27 November 2015

A group of talented six year olds from Waterthorpe Nursery and Infant School have won first prize in a Streets Ahead poetry competition for their rhyme about litter.

Schools across the city were set the challenge of coming up with a poem based around the theme of litter in Sheffield. The competition, which was launched in the summer by Streets Ahead, is part of the city’s Clean Sheffield anti-litter campaign.

The winning poem, which is called Litter, was written by the school’s Eco Team and expresses their feelings of how ‘vile’ rubbish is when it has been dropped on the floor.

Cllr Tony Downing, Cabinet Advisor for Environment and Transport, said: “I would like to congratulate the children at Waterthorpe Nursery and Infant School for their hard work and imagination used to write such a fantastic poem.

“Litter is an issue that we need to address as a city and speaking to young people about it and its effects from a young age is a great starting point. The Streets Ahead team work very hard, day in day out to keep our city clean. If everyone just played their small part we could achieve a spotless city.”

Millie Guthrie, Streets Ahead’s Education Officer, said: “Litter is an issue in the city and is something that we are trying to tackle through the recently launched Clean Sheffield campaign. As part of this, we launched the poetry competition in schools back in the summer and we were inundated with fantastic entries, but we were really impressed with how passionate and well written the poem from Waterthorpe Nursery and Infant School’s Eco Team was.

“We regularly visit local schools, often with our campaign mascot Phil the Bin, to talk to children about litter. If we can start educating about the negative effects of litter at a young age, children are likely to pass this message on to older siblings and parents.”

Suzanne Marriott, a Higher Level Teaching Assistant at Waterthorpe Nursery and Infant School, and leader of the Eco Team, added: “Litter is one of the things that the Eco Team is passionate about, along with other green issues. When we heard about the competition, of course the group wanted to get involved. We started by asking the children what they think about litter when it is dropped on the streets of Sheffield and the poem grew from there. They’re very excited to have been awarded first prize and recognised for their hard work.

“The children at the school love getting involved with litter picks, which we do on a weekly basis, and we are proud to have been awarded the Keep Britain Tidy Green Flag, which recognises green schools, for six continuous years.”

Each month, the Streets Ahead team collect over 500 tonnes of litter that has been dropped on the floor. The Clean Sheffield campaign aims to change the behaviour of people and encourage people to bin their rubbish.

The winning poem


Litter looks dirty, messy and vile,

Especially when it has been there a while.

To keep Sheffield tidy, sparkly and clean,

Make sure litter can’t be seen.

So if you drop it on the floor,

Pick it up so there’s no more.

It can be dangerous to animals in the open space.