We declare a climate emergency!

We have a very special announcement to make to you all.

St Peter’s C of E Primary School is the first school in Devon to declare a climate emergency.

This is a momentous occasion. We have heard how important it is to act on the very serious advice the scientists are giving us.

We have signed a declaration (see below) that commits our school to taking action and spreading our message far and wide – please do share this message with as many people as you can!

How did it happen?

Our usual Friday afternoon assembly was interrupted when Eco leader, Ms Jemima Moore, rushed in amidst flashing lights and accompanied by real members of the emergency services (fire brigade, police and nurse) to tell the school’s headteacher, Mr Steve Hitchcock and the staff and children that there is an emergency.

The school heard from a scientist the facts about climate change and they were asked to make a pledge to do something about it.

The children then went back to class and were given the opportunity to add their own pledge to their climate emergency declaration. They created placards and prepared speeches outlining their feelings about the climate emergency.

A group of Eco champions then headed into the town to hand out leaflets, spread the news of the school’s declaration, and ask members of the community to join us in tackling the climate emergency.

https://youtu.be/1sAJLyJexpI – click here to view our march through the town.

At 3pm parents, councillors and members of the community were invited into the school. They heard speeches from each class and were asked to spread the news to their own family and friends. We also had a special speech from Jess Nichols, who is only 15 years old, and has been campaigning with Greta Thunberg.

Headteacher, Steve Hitchcock, said: ‘There are many things that schools do that are important. However, faced with the fact we are sleep-walking into a global disaster, I am so pleased our pupils are up for making their voices heard. This is the most important thing we can do for them and their futures. We need our politicians and big businesses to pay attention.’

Our Eco Leader, Jemima Moore, said: ‘We know that we’re living at a time of climate emergency and must act decisively to protect the futures of the children who we care for. I hope that hearing the children’s voices on this most important issue will put it at the top of the agenda in the minds of their families and community. As adults, we make many choices that our children don’t get to and must be champions for their futures.

Here are some of the children’s speeches:


We have only got one planet – there is no plan-et B.

We need to start caring for our planet to stop global warming and its effects such as flash flooding, ocean acidity, droughts, sea levels rising and polar caps melting. If we carry on using plastic, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.

We won’t notice the damage we are causing the planet until it is too late. We can already see how the planet is changing – these effects may be irreversible. At our school we want to make a change – in the last year we have increased our recycling by 69%! We now need adults to make a change as well – your actions are changing future generations lives.

Say no to plastic.

Say no to pollution.

Say yes to a new world.

Tomorrows world depends on today.


In Rowan class we are thinking about climate change. 

We think it is really bad for the environment as well as people and animals. 

We think that we could all help with this problem by, sharing cars or walking to places that are near.  People need to stop cutting down the rainforest because it is killing animals and the trees are good for the world because they suck in the carbon dioxide.

 We need to get people to recycle all of their rubbish or reuse things instead of just throwing them away.  If people have old clothes they can take them to the charity shop.

If we don’t do this now, it will be too late!  Act now, no excuses!


Hello. My name’s Jess, I’m 15, I live in Exmouth and I’m a climate activist. I am one of the students who helped set up the Youth Strikes here in Devon about a year ago now, and since then our message has reached almost every corner of the world. I want to thank you for inviting me to speak at your school today, it’s amazing to see so many young people who care about our environment!

When I was your age, we didn’t learn much about the planet in school. Occasionally we would be told to turn the lights off to save electricity or have showers instead of baths to save water, but other than that we only really learned what we needed for SATs. So I think what you’re doing here today is particularly inspiring. 

Not only are you leading the way in a new way of teaching about the environment, but as far as I’m aware you’re the first school in Devon to declare a climate emergency. That is very cool. Being the first to start something is often scary, but it means you’re more courageous and bolder than everyone else. People might be mean or rude to you because you’re standing up for the planet, but remember they’re only doing that because their scared to admit the truth: that you’re right and they’re wrong.

My friend Greta was the first person to go on school strike for the climate, last year in Sweden. Back then she was a quiet teenager and nobody really knew who she was, now it seems almost everyone in the world knows her name and millions have followed in her footsteps. She is a good example of what a huge impact children can have on important people. We can make politicians listen! They have the power to save the planet, and we must pressure them until they do so.

I often get invitations to events and meetings with politicians and councils, and I will definitely use your school as an example of how we can bring protecting the environment into our everyday lives. You should all be very, very proud of what your school is doing. Remember that you are on the right side of history and people in the future will thank you for it. Well done!


Climate Change. 

Global Warming. 

Extreme Weather. 

World temperatures are increasing. This doesn’t mean that we can have warm evenings with BBQs. 

It means that  there will be droughts, where animals and plants can’t survive. 

It means that icebergs will melt and sea levels will rise. This will cause huge flooding, and more lives could be lost. 

30% of the world’s species will become extinct. 

There could be more bush fires, like we are seeing at the moment in America and Australia. These fires are burning out of control. 

I think we need to move to Mars!

There is no Plan B. 

There is no Planet B. 

Can we stop our planet from getting hotter? 

Yes! Stop using so much fuel! 

Car share!

Use the bus!

Yes! Stop using electricity so much!

Turn lights off. 

Do you really need the heating on?

The power stations won’t need to burn as much coal. 

Yes! Stop cutting down trees. Instead, why not plant one?

They produce oxygen. 

They clean our air. 

Use recycled paper, or scrap paper. 

Our promises, our pledges, involve recycling, re-using paper and reducing air pollution 

We can and will make a difference. 

If we can act now, so can you. 

What’s your excuse?

St Peter's C of E Primary School

Moor Lane, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6QF

01395 443167


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