Josie was inspired to set up the petition by Greta Thunberg

A Stroud schoolgirl has revealed why she wanted her primary school to install solar panels on its roof.

Josie, 10, was inspired by eco-campaigner Greta Thunberg to petition Bussage Primary School to reduce its carbon footprint.

She later raised £600 by climbing Scafell Pike while other pupils ran laps of the school field.

The panels were installed over the summer and now help run everything from the school’s lights to its kitchen.

In total, pupils raised £2,500 of the £30,000 it cost to install the panels at the Church of England school, which is in the Diocese of Gloucester.

Speaking to BBC Points West, Josie said she was inspired to act after completing a school project on the COP26 climate change summit, which was held in Glasgow in 2021.


Josie raised £600 for the panels by climbing Scafell Pike

She was also motivated by Ms Thunberg, who attended the conference where world leaders met to address how to deal with climate change.

“I wanted to do something to help,” she said.

“So I decided to do a petition to get solar panels on our school roof.”

It quickly gathered pace and a special grant from the diocese was agreed but only if the children raised some of the £30,000 total themselves.

Teacher Liz Baldwin

Year 6 teacher Liz Baldwin said the children were “so excited when they came back”

Josie raised £600 by climbing England’s highest mountain, while her classmates also helped by completing 18 laps around the school field to generate extra funds in a challenge called “Race to the Sun”.

Thea – one of the pupils who took part – said it was “really fun” and that one of the teachers even “wore a rainbow tutu” while completing the run.

Year 6 teacher Liz Baldwin said the children were “so excited when they came back” after the summer holiday in September.

Bussage Primary School

The panels now heat the school’s hot dinners

“Just for them to see something that they have managed to achieve is really brilliant,” she added.

Reception teacher Jenny Edwards said they “try to be as honest as possible” with their students about the effects of climate change while also giving them “hope”.

She explained that this meant emphasising to the children that their “ideas and actions can make a difference so they don’t feel like it’s something to be scared of”.

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