Climate Change: Curriculum

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to ensure the national curriculum includes (a) up to date scientific understanding of climate change and (b) the role of human behaviour in affecting the global climate.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

It is important that young people are taught about climate change and the impact of human actions on the environment. Topics related to this are included in both the science and geography curricula and qualifications. These were developed with subject experts and reflect the latest scientific and academic understanding so that children fully appreciate the causes of climate change and what needs to be done to tackle it.

For example, in primary school science, pupils are taught about how weather changes across the four seasons and how human actions affect environments. In secondary school science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. As part of GCSE geography, pupils look at the causes, consequences of, and responses to, extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. This includes understanding the interactions between people and environments.

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