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With retailers of all shapes and sizes adopting ecologically sustainable practices, not to mention 15-year-old activist Greta Thunberg speaking at high-profile gatherings around the world, it may come as no surprise that climate change is making its way into the curriculum in a big way. A recent development was four young students from Cheney school in Oxford launching a petition that called for more lessons on the subject.

With over 81,000 signatures, this petition will hopefully mean that it won’t take long for climate change to be properly integrated into everyday teaching, rather than as a minor add-on to geography and science. In the meantime, some educators in the UK have fast-tracked the process by enrolling at the Climate Change Teacher Academy, which is run by the United Nations.

The specially designed CCTA online courses offer training to primary and secondary school teachers so that they have all of the knowledge required when confronted with tough questions. For instance, though every teacher may know a little about plastic waste and global warming, potential discussions are often cut short due to lack of in-depth, up-to-date knowledge on a topic that will affect the rest of every young person’s life. In fact, ongoing damage to the environment has a large impact on them right here and now, as younger people are often more susceptible to heat exhaustion and respiratory conditions.

Meanwhile, the local authority of North of Tyne plans to become the first place in the world to have a UN-accredited climate change teacher in every state primary and secondary school. Its new mayor, Jamie Driscoll, says that this will be achieved by giving all schools in the area the opportunity to train a member of staff in giving lessons on global heating and the impact of the climate crisis.

This is all amazing news and we hope that more schools commit time and resources into tackling the climate change problem. If you want to start right away, here are some tips and topics that you can incorporate into lessons very easily:

  • The first thing that children and their families can do together is decrease the amount of waste created in their homes. From turning the taps off whilst brushing their teeth, to taking bags to the shops and replacing plastic straws with metal ones, these small and simple practices will make a very big difference.
  • Composting unwanted food is another great move, which can be achieved by either creating a compost heap in the garden or using the food caddy that’s provided by most local authorities. If neither of these are possible or available, many families ask neighbours or nearby allotment owners if they’d like food waste for their compost heaps.
  • Encourage children to fall in love with nature by exploring ecosystems both in your lessons and outside the classroom. Something as simple as taking a moment for the class to appreciate blue skies or getting a little fresh air on the school’s grounds helps children to engage with the natural world more often.

We specialise in marketing and design for the education sector, with environmental responsibility at the core of everything we do. To find out more about how we can help you to teach climate change topics in your school, get in touch at hello@bigpinkfish.com or call us on 0161 507 3365.