Earth Day 2022: New World Record Attempt with Largest Human-Formed Earth Image
Phil Wise, Deputy Head

Bede's Earth Day took place on Friday 27 June. The event was based on the promotion of sustainability. The idea for the day came from pupils on the Eco-Schools Committee. The day entailed a number of eco-themed activities and involved pupils from Bede’s and several other local schools. Pupils attended sustainability focussed lessons across all of their subjects during the first part of the morning and then again at the end of the afternoon.

The centrepiece of the day took place following morning break, when everyone assembled on the grounds at Bede’s Senior School, in order to try and make history. The aim was to break the world record for the largest human formed image of the Earth. It was fitting that the grid that had been marked out to achieve this overlooked the 1,200 trees that were planted earlier in the year as part of the Queen’s Canopy Project. 

As mentioned, a number of other local primary schools were invited to participate in the world record attempt. These were Park Mead, East Hoathly, Polegate, Chiddingly and St Mary's, Skippers Hill as well as several year groups from Bede’s Prep. When staff were included this came to 816 people, which comfortably surpassed the previous official record of 479.

Everyone involved had to stand precisely in the correct square in order to form the image of the Earth. The precision and planning carried out by Mr Jonathan Singer (Head of Geography at Bede’s Senior School) and Dr Fiona Mansfield (Science Teacher at Bede’s Senior School) came to the fore at this point. The process took roughly two hours to complete and all the pupils should be praised for their patience and good behaviour, especially when there was some rather rapid continental drift, as some land masses had to be tweaked and moved around! A drone was launched in order to take the photograph and the result is now being sent to the Guinness world records for verification. However, this may take some months as the process is quite involved.

The day also included a sustainable lunch menu, a renowned environmental speaker (Mr Peter Milne) and many lessons focusing on making greener choices to lower our carbon footprint. This event invited the whole school community to consider the planet’s resources and environments.

Organisers of the Earth Day event, Mr Jonathan Slinger and Dr Fiona Mansfield are delighted with the success of Earth Day, commenting, “It was wonderful to have pupils and staff from eight local schools standing together in their celebration of our amazing planet. It was a memorable and very different kind of day that really put environmental concerns to the front of peoples’ minds. It was a chance to emphasise our collective responsibility and commitment to change for the sake of the planet, our own future and that of our children.”

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