Topics related to climate change and the environment are already included within the respective Citizenship, Science and Geography national curricula. Existing GCSEs such as Design and Technology, Food Preparation and Nutrition, and Economics contain opportunities for students to be taught about the environmental and sustainability context of the processes and principles underlying these subjects. The Environmental Science A level is also already available.
As committed to in the Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy for the Education and Children’s Services Systems, the Department is introducing a Natural History GCSE. The Natural History GCSE will allow students to engage with and study specific organisms, such as plants and animals, and the contexts in which they live, including their complex interactions and dependencies. It will develop students’ skills of observation, description, recording, and analysis, through sustained and structured field study. It will enable pupils to build on their knowledge in other subjects, in particular Science and Geography.
Our strategy also commits to a National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award, which will provide many educational opportunities for young people to take part in community science, in biodiversity monitoring and data analysis, and to translate knowledge into positive action and learn important skills for the future. Participants will have access to a comprehensive, curriculum based set of climate education resources, lesson plans, activities and schemes of work from Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 to 4, curated and devised by a wide range of very knowledgeable stakeholders.
The Climate Action Award will recognise the environmental work already being done by schools and colleges. At its highest level, young people will be researching and undertaking projects that will prepare them for apprenticeships and further study in the new green economy.