Learning to save the planet starts in the classroom

 In Education

Four students who have launched a petition to make teaching on climate change compulsory in schools have won backing from a Midlands green energy expert.

“As the young generation will be ones most affected by the threats to our planet, so they need to be taught early on how to cut their carbon footprint,” said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park (www.noreus.co.uk).

Already the protest has attracted more than 61,000 signatures supporting the campaign urging the government to make the subject a core part of the national curriculum. They also want schools to be run in a more sustainable fashion and to be checked regularly by school inspectors.

In the e-petition, the four 15-year-old schoolgirls, Izzy Lewis, Kamila Chamcham, Rasha Alsouleman and Lucy Gibbons, from Cheney School, Oxford: wrote: “Climate change is the biggest issue of our time, and it must be a part of our education if our generation is to understand it and help us to combat its effects. That’s why we want climate change to be made a core part of the national curriculum.”

In reply Steve Brace, head of education and outdoor learning from the Royal Geographical Society, said the subject is already taught in UK schools such as in geography lessons.

For details of the petition go here.

Ron added that his company Noreus was already working with a Keele University Research and Innovation Support Programme (KRISP) to teach students about green issues by taking part in an energy audit and workshop to show how simple measures can reduce costs and protect the environment.

One of the first schools to take part in the audit was Madeley School in North Staffordshire where Year 8 pupils enjoyed a series of activities to show how saving energy in the classroom can not only save money on heating, lighting and hot water, but as well has a positive impact on the long-term health of the planet. The students also made pledges to show how they planned to cut their carbon footprint outside school.

Lee Royall, Assistant Principal of Madeley School, said: “We’re always looking for ways to enrich the curriculum, and the need to protect the environment is an excellent thread which can be followed throughout the whole school.

Ron and Keele University environmental specialists, Imogen Smith and Frankie Downes, have developed lesson packs and supporting learning materials for both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils and these are available to other schools wishing to engage students in environmental issues.

Teachers can choose to deliver the lessons themselves or ask the Noreus team to lead the workshops.  

Ron added: “Simple measures to cut energy waste, such as not leaving computer equipment on standby, all adds to the running costs of a school. The schools gain by cutting costs and the students learn that changing the world starts first by making changes in the classroom.”

For more details about energy audits for schools call Ron on 0845 474 6641 or 078171 26945 or go to www.noreus.co.uk

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