Designed to help children to develop literacy skills in speech, poetry and descriptive writing, using data provided by Salford University academics. The writing is based on sustainability issues, such as energy travel and waste. Selected children will then be trained in public speaking by Spotlight Drama and will then go on to present their writing at a live ‘Green Summit’ event at Sale Waterside. The performance will take place Thursday 4th May 2023 at 4.15pm. Wendi Swan, from Marple Education, tells us more about the project… 

Generously funded by the Friends of Energy House 2.0 and The University of Salford, Marple Education and Spotlight Drama have developed a competition focused on sustainability to help teachers and children better understand green issues.

The project focuses on creating speeches, poetry and descriptive work, based on issues such as sustainable travel, energy, and climate change. Supported by the University of Salford and funded by the Friends of Energy House 2.0 Impact Fund, the team have developed information for teaching about sustainability issues. This was developed to support teachers in handling a sometimes-complicated subject. Research conducted by YouGov and Oxfam found that 75% of teachers felt they were not well trained to deliver sustainability education and 69% feel it should be better covered in schools.

Supported by academics from the University of Salford, this work has been developed into a series of lessons plans to assist schools. The information provided by the academics has greatly enriched the lesson plans. This material was used to directly help and inform pupils of the issues, allowing them to express their own views through exploring one of three spoken word categories. The variety of exploration enables children to connect deeply with their own thoughts and ideas, in a variety of ways.  

Wendi Swan of Marple Education said, “The children have enjoyed writing for a real purpose – that of their writing being performed in front of a live audience. We are looking forward to sharing their work and its very important messages with the wider community.  

“Twenty-seven schools will be entering the best submissions from their children into a competition. The 12 winners of this competition will be taken forward into a Children’s Green Summit. They will work with Nicola Dodd from Spotlight Drama who will help them rehearse and refine their entries for 5 weeks, ready for the main event which will be held at Sale Waterside on Thursday 4th May at 4.15pm. This will be a fully produced theatrical event to allow the children showcase their work to their parents, teachers, sponsors and the wider community.”

Nicola Dodd of Spotlight Drama added, “Our young writers will explore a variety of opportunities to bring their work to life, benefitting from a professional directing team and a weekly creative, rehearsal space to explore ideas.

“All youngsters will have an opportunity to perform their work on stage with the support of industry specialists in acting, voice coaching and physical theatre.

“We are really looking forward to producing our very own Summit for the competition winners and their families.

Professor Richard Fitton from the University of Salford, said “One of the key goals for the Friends of Energy House 2 .0 Fund was to improve our messaging to the public, what better way to do this, than to teach the leaders and innovators of tomorrow how to get their climate change messages across in an effective way. 

“We believe that the use of the arts is fundamental in putting across these messages, to broaden the thinking and the audience.”

Extra information regarding this project and event ticket availability can be provided by Wendi Swan at

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