On this page
- Welcome from Cllr Culhane
- Climate change in H&F
- Partnership working showcase
- Climate curriculum update
- Introduction to climate education
- Getting started
- Introduction to outdoor learning
- Outdoor learning fact sheets
- Example learning resources
- The Pier - climate education centre
- Message from the Director of Education
- Useful contacts
Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) declared a climate and ecological emergency in July 2019, citing a range of policies and community work to put environmental concerns at the heart of what we do and reach net zero by 2030. Our resident-led Climate and Ecological Emergency Commission has made recommendations that were instrumental in the implementation of our climate education agenda. Since then, H&F have harnessed the influence and contribution of children and young people, through a variety of climate education projects. These are intended to inspire children, young people, and their families to be powerful advocates for climate change whilst ensuring they are at the heart of addressing the climate emergency, as it is their future that will be most affected by decisions taken today. Our climate education work is aligned with the H&F corporate value of building shared prosperity by taking a preventative rather than remedial approach to climate change. In respecting the rights of current and future generations of citizens, we will ensure economic, social and environmental stability.
The education sector experienced somewhat turbulent times during the pandemic, something none of us could have ever predicted. Many schools had to adapt very quickly and develop remote learning strategies in record times, coupled with the uncertainty of restrictions and measures to reduce transmission, it is remarkable that we are able to tell you our results and showcase some of the amazing work our teachers, support staff, children and young people, and wider communities have achieved.
We worked closely with schools to ensure Climate Education was not forgotten within the curriculum and ensured it was at the forefront of our “recovery” strategy, bringing families and the school community together through many unique initiatives.
This guide is intended to provide you with useful links, resources and to operate as a valuable tool in implementing a climate curriculum within your school.
Our work is not done, we are only just starting.
Hammersmith & Fulham has already made a huge effort towards becoming the greenest borough in Britain, including a whole range of policies which will:
- Improve air quality
- Promote biodiversity
- Reduce traffic congestion and pollution
- Make our streets cleaner and greener
- Work with our community to put environmental concerns at the heart of all we do.
The impact of Covid 19 and relational environmental factors highlights how a recovery ethos can be delivered through climate educational programmes. For example, we are in the process of relaunching the third year of our prestigious Mudlarks programme. Click here to watch a short video about the Mudlarks programme.
Other partners include BBC Studios and The lyric Theatre. Read more on Climate Education in H&F.
COP26 saw the Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, set out his vision for all children to be taught about the importance of conserving and protecting our planet. Teachers will be supported to deliver world-leading climate change education through a model science curriculum, which will be in place by 2023, to teach children about nature and their impact on the world around them.
Children and young people will also be encouraged to get involved in the natural world by increasing biodiversity in the grounds of their nursery, school or college by taking small steps like installing bird feeders. They will be able to upload their data onto a new, virtual National Education Nature Park – which will allow them to track their progress against other schools in the country, increase their knowledge of different species and develop skills in biodiversity mapping.
Climate education in primary schools suits subject areas that will encourage children to develop the skills they need to think about issues around climate change. One of these could be through PSHE. As a primary school programme of study, children will develop skills in problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, engagement, resilience and imagination and this can be used to enable them to understand climate change.
Extra-curricular activities in primary schools, from clubs that develop ecowarriors to debating groups that enable children to voice their ideas are included here as potential activities to support climate education.
School activities that enable children to practically conserve and protect the environment and learn to voice their own concerns, are an essential part of climate education.
Benefits of climate education
“It is vital that the borough's children and young people are put at the heart of all efforts to deal with the climate and ecological emergency. It is their future that will be affected by decisions that are made today” Paul Beaty-Pownall, Climate and Ecological Emergency, Commission Chair
Benefits to schools:
- An additional resource in school’s strategic vision for the Climate Education Curriculum
- Improved inclusion and attainment
- Increased links with the local community
Benefits to children:
- Improved study skills
- Increased self-esteem and self confidence
- Improved personal and social skills
- Improved motivation to learn
- Engendering a sense of achievement and autonomy
- Improved level of attainment
Benefits for parents/carers and families
- Pride in their child’s achievement
- Understanding children’s concerns
- More positive links with the school and community
The climate education network
Join H&F in a pledge to be Carbon neutral by 2030.
- Being part of the Climate Education Network (CEN) enables you to mine a wealth of resources and implement eco projects via our partners in H&F and this will assist you in developing and enhancing the curriculum.
- Offer a teacher in each school a training opportunity to complete the United Nations eduCCate Global course. See eduCCate Global.
