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Ringwood Heights Primary say ‘Don’t palm us off’

Ringwood Heights Primary has become an advocate for Orang-utans and inspired their local community to join them in the Don't Palm Us Off campaign.

Students became engaged in the Don't Palm Us Off campaign after an excursion to Melbourne Zoo. On their return to school the students were inspired to design a project to help Orang-utans in the wild. This involved:

  • Developing displays about palm oil and put these around the school to help raise awareness of the issue
  • Setting up stalls at the local shopping centre to ask the general public to sign the petition post cards and raise awareness within the wider community
  • Holding a stall to raise money for an orang-utan protection organisation at the school's market night
  • Writing passionate and persuasive pieces about the palm oil issue which they sent to Melbourne Zoo. The students' pieces (attached below) were of such calibre that they are being considered for inclusion in the articles to be tabled as part of the submission to Parliament

Learning outcomes

Through their involvement in our Don't Palm Us Off campaign the students became ambassadors for Zoos Victoria. They promoted the campaign within their school and to the wider community through displays at local shopping centres.

The students developed a genuine love and respect for our animals and this strengthened their desire to produce interesting and innovative schoolwork. This led to achievements in literacy, communication, civics and citizenship, personal and interpersonal learning.

Comments from Karen, Grade 5/6 teacher:"The kids have made changes. They take notice of the ingredients in their food a lot more and they have had discussions with their parents about palm oil. They have also noticed the advertisements on TV! A group of girls in my class spoke at assembly about palm oil as well. They were definitely engaged with the issue, and it fitted so well with our environmental unit!"