Primary school first in borough to receive ‘nature dictionary’

Cllr Andrew Achilleos, Beam County headteacher Tracey Whittington, Trees for Cities CEO David Elliot

Cllr Andrew Achilleos, Beam County headteacher Tracey Whittington, Trees for Cities CEO David Elliot and Jon Cruddas MP with Beam County pupils. Picture: LBBD - Credit: LBBD

A book to get children more interested in the natural world has been launched at a school in Dagenham.

Beam County Primary School is the first school in London to receive the book, called The Lost Words, and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas was there to help deliver the programme.

He said: “This launch is the start of something very special in our schools. I’ve had a chance to look at The Lost Words since the project started and it has my full backing.

“Not only does the book highlight the natural world, it will also broaden young people’s vocabulary and creativity with its excellent use of language and art.”

He also read out some of the children’s favourite poems from the book at the school.

The launch event, on World Book Day, also involved Year 4 pupils from the Oval Road North taking part in a quiz where they had to identify birds from pictures with the winning child receiving a personal copy of the book.

Trees for Cities, which helped start the project, held other small workshops for the pupils.

Most Read

The project was set up by the charity and Cllr Andrew Achilleos to try and get young children experiencing the natural world, so they can protect it in the future.

This came after words like acorn, bluebell, buttercup and dandelion were left out of the most recent edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary.

Cllr Achilleos said: “I’m a passionate about establishing the natural world back into the hearts and minds of the next generation in Barking and Dagenham.

“I’ve got no doubt that the book and resources will complement the astounding work teachers at Beam and across the borough are already doing to teach our children about the environment.

“The event was a resounding success.”

The project was crowdfunded and raised the £320 required in just two weeks.

Trees for Cities and Cllr Achilleos will now work together to deliver the books and teaching resources to every primary and special school in Barking and Dagenham.