Young people have powerful voices and can make a real difference to the future of our environment.

For this challenge, we'd like you to create a campaign in your school that encourages others to act and make a positive change for trees and woods. This activity will help your students learn about campaigning and how to use their voices to make an impact.

There are three parts to this challenge. Complete them all to earn three points on the Green Tree Schools Award.

What is a campaign?

An organised set of activities that people use to work towards a goal, typically a political or social one.

Ideas for your campaign

Choose a campaign that works best for your school. Encourage students to make their own suggestions or use one of the ideas below.

Key stage 2

Primary pupils could create a campaign to:

  • plant trees in your school grounds
  • create a wildlife area at school
  • reduce your school's waste and recycle more
  • save energy and cut your school's CO2
  • use FSC® products made from sustainable wood.

Key stage 3

Secondary students could create a campaign that:

  • fights to save a local green space
  • urges your local council to expand tree cover in your area
  • encourages action on climate change
  • inspires people to plant trees
  • supports one of our current campaigns to protect trees and woods.

Part 1 – Carry out research and create campaign materials

Once your students have agreed on a campaign, they'll need to research the issue and set clear objectives for what they want to achieve.

Then it's time to spread awareness and generate support. They can do this by producing materials that tell people about their campaign and inspire them to take action.

Students should create at least one of the following:

  • classroom display or notice board
  • poster
  • leaflet
  • article for the school newsletter
  • social media post
  • press release
  • video

We’ll need to see evidence such as photos of your classroom display, links to articles and videos, or copies of leaflets.

Part 2 – Create a petition and persuade people to act

A petition is a great way to gather and demonstrate support for your campaign. Students could make a paper petition and hand it out in person or set one up online.

Students should show their petition to as many people as possible and use persuasive arguments to convince them to sign it. The more signatures you get, the more impact your campaign will have.

We’ll need to see evidence such as photos of students gathering signatures. (We don't want to see personal information such as the names of individuals who have signed your petition.)

Part 3 – Present your campaign to a decision maker

When you've got support for your campaign, it's time to take it to a person with influence and urge them to take action.

In-school activities

If your students are campaigning for change in school, they'll need to present their ideas and petition to your headteacher or board of governors. Agree on a time and place to talk about the campaign, tell them why it's important and share the support you've received.

Activities outside school

If your students are campaigning for change in your community, they'll need to present their campaign to a public figure. This could be your local member of parliament (MP), a councillor or mayor. (Before students approach anyone outside school, they should inform your headteacher about the campaign and its aims.)

Students could invite the decision maker to school for a meeting or organise a visit to their office. They should be prepared to talk about the campaign, why it's important and the help they need. Remember to find out when to expect a decision.

We’ll need to see evidence such as photos from your meeting or a copy of the presentation you delivered.

What happens next?

We hope your campaign is a great success and you see positive change for trees and woods!

However, not all campaigns are successful at the first attempt. Your students may need to refine their ideas and try again. But don't worry, whatever the outcome you'll still get three points if you provide evidence to show you've completed each part of the challenge.

Sharing the experience is a great way to inspire others to take action. Why not plan an assembly where students can tell the rest of the school about the campaign, their achievements, the challenges they faced and what they've learnt from the experience?

Get three points on the Green Tree Schools Award

To claim your points, show us how you’ve completed all three parts of this challenge. Points are awarded for creating a campaign, generating support and presenting to a decision maker.

Email your photos, videos and stories to learning@woodlandtrust.org.uk with the subject line 'School campaign challenge'.

We’ll add your points to your account after we’ve received your evidence (usually within two weeks).

How we use your photos

We like to use images and quotes from schools to inspire other teachers and young people about outdoor learning. They could appear on our award materials, website, press releases and social media.

If you'd prefer us not to use your photos and comments in this way, please make this clear when you send them to us. If you're happy for us to use them, please make sure you have permission from parents and photographers before you submit them.

You can find out more about we use and look after your personal information in our privacy policy.

More ideas for schools