Climate Change – Schools
Schools can have a great influence over action on climate change from climate change education as part of the curriculum to the day to day running of the school. There is also the opportunity to raise awareness of actions that can be taken by both the children, their parents and staff. The following section gives some ideas of actions that can be taken within the school as well as teaching and activity resources to engage pupils further in climate change.
- Reduce the number of staff and parents driving to school. Instead encourage active travel such as walking, cycling and scooting as well as public transport use and car sharing. Essex County Council offer help through 3PR to give support creating a school travel plan.
- Campaign against engine idling whilst stationary at the school gates. Idling not only produces emissions, but it is also bad for air quality which has more of an effect on children’s health due to their lungs still developing.
- Avoid flying on school trips instead consider going somewhere closer or travelling by train, ferry or bus.
- Develop more vegetarian and vegan options for school meals and consider meat free days. This can also encourage pupils to eat more healthily.
- Develop an energy saving campaign to encourage behaviour change to switch off lights and equipment.
- Insulate and reduce the energy use of your buildings.
- Install renewable energy such as solar panels and solar thermal on school buildings
- Run a second-hand uniform shop to encourage reuse
- Review buying habits to produce less waste for example products with reduced packaging or less single use plastic items
- Donate or sell used furniture and equipment instead of throwing it away
- Ensure full understanding of what can be recycled onsite to encourage recycling and reduce contamination
- Take advantage of free trees for schools as well as other useful tree planting planning tools from the Woodland Trust
- Grow your own fruit and vegetables. A great way to introduce sustainable eating habits as well as encouraging children to eat more healthily. The Royal Horticultural Society has guidance pages for this.
- Pollinator projects such as building insect hotels and growing wildflowers. Can also be a fun way to learn about the importance biodiversity and gain understanding on what pollinators do for our food chain.
- COP26 UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 Resources – Ideas for activities, climate leader toolkits and a comprehensive list of climate resources for all ages from across the internet.
- Earth Day resource library – includes beginner, intermediate and advanced lesson plans and activities as well as quizzes and guides on how to build support in schools for climate friendly actions.
- Climate resources for school teachers | British Council – A variety of programmes and classroom resources for ages 9-17 that all support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Climate Action.
- Key Stage 2 – National Geographic Climate Change Resources – subjects include the circular economy, recycling, water conservation and climate change.
- Key stage 3 – Royal Geographic Society Climate Change Resources – teaching resources about the changing climate and how it affects our lives. Including the buildings we live and work in, the way we travel, the holidays we take and the food we eat.