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Next phase of Curriculum for a Changing Climate is complete!

March 11, 2024
Suhaib Shaukat

Teach the Future are very excited to share that another phase of our Curriculum for a Changing Climate: Tracked Changes review of the national curriculum for England has been completed, with recommendations now ready for 10 subjects at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 levels.

Join us at the launch webinar on the 26th March at 4pm to learn more. You will hear from students, teachers, and academics, and learn more about how the review can be used in schools. We are especially excited that a keynote will be delivered by Cindy Forde, the incredible children’s author, activist, and entrepreneur. Register here.

The climate crisis is the single biggest issue of our time, which calls for urgent action to change the learning framework. Teach the Future England have commissioned experts to deliver a review of how sustainability and climate education can be incorporated into the national curriculum. The national curriculum has not undergone any substantive change since it was introduced to schools nearly 10 years ago, so it is high time for it to be officially reviewed with the climate emergency and ecological crisis in mind. 

We believe that students at all levels deserve good education that will prepare them for the future - which will be a future of working towards mitigating against and hopefully reversing climate change. This also has potential to reduce future carbon emissions. Studies have shown that even just 6% of children receiving climate education can lead to a 19 gigaton reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. We know that curriculum reform for sustainability is the right course of action, that students (a Future Forum report from June 2023 found that 72% of UK 14-to-18-year-olds would welcome the opportunity to learn more about climate change in school and 68% felt that climate change education should be included across all subjects) and teachers (a May 2019 survey of teachers found that 89% agreed that UK students should always be taught about climate change, its implications for environments and societies around the world and how these implications can be addressed, and 69% thought there should be more teaching in UK schools about the above) alike want it, and we really cannot wait any longer for it - which is why the Tracked Changes project exists. It brings concrete examples which can be used by teachers to incorporate climate education into their teaching here and now.

Ten principles have guided the review from the very beginning with the themes of Interconnectedness, Optimism and Solution Driven and Transformative Learning. One of the points is to increase awareness around eco-anxiety, which I think is a topic that is rarely touched upon. With alarming scenes regularly broadcasted on our screens, eco-anxiety is a concern which needs attention in the school environment. Overall, the main emphasis of the ten principles is the need to give students the ability to think critically and equip them with tools to tackle the climate crisis.

We know that teachers at secondary levels have already been using our existing guidance for KS3 and GCSE subjects (you can read reflections on them from Sarah Dukes, Sustainability Coordinator and English Teacher, in a guest blog post she very kindly wrote for us here), and we are absolutely delighted that soon primary teachers will also have a dedicated set of resources they can apply in their practice available on our website. Be the first to hear all about the details and importance of this project from students, teachers, academics, and our incredible keynote speaker Cindy Forde during our launch webinar! Sign up here, we’re looking forward to seeing you there! Let’s work together to implement a curriculum that not only educates but also inspires future generations to become stewards of our planet.

This blog post was guest written by Suhaib, a volunteer on our Teach the Future campaign. Find out more about Teach the Future on the campaign's website.