year, raising money for Sea Changers conservation charity. The event was a resounding success, filled with educational activities, engaging discussions, and inspiring presentations.

On the Day

The day began with a lively quiz that tested the children’s knowledge about endangered marine wildlife. Teams were challenged with rare species, sparking curiosity about the rich biodiversity found beneath the ocean’s surface.

Following the quiz, the children learned about overfishing, where they explored the detrimental effects of this practice on marine ecosystems. We highlighted critical aims of the SDG, such as reducing marine pollution, protecting and restoring ecosystems, combating ocean acidification, and promoting sustainable fishing practices. This session ignited thoughtful conversations among the children about their role in preserving marine life.

One of the highlights of the festival was a collaborative art project. The children worked together to construct a giant octopus using plastics and recycled materials – items that often end up polluting our seas. This creative endeavour not only underscored the impact of plastic waste on marine life but also demonstrated the power of collective action in tackling environmental issues.

Community Efforts

Each school’s team had the opportunity to present on various marine-related topics, including Seahorses, Seaweed Farming, Helping Our Oceans, and Endangered Species. These presentations were informative and reflected the children’s research and passion for marine conservation.

Adding to the day’s excitement, past Woking MP Mr Jonathan Lord joined us for a Q&A session. The children eagerly asked questions about life as an MP, passing new laws in parliament and what the biggest environmental issues were in Woking. Mr Lord’s responses were insightful, encouraging the young audience to stay informed and engaged in civic matters.

The festival culminated in a Children’s Parliament:  where the children discussed their opinions on critical environmental issues. This year we asked the question, should we eat fish? Points raised included the protein value of fish, especially in countries where fish is central to their diet and lifestyle, as well as recognising the growing issue of overfishing due to consumption. The session provided a platform for the children to voice their thoughts and proposed solutions, fostering a sense of empowerment and responsibility as global citizens.

Future Leaders

With every child voicing their opinion and speaking in front of dozens of faces they had never met before, the Children’s Festival was an opportunity not only to broaden the pupil’s perspectives and understand how they can impact the changing world around them, but also to boost their confidence in leadership, decision-making and problem-solving. With ever-mounting crises facing the world, there is no doubt our leaders of tomorrow need early preparation to take on their biggest challenges. It is our hope that initiatives such as the Children’s Festival will inspire our young people to become empathetic, fair and resilient leaders of tomorrow.


Feedback from both children and staff was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone left the festival with a greater appreciation for the importance of marine conservation and a renewed commitment to valuing and protecting our planet. The event not only educated but also inspired the next generation of environmental stewards, reminding us all of the vital role we play in ensuring a sustainable future for our oceans. We look forward to next year’s festival and the continued exploration of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as we strive to nurture a community of informed, passionate, and proactive global citizens.

A few closing comments from the children after the Festival:

“Thank you so much for all the effort that was made to make yesterday such a success. All the staff and children we met were so welcoming and inclusive.”

“Our children had such a wonderful time, and they will be sharing their experiences with the rest of the school next week during our Great Green Week.”

“Thank you so much for the efforts you put into the lovely day. We had a great time at your school, and the kahoot was amazing (even though we didn’t win). The children welcomed us with a warm smile and it made us feel safe and welcomed. We learnt how to value our Earth and the endangered creatures living in it. The octopus turned out great and it represented all of the plastic in the ocean and how it affects creatures.  All the presentations made us think. Also, we were very lucky to meet Jonathan Lord (the MP of Woking). Once again we are very grateful to have this experience and we hope to see you soon.”

Organiser Mrs Mayes said about the Festival:

Running this event gave a wonderful opportunity to see the children stretching themselves in a new challenge and enjoying enriching activities outside of classroom learning. It never ceases to surprise me how passionate and informed the children are when voicing their opinions; seeing young people be so aware and empathetic certainly gives us hope for the future.


Greenfield School would like to invite you to take part in our next annual Children’s Festival, designed to promote social responsibility and global citizenship. Participating schools bring five children from KS2 to present on a specific topic based on understanding the world around them – it could be a song, dance, speech, presentation or play. Children will also have the chance to debate global issues in a Children’s Parliament. If you are a leader in sustainability, politics, or any other role based around improving the lives of others around us, we warmly invite you to be an inspirational speaker during the festival.

If you have any questions, would like to participate as a speaker, or to book a place for your school, please contact Juliet Mayes, Head of Social Responsibility KS2 – jmayes@greenfield.surrey.sch.uk.

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