- Receive support from the learning partnership and the opportunity to collaborate with other climate educators worldwide: Two eduCCate Global accredited teachers will offer support and guidance on completing the accreditation and developing climate change projects.
- Access a Network of 40 countries worldwide and thousands of other schools working collaboratively for a more sustainable future.
Developing climate education in your primary school
The primary school national curriculum shows that aspects of climate change can be included in many subjects such as Art, DT, and RE. Climate education can also be developed with the youngest EYFS children, as they understand the world through outdoor learning, growing, and developing a respect for living things
Initial areas to consider:
- Subject overviews across the primary curriculum – where does climate education fit?
- Geography and science – has the school made the links with climate education explicit?
- Reading – are teachers across the school using resources that include climate
- education materials?
- Developing climate education within the primary PSHE programme – materials, teaching strategies, age groups, etc?
- How does climate education for EYFS children fit into the whole school programme?
- Extra-curricular clubs, activities and assemblies – how do these contribute to the whole climate education programme
What are the key issues in your school? How is climate change impacting your school community? Discuss with your colleagues, managers and governors how you would like to make changes within your school?
Join termly CEN sessions. You will receive input from climate experts, hear ideas from other schools in the borough, share learning and think of creative ways to engage with your school community and plan your own project.
After carefully planning and discussing you are now ready to implement your project. You are part of the CEN. You also have all the tools necessary to incorporate climate education into curriculum lessons.
Outdoor learning: creativity and wellbeing
Schools and settings work best when they share their ideas, teaching and learning experiences with others.
- Outside learning is an exciting, creative, rewarding, nurturing and positive educational experience.
- When our younger children learn outside they make connections and develop a ‘hands-on’ knowledge and respect for our natural world.
- Each local community in Hammersmith and Fulham has a range of exceptional outside resources that can be easily accessed.
These resources include experiences of growing plants and learning about wildlife, setting up dens, performance and role play areas outside, engaging in physical development and learning about our weather and the seasons. Factsheets and resources are included in this guide below.
Outdoor learning themes
Here are some examples of themed activities:
- Bayonne Nursery School – in the moment planning and the effective use of resources outside
- Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery – Helicopter stories
- Charing Cross Nursery - planned outings to places of interest.
- Randolph Beresford Nursery - Outdoor Learning CPD
Find all the fact sheets listed below at Outdoor Learning - Learning Partnership (lbhflearningpartnership.com)
- A trip to your local library
- Growing things outside
- Learning about living things
- Performance outside
- Physical developmet
- Purposeful and challenging play outside
- Role play outside
- Sand and water play
- Using the local park and open space
- Supporting parents
- Weather and seasons
- Working with birth to three outside
Teaching and learning:
- Teaching lesson plans and resources
- Primary school book list
- Creative climate education resources
- Useful websites for teachers
- Schools Climate Action Planner
- Teachers Climate Guide - Top tips for teaching children about climate change
- Urbanwise - Programmes for Primary Schools
Transport and environment
- Sign up to Ashden's 'less CO2 Sustainable School' programme
- Sign up to Ashden's 'Let's Go Zero' Campaign - Schools working together to be zero carbon
Food and waste
- Reducing water and food in school - Sustainable procurement
- WRWA Schools Programme
- WRWA How to reduce waste and recycle at school
- Wrap (reducing waste)
Art and recycling
- Canal River Trust arts in the watersways
- Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programme
- Resources - The Action Pack (recyclenow.com)
- Wetland Wildlife Trust - resources for arts projects and ecology
Biodiversity and green spaces
- Hammersmith Community Gardens Association Offer
- Frugi Challenge and Green Flag Funding
- RSPB: Resources for children
- Tree Tools for Schools
- Playground Learning
- Butterfly Conservation
The Pier will be the new home for climate education to support schools in Hammersmith and Fulham.
This will include:
- Curriculum development.
- Training, workshops and conference facility.
- Links with business, local residents, and the community.
- Developing intergenerational eco climate programmes.
The Pier will be going Live in September 2022.
These are incredibly challenging times for our climate and ecology, yet they also present a great opportunity for schools and young people to act as climate champions.
Now is the time to showcase the incredible talent within your schools and let the world know that we are ready to change it for the better. In offering access to climate education within our schools we also offer, with our key partners, the chance for children & young people to champion a variety of related initiatives.
Your efforts will galvanise the climate change education agenda in H&F, the UK and beyond, and with our support, you can help to set the standard for new curriculum developments.
We invite you on this journey and know that by empowering children and young people we can help to address climate change.
Jan Parnell, Director of Education, H&F Council
Learning Partnership Liaison
Climate Education Special Projects Liaison
Outdoor Learning Liaison