Whole Education recently hosted its first Climate change event, bringing together schools in our network, partners in the Future Proofed Coalition and many other organisations who have a common goal..
Supporting our schools and teachers, to help our young people, to understand and take action to improve our world.
The passion and enthusiasm for this aim is clear, and although challenges do exist, the commitment and desire to take action – however small it starts – really came to surface at the workshop.
Whole Education strongly believes in the power of collaboration and sharing best practices, so we have outlined below some of the different approaches that schools shared during the discussions :
- Have a school Eco Club and empower them to act
- Ensure that sustainability and the environment are discussed in school meetings, including school assemblies, governor meetings, Senior Leadership Team meetings
- Invite guests in from organisations to speak to students directly, supporting teachers to gain knowledge about the topic and on the best way to deliver the content without overwhelming the students with facts
- Organise a ‘staff environment group’ to discuss issues including integrating content into the curriculum and alternative ways to bring the climate change conversation more at the front. – For example: the choice of a set of text used in a MFL lesson or a science experiment, discussing the impact of the industrial revolution on the environment in history, eating seasonal in Food Tech, etc
- Involve site staff in discussions on how to make the school a more sustainable environment, for example adding secure bike sheds, better recycling, upcycling, solar panels, LED lights, wild meadows
- Encourage staff to develop their confidence and skills
- Work on your school values to include care for the environment from a young age. Some examples include how students deal with the waste they create – reduce before recycle – and their use of power and resources
- Bring environment and sustainability discussions into the everyday alongside risk assessments eg How can we reduce and/ or offset the impact of that school trip or activity has on the environment
- Careers guidance: host discussions both on ‘green’ jobs as well as ‘greenifying’ all jobs. You might find that parents in your community have expertise on this and might be happy to come and share their knowledge and experience
- Work with catering staff to consider the food available and how it is packaged
- Schools’ financial decisions should take into consideration the environment, especially with regards to which energy and equipment suppliers are used. Schools may need to be prepared that the more environmentally friendly option might also be slightly more expensive
- Sign up to initiatives like the Lets Go Zero campaign so school has focus
- Consider school uniform or book swap shops
- Having a waste collection day at school to see how much and what types of rubbish the whole school makes. Make decisions on what could be improved, collating ideas from pupils, parents, governors and teachers
- Work on sustainable transport and travel to school schemes eg livingstreets.org.uk
However, the resounding message from the workshop was to choose one action and get started!
Have more suggestions? Let us know by emailing us at email@example.com and we’ll keep adding to this list.
During the session we heard from a number of great organisations about their purpose and resources and how schools can engage in those and you are invited to listen to those inputs using the links below :
Whole Education looks forward to sharing with schools over the coming year ideas and inspiration from the network and hope you will be able to join us as we continue to ensure we act on taking care of our planet for future generations.