As part of their 'How is Bristol Brilliant' topic, Sefton Park’s Year 3 children have been finding out lots about Bristol, such as why people chose to build the settlement here, why people choose to live here today, and what can be improved.
Part of their investigations covered Bristol's transportation system, and the children in Baobab class decided to write to their local MP, Thangam Debbonaire, to highlight the issues they had identified.
“The children had lots to say about the topic,” said Miss Smith, Year 3 Teacher. “They decided to write to Ms Debbonaire as they felt she would have more influence in parliament.”
The children noted a number of positives about our local transportation system (e.g. cycle lanes, electric buses on some routes, bicycle hire, the new metro bus scheme), and also a number of negatives (e.g. that there are many traffic jams causing pollution and congestion).
They then suggested a variety of possible solutions, such as more cycle lanes, more electric buses and encouraging people to car share.
On receiving the children’s letters, Ms Debbonaire posted a tweet thanking the children for their solutions to Bristol’s traffic problems.
BBC Radio Bristol saw the tweet and contacted Miss Smith about featuring the children on their weekday Breakfast show. As well as pre-recording some of the children reading their letters, Miss Smith and three class members were interviewed on BBC Radio Bristol’s Breakfast Show on Monday 19 June. You can hear the broadcast here. (Fast forward to 2hrs 26 minutes; it follows the sports news.) “The traffic jams are bad,” observed one child. “We wanted to make it better,” stated another.
“I thought it was brilliant!” said Ms Debbonaire on the Breakfast show. “I feel really honoured that they’ve written to me,” she continued. “I’ll be taking their ideas to the Bristol Mayor, Metro Mayor and Secretary of State for Transport in Parliament.”
Ms Debbonaire hopes to come into Sefton Park to meet the children soon. The children have since begun designing and creating posters to promote their ideas.