People all over the world are waking up to the extent of the climate and ecological breakdown. They understand these twin crises as a potential existential threat to the planet. A wealth of scientific evidence suggests that they may well be right. At Charlton Manor, we teach children about the great importance of protecting the planet and the environment and explain how this in turn could protect their future. What does this mean for our education system and how we prepare our children for an uncertain future? Does the way that we teach and learn make sense in a climate and ecological emergency? These are questions we are answering at Charlton Manor by adapting our curriculum accordingly to ensure the best for our children and their future.
A recent survey showed that 69% of teachers believe that there should be more teaching about climate change in schools, while 75% don’t feel that they have received adequate training to educate students about it; further adding to the pertinence of the issue. Changing the way our school operates in order to address these global challenges is not only the right thing to do, but if it is done well, it will have additional benefits to our children. Being a school that provides opportunities for children to learn about and become actively involved in protecting the living planet we will have more motivated, enthusiastic and academically successful students.
The new Ofsted framework looks for a clearly defined curriculum intent that is ‘ambitious and designed to give all learners the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life’.
Using the natural world and the protection of the living planet as a unifying thread provides the ideal opportunity to do this. Nature provides a theme around which much of the learning in a school can take place, and which can provide a relevance and purpose to students that is often missing from many classrooms. It is not enough to tell children about the environment, or to present them with an awareness that environmental issues exist. Children must experience an environmental education curriculum which allows them to discover how they interact with the environment themselves. They should assess their own impact on the environment. Children at Charlton Manor must be given opportunities to investigate, evaluate and explore their impacts on their local and global environment. Only through this process will children become intelligent consumers and be able to process issue related information throughout their life. We want children who attend Charlton Manor to be truly global citizens who can make sound and responsible decisions concerning environmental issues.
'I think it’s very important to look after the world because we want it to be nice for when we are adults.'
'It is important not to litter. Animals can die and it makes the roads look messy.'
‘In our school we recycle batteries, pens, paper, clothes and even the left-over food from our dinner centre.’
Learning in Action