Trees planted as a balance

PUBLISHED: 11:26 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 May 2010

Teacher Leon Barker and eco-schools class representatives Karyna Manuel and Sean Smith, both nine, get down to some serious tree-planting - 2077DW3

Teacher Leon Barker and eco-schools class representatives Karyna Manuel and Sean Smith, both nine, get down to some serious tree-planting - 2077DW3

A TEACHER at a school in Bassingbourn helped pupils plant trees because he wanted to balance the environmental effect of his exchange trip to Australia. Year 5 teacher Leon Barker and his pupils held a cake and old toy sale to pay for the planting of 40 t

A TEACHER at a school in Bassingbourn helped pupils plant trees because he wanted to balance the environmental effect of his exchange trip to Australia.

Year 5 teacher Leon Barker and his pupils held a cake and old toy sale to pay for the planting of 40 trees at Bassingbourn Primary School.

Mr Barker said: "I had the idea to plant some trees to offset the carbon emissions from my flight to Australia.

"The children are all interested in the environment. We have two eco-schools class representatives in each class at the school."

Mr Barker is flying to Australia on December 27 to begin a job-swap with Leesa Ross, a teacher at a school in Echuca, near Melbourne.

Mr Barker will spend a year abroad before returning to Bassingbourn. He said he was looking forward to the trip, and hoping to learn from the experience.

He said: "I hope to learn all about another system of teaching. I will be particularly focusing on PE so I will get to see what they do differently."

The exchange was organised through the League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers.

While he is on the other side of the world, Mr Barker is hoping to stay in touch with his pupils by writing a blog.

He said he will try to forge a link between the children from the two schools.

Mr Barker said: "One angle would be to set up contact between the children.

"The children have learned about Australia before and I did an assembly about it, so they understand what I am doing.

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