Pupils at St Cuthbert’s C of E Junior School shared one pencil for a whole lesson to experience what learning is like for young people in poverty-stricken parts of the world.
The Somerset school took part in the first-ever national Share a Pencil Day, which gives pupils the opportunity to experience the barriers to education faced by children in situations of conflict, natural disasters and poverty – where many pupils are forced to share basic learning tools such as pencils.
Pupils across years 3 to 6 shared a pencil between groups of two and three, with the teacher also having to adapt the lesson in order to make the limited resources work.
On the day, pupils were visited by Evan Lewis, the founder of Hope – the organisation behind Share a Pencil Day – along with Tessa Munt, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Wells.
“Not only does Share a Pencil Day make children aware of the difficulties faced by others,” said Lewis, “but teachers also have to work around the constraints it creates.”
Kate Lee, a teacher and RE coordinator at St Cuthbert’s, added: “The pupils have learnt a great deal about the struggle that some children face worldwide to access education. It has enabled us to reflect and be thankful for our freedom, grateful for our resources and appreciate the choices we are freely able to make about our lives.”