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Curriculum Plan: How will we rise to the challenge of climate change?

This enquiry of learning is a response to the climate emergency. Learning from the indigenous knowledge of the Inuit, young climate champions around the world and organisations like the Eden Project, pupils will discover that every one of us has a part to play as we work together for the well-being of our planet.

 

Sir David Attenborough quote

Sir David Attenborough

“Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that. Surely we all have a responsibility to care for our blue planet. The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us.”

Activity details

This enquiry starts with a film, a letter and an invitation “Oi, Earthlings! Act now! A good planet is hard to find. It's time for humans to dance a new dance. Will you join us to become Eden Earthlings?” This is a call to action. Climate change is real, scary and serious; but humans are brilliant and innovative problem solvers and we can all play a part in creating a positive future.  Acting together, we can achieve amazing things to make the world a better place – for us and for all of nature.

Children are invited to explore their response to the challenge in two ways:

How low can we go? In order to know what to do about it, we need to understand how and why it is happening. Pupils dive into the enquiry by exploring the science of climate change – the causes and the effects – and understanding what is meant by the term ‘carbon footprint’. Focusing on energy use in school, pupils will conduct a maths enquiry to find out how energy is used, how it can be measured and how low the school can go with regards to energy consumption. They will discover that small changes, added together make a big difference.  Pupils will create and share an action plan for the school to use less energy and move to a clean energy future.

How much can we grow… as leaders, communicators, collaborators, inventers, innovators, inspirers, growers, change-makers?  The second aspect of this challenge is to grow new ideas, approaches and solutions, and to share these with others.  Pupils will discover that we can all help in different ways, building from our personal strengths and that, by acting together, we can achieve amazing results. Pupils will explore how organisations (like the Eden Project) are finding new ways of doing things: reducing, re-using, recycling, re-imagining, and exploring how nature is part of the solution. Pupils will find out about the Inuit of Alaska and through their indigenous knowledge and traditional folktales, begin to discover the language of connection. This helps us to communicate how we are all connected to each other and the living world.

The enquiry will end with sharing and celebration. In their Great Work, pupils will share their action plan for a cleaner, more sustainable future and their Inuit-inspired folk tales of hope. 

Objectives and Curriculum Links

This enquiry enables pupils to:

  • understand the science and the jeopardy (the causes and effects) of climate change
  • learn about, and from, the indigenous knowledge of the Inuit
  • describe ways in which individuals can respond confidently, to climate change
  • understand that, by acting together, we can achieve amazing things and that our individual actions added together can make a big difference
  • begin to build a ‘language of connection’ to describe how we are connected to each other and the natural world, and to act collectively as a school community.
     

Subjects

Resources

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About The Harmony Project

This medium-term plan has been developed in partnership with The Harmony Project.

The Harmony Project offers a new way of learning inspired by natured principles of Harmony, principles that teach us how the world works according to natural laws and principles that enable it to be sustainable, resilient and well. These principles include interdependence, cycles, diversity, adaption and health.

This approach to learning is framed around big questions, with subject skills and knowledge applied and secured in a coherent joined up way that makes sense to children. It is celebrated at the end of each half term through what are called Great Works and opportunities for children to present or perform their learning outcomes in creative ways. It is an engaging and empowering approach, and we plan to work with Richard Dunne (Founder and Director of The Harmony Project) to develop more enquiry-based, medium-term planning documents and supporting resources in the coming months.
 

In partnership with

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About COP26

The UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31st October – 12th November 2021. The conference brought international representatives together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.