Children’s Voices (6-10 years)

What do you value in your local community?
Activity conducted by St Lawrence CoE Primary School, February 2020

The children worked in small groups (4-5 children) and classes to discuss and then represent their views. 197 written responses were collected and analysed.


It is important to note that children do value the environment – in our survey the hills, nature, stars and Cardingmill Valley were most important to children aged 6-10 years.


They value the peacefulness and safety of the area in which they live. The “friendliness” of local people which helps them to feel safe and happy. The children spoke about how people say “Hello” or wave when you see them.


The parks and play areas are very important to the younger children – they value the parks and play areas but also had lots of ideas for ways to improve them. The sports facilities were also important and included walking/biking in the hills, the swimming pool and leisure centre.


Children value the local shops, housing, transport links, cafes and restaurants as well as the churches. These are all places where they go regularly and are important factors in their community.


The children identified seven clear priorities when planning for the future – in order of importance:

 

  • Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!

  • Improved sports facilities – swimming pool, astro-turf for rugby/football, BMX bike tracks, Skate Park etc.

  • Improved leisure facilities – a cinema, go-karts, zoo, play parks, festivals

  • New shops, cafes and restaurants (chains) such as Tesco, Mcdonalds, KFC, Pizza restaurants

  • Youth Centre/Youth Clubs

  • Spa/Hotel

  • Tree planting and woodland trails.


The first idea of “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle” was by far the most popular with children suggesting ways to achieve this by providing more bins, reducing plastic waste and setting up more recycling zones in the town. This is very important for young people who are very aware of climate change issues. Some children even suggested an event – “Community Litter Pick-up Days” and made posters to remind tourists to take their litter home – pupils at the schools are already leading the way and have lots of ideas to share.


Improving the sports and leisure facilities is also important to the children. They recognise that the current facilities need improvement and many of them already travel out of the town to access swimming pools and astro-turf facilities in Ludlow and Shrewsbury. They had lots of ideas for improving existing facilities at the schools and leisure centres to increase sporting opportunities and access to different clubs.


They also made suggestions for developing new facilities which would appeal to the younger generation including a water slide at the swimming pool, an outdoor festival venue, basketball and rugby pitches and games room. They thought these could be provided by a hotel or set up as events linked to a weekend festival or set up as part of the youth club.

The children presented their ideas as posters or worked in groups to create mind maps. These were all collated in a large folder. (The sharing of ideas was the most important thing – so spelling, grammar and presentation were not corrected.) In the folder you can see the breadth of ideas from different age groups, abilities and backgrounds without adult influence.

For further information on children’s responses to the Community-Led Plan please contact :-
Louise.Jackson2@st-lawrenceprimary.co.uk