Fireworks ban a hot topic
November 5 used to be a night to look forward to. It now divides the community.
Each year around Guy Fawkes night, the calls go out to ban fireworks — and for good reason. This year, Ebbett Park School Years 2 and 3 teacher Sophie Kereama challenged her class of 27 seven and eight year olds to come up with their own reasons why banning fireworks is a good idea. They shared a passionate discussion about whether fireworks should be banned, Sophie says. Then they wrote about their ideas.
“We are all very proud of their work and were interested in sharing it with the public as it is such a hot topic at the moment.”
Sophie says on Monday morning during their sharing time, many children talked about fireworks.
“One child mentioned how he had heard a discussion on the news about banning fireworks. I asked him why they were talking about that. Many other children joined in saying they had heard it on the radio as well as TV. We had a casual chat about it and talked about if their families do fireworks.”
This led to a class discussion about why people were talking about banning fireworks. The children shared what they already knew and what they had seen or heard in the news.
“Some children talked about the fire near Central Hawke's Bay on the weekend. We split into two groups and discussed what a ‘debate' is. We had a ‘keep' group and a ‘ban' group. They shared within their groups and we recorded each group's ideas. They then shared those ideas with the opposing group. Some children asked to swap groups after that.”
The children were mainly concerned about fires starting, people and animals getting hurt. They talked about how fires damage animals' homes, how dogs and cats run away and were concerned that when they run they could get hit by a car. They discussed how the wind would cause more fires because it would blow ash. Sophie says they were very passionate about their ideas — although they weren't all in favour of a ban.
“I told the children they did not have to be against fireworks and I wanted them to write about their own opinion instead. But they had to be convincing as to why they thought they should be banned or kept.”
Sophie says there were still a number of children who want to keep fireworks but they discussed how important rules needed to be followed to avoid dangerous situations.
“One girl wrote about how it is a time that she gets to spend with her family because they all get together to do it and how happy that makes her.”
The class talked about when and why we use fireworks within in our families, with some writing rules they think need to be reinforced.
“For example: buckets of water nearby. Not in your backyard but open spaces instead to avoid fires in homes and trees. Doing it at places like rivers, beaches, open fields etc. One girl wrote about only using them when babies are born and celebrating life.” The children's work will be displayed in class.
“We want other children from around the school to have a look and see if they agree or disagree with some ideas.”
Ebbett Park School Year 2 and 3 pupils from left Tyler, Aiden, Airini, Akacia andLexiah show why they think fireworks should be banned.