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Articles included in this first part special edition:
Climate Change: The Context
Polls show that children and young people want to know more about climate change. This issue begins the process of developing a climate curriculum focused on what we can do
Curriculum Planning Tool
Sue Lyle lays out a 5-stage planning tool for a climate curriculum to help guide teacher planning. All the activities in this issue have drawn on the planning tool.
Declaring a Climate Emergency
Across the UK awareness around climate change is growing and following recent school strikes and demonstrations some of our schools have declared a climate emergency and begun to examine what they can do about the scale of crisis we face. In this piece we learn how one London secondary school has responded.
Aesthetic Understanding in the Foundation Phase/Stage
Unless we care about the planet and feel an emotional connection to the natural world, we are unlikely to feel passionate about protecting it. This connection needs to be developed from the first day of school.
Burying the Socks: Ecological Understanding
To properly understand what is happening to our planet we need to know how natural systems work and how everything is connected. Ecology is perhaps the most important of the sciences to teach our young people, it should be at the heart of school learning. In this activity children learn about biodegradability by burying socks full of found objects in the ground. We introduce the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle.
Pupil Voice, Digital Democracy and Global Citizenship
Digital Democracy can be a great way of ensuring the voices of all children and young people in a school are heard. In this article Sue Lyle and Peter Anderson report on how the digital platform, VocalEyes can be used to support Pupil Voice. A case study of Glyncollen Primary school shows how children can take real action in their schools and community on the climate emergency.
Where Does Our Fruit Come From?
In this activity students explore where the fruit they buy in the supermarkets comes from. This raises questions of food miles and illustrates the interconnection of Britain with the rest of the world. It is possible to have British apples in our shops all year round – why don’t we and what can we do about it?
Stories about Nature
In this activity students examine four short story extracts to illustrate four different attitudes towards nature that are prevalent in the world today. What assumptions underpin each story? What are the implications of the stories for the planet?
If Britain Were a Cake
The purpose of the activity is for students to discover how the land of the UK is used today and what changes need to be made if we are to become carbon zero. Students are asked to consider the pros and cons involved in changing how we use our land.
Dragon’s Den Challenge (Part 1)
Students are set a ‘Dragons’ Den’ challenge through 6 case studies that propose potential solutions to the climate crisis. Three of the case studies are in this edition and three in the next one. Included in this issue: Active Travel, Rewilding, Retrofitting Houses
Ecological Understanding : Recommended Videos
Links to videos available on YouTube that explain some of the key ideas needed for Ecological Understanding of our planet and our place in it.