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The Tree Council joins the Prime Minister’s wife for a Lesson at No 10

The Tree Council

December 15, 2023

The Tree Council delivered a special National Tree Week educational session at 10 Downing Street for a class of Year 5 children – and the Prime Minister’s wife, Akshata Murty.

Invited as part of Mrs Murty’s Lessons at No.10 initiative, The Tree Council’s National Schools Programme team were joined at the UK’s most famous address by pupils from Kingfisher Primary School in Yeovil.

The lesson, titled “If Trees Could Talk”, saw the children join hands with each other and Mrs Murty in a circle, to “connect” with a live tree using Plantwave technology.

The group then headed out to the garden of the Prime Minister’s residence to solve a ‘Murder Mystree’, with the help of Tree Council Education Officer, Katie Rafferty and Ambassador, Harry Munt.

Mrs Murty and the Kingfisher pupils concluded with a carousel of activities aimed at helping the children discover meaningful activities they can perform every day, whether at school or at home, to connect with and care for the trees in their lives.

Richard Pollard, Head of the National Schools Programme, said: “What an incredible place to hold a lesson! I’m so proud of the team, who made a really positive impression on the children and Mrs Murty.

“We wanted to show them how important their voices are, and, through fun activities like the Murder Mystree, help them develop their critical thinking and analytical skills. The game sees participants investigate tree diseases, such as Ash dieback – touching on an important role The Tree Council fulfils supporting tree health.”

The day was rounded off with a speech by Tree Council Ambassador Amy Bray, and a live performance of the schools programme anthem, ‘Force for Nature’ with Ambassador and musician, Benjamin Haycock.

Akshata Murty said: ‘The Tree Council got us to connect with trees, with nature and ultimately with ourselves in the most special way.’

Toby, who last year served as an Eco-Councillor for Kingfisher, said “The workshop was very fun and I was also surprised to learn that we have so many things in common with trees!”

Miss Broadribb, Eco-Coordinator at Kingfisher Primary, said: “The experience at 10 Downing Street with Mrs Murty’s Team and The Tree Council was nothing short of extraordinary from start to finish.

“The team was engaging, welcoming and encouraging and the children loved the hands-on learning experience which they received.

“There was so much for the children to do and learn and all were engaged throughout. It was a brilliant session with a very special message which we will all never forget.

“As a school, we cannot wait to welcome The Tree Council to visit and offer more exciting workshops with the rest of our children. A massive thank you to all involved in this amazing experience and opportunity.”

To find out more about The Tree Council’s National Schools Programme, Young Tree Champions, please visit www.youngtreechampions.org.uk

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