New GCSE in how to save the planet gets full marks

 In Education

News of a GCSE in natural history being launched to help save the planet has been welcomed by a Midlands green energy expert.

“We need people of all ages to learn how to cut the world’s carbon footprint and beginning this education at school is ideal,” said Ron Fox.

The new subject, announced as part of the education department’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, will be taught from September 2025 and will give students a deeper knowledge of how our lifestyle is affecting the natural environment. 

It will build on topics studied in other subjects such as geography and science with teaching on urbanization, sustainability and changes to landscapes.

The GCSE, which is one of the first new GCSEs to be launched since the reform of the qualifications in 2017, is normally taken by pupils aged 15-16 years of age. 

But it can be taken by students at any age, before moving on to the more specialist exams of A-levels.

It was formally announced by education secretary Nadhim Zahawi at the Natural History Museum in London last Friday (April 22).

“It is good to see that lobbying for more environmental education by many people and organisations, including the environmental campaigner and broadcaster, Chris Packham; the founder of the Eden Project, Sir Tim Smith; and the Natural History Museum has paid off,” said Ron.

The government will now work with experts, exam boards, the exams regulators to develop the detailed content for the GCSE which they promise will be rigorous and technical.

“Sustainability and climate change are the biggest challenges facing mankind,” added Ron. “Hopefully this course in Natural History will give the next generation a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet and what we need to do to conserve it.” 

Following on from a pledge made at the COP26 climate change meeting in Glasgow in November last year, school grounds will be turned into nature parks to introduce students to natural history through their playing fields.

There pupils will measure the biodiversity of the site and compete against other schools to improve their sites, helped by teachers who have been promised extra resources and support.

The Department of Education will also go into partnership with mapping companies to help develop a tool to track and record species spotted by pupils.

“It’s a subject many young people are passionate about, and this will give them the chance to learn about the problems the planet is facing in greater detail and may hopefully lead them into careers in conservation,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd at Keele University, Staffordshire.

For more advice on the environment and green energy contact Ron on 0845 474 6641. 

Caption: A practical lesson – a new GCSE in Natural History launched by the government last week is planned to give students a deeper knowledge of how to save our planet and to cut our carbon footprint.

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