Pupils and their teachers are showing that climate action has no age limits as they sign up to become a climate friendly school.
OASES (outdoor and sustainable education specialists) have launched their new online platform (www.climatefriendlyschools.org.uk) to help schools take climate action and improve climate education and awareness of environmental issues.
Joanne, the CEO of OASES has worked with schools for many years, with a focus upon improving the understanding of environmental issues. In her experience, although schools are eager to take climate action, it can be difficult to know where to start so OASES has developed the Climate Friendly Schools website to enable schools to establish a Climate Friendly Action Team (containing representation from pupils, teachers, school staff, senior management, parents and the wider community) to drive climate action forwards. To help the Climate Friendly Action Team make effective climate choices, there is a free auditing tool on the Climate Friendly Schools website.
Joanne told us:
“As demonstrated over the past few years, children and young people feel strongly that action should be taken against climate change. There has also been an alarming rise in Eco-anxiety amongst young people. By educating young people about climate change and providing opportunities for them to share their thoughts and feelings and take action, we are giving them a voice in the fight against climate change.”
The Climate Friendly Schools audit enables a whole school community to analyse its climate impact across seven themes: Buildings, Food, Energy, Grounds, Water, Transport and Consumption. Under each theme the Climate Friendly Action Team is challenged to think about how climate friendly their current Campus, Curriculum, Culture, Community and Futures are.
For example, when completing the Culture element of the Consumption Audit, they are challenged to think about the climate impacts of their everyday choices around their uniform: does their uniform policy allow sufficient flexibility for a young person to adjust their clothing to suit the ambient temperature outside and in the classroom? Is their uniform made and purchased locally? Is the uniform made from recycled or recyclable materials? Do they facilitate uniform swapping, rather than buying new?
In addition to the audit, OASES is constantly developing new teaching resources to enhance climate education.
All of these fantastic resources are within a click of a button and are accessible for all Key Stages. The work encourages schools to choose more climate friendly options, choose locally, and think globally, and do what’s best for the planet. It makes us all more aware of what we’re doing and how we do those things.
If you’re part of a school, or even just an individual who wants to learn more about climate change, why not visit their website and educate yourself? Even better, use the website to learn about the issue and then go on to spread this knowledge to those around you. There is always something to learn.