The school’s curriculum is an embodiment of its vision and values. Treating environmental sustainability as a core value should ensure leaders at all levels and in all areas place it at the heart of the curriculum.
We know that children and young people are anxious to create a greener, more sustainable world, and to tackle both the causes and impact of climate change. Through a better understanding of the facts, a greater appreciation of nature, and practical opportunities to participate in activities to increase climate resilience and enhance biodiversity, we can empower all young people to be truly global citizens. They will be able to take positive steps to improve their local communities, their country and the planet; now and in the future. Crucially, through this process they will come to recognise themselves as changemakers.
In developing the curriculum, leaders should ask themselves:
- Does the curriculum promote care for oneself, care for others and care for the environment?
- Where is a love of nature fostered?
- Have pupils been consulted on their experience of the curriculum and teaching and learning on environmental sustainability?
- How and when do pupils learn about the concepts of environmental sustainability, such as the impact of human activity on the climate and biodiversity? How is it taught systematically?
- Does the curriculum teach the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live with and in a changing climate?
- How is it integrated across subjects?
- Is collaboration between teachers and year groups encouraged?
- How do pupils develop knowledge and understanding of their local environment and their place within it?
- What part does outdoor learning play?
- Where does the curriculum foster curiosity and give pupils the opportunity to explore wider and global environmental issues?
- How can pupils develop positive attitudes and behaviours towards the environment?
- Does the curriculum best prepare them for the world in which they will live, laying the foundations for green technology skills and green careers?
- Does the curriculum maintain an awareness of the implications of raising sustainability issues (such as eco-anxiety) and seek to foster a sense of hope through pro-environmental behaviours?
- Is the curriculum inclusive?
- Does the curriculum promote equalities and climate justice?