St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School in Caverswall is the first school in Staffordshire to have been awarded CAFOD’s LiveSimply Award. 

The school achieved the award after implementing a number of exceptional projects that highlight the importance of caring for people and the planet.

The actions of staff and children had to have a positive impact on the school community, as well as reaching out to embrace the local and global community.

Pupils and staff from the school had to demonstrate they are living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor. 

LiveSimply Assessor, David Worrall, commented that the children at St Filumena’s were 'making their cry heard' with regards to Catholic Social Teaching and that the children have a deep appreciation for the call to care for God’s Creation remembering that we are all brothers and sisters in God’s family. As such we have a duty to care for the most vulnerable both locally and across the world. 

Each class led a different project, delivering a specific outcome, as well as educating and involving the other classes and the wider community in their project. 

The children in Year 1 made packaging their project, creating a campaign that encourages a change in the way food is packaged to reduce waste in school and in supermarkets. This involved writing letters to supermarkets and looking at swapping juice cartons with reusable plastic cups in school. 

Other projects included litter picking both in school and the local community, paper recycling, raising awareness of how to reduce electricity usage, a foodbank collection and encouraging the use of Fairtrade items in school and at home.  The children also chose to create a garden in school with donations and support from the local community which will be used as a place of quiet reflection and prayer. 

Edward Howard, Executive Principal at St Filumena’s, said: "This has been a fantastic undertaking for our school.  It has really fostered a sense of family in the wider community and the children have made me really proud with their enthusiastic commitment to so many projects. Obviously, we are delighted with the outcome and look forward to continuing to support the children to develop their 'faith in action' journey." 

Siobhan Farnell, LiveSimply Award Schools Coordinator, said: "It was wonderful to hear the children talk about their concern for the planet and how small actions, like litter picking and using less energy, will help protect the animals and make a difference to global warming and the impacts on the world."

Pupils said: 

 “I am enjoying learning about how the changes we make impacts on our world.” – Amelia Williamson – aged 7 

“Creating the School Garden was so much fun and it was great to work together as a team.” – Frankie Schifano – aged 10 

“It was interesting learning about the foodbanks and realising the unfortunate struggles that so many people go through.” – Jude Bowyer – aged 8 

Photograph: Edward Howard with pupils Anya Bowyer, William Lawton, Olivia Riley, Jude Bowyer and Amelia Williamson.