Research-Engaged Practice Network



REPN Autumn 2022: Developing the school curriculum for sustainability and climate education

Meeting on 1st December 2022

How can the school curriculum communicate concerns around our global climate, the future of our planet and our place on it? The role schools should take on climate education is often contested, with disagreement not just over learning about the climate, but also about the individual and collective responses that might be possible. How can schools find their way through these debates to ensure that pupils are informed and engaged on the subject of climate change?

This REPN online event will explore how schools are responding to the need to both educate and involve pupils in knowing about and understanding the impact of issues of sustainability and climate change.

Sessions include:

The design of the school curriculum for climate education and climate literacy

Dr. Richard Pountney, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Institute of Education

International bodies such as the United Nations (UN) and UNESCO aim to empower all members of society to engage in climate action and emphasise the key role that education and schools need to play in this.  In addition, the Department for Education had identified climate education as an action area for schools and colleges. However, it is not clear what the knowledge and skills a curriculum for sustainability and climate change should include, how schools should develop resources, or how this might lead to action. My presentation sets out the work of the global Climate Action Project and talks through the design of curriculum for sustainable development and how children can actively engage in learning about climate change.

Teaching and learning for climate emergency

Andy Sprakes, Chief Academic Office, XP Trust Doncaster [with other colleagues tbc]

At XP Trust we have designed our curriculum around three seams, one of which is the 'climate emergency'. If we want our students to change the world, they need to have the skills to save it. Standards from the NC and GCSE have been adapted and developed into cross discipline learning expeditions that have activism at their heart and result in an authentic product with agency and legacy. Our students make the knowledge they acquire from this seam powerful by actively making a difference to their community and more widely. In this talk we will set out the curriculum design with examples from Secondary, Primary and Early Years in the XP trust.

Whole School Approach to Climate Change Education - The 4Cs: Culture, Curriculum, Campus and Community

Clive Belgeonne, Education Adviser at DECSY, with Paul Thornely, Assistant Headteacher at Newfield School, Sheffield

Learn Sheffield, DECSY and Schools Climate Education South Yorkshire have developed a partnership to provide climate change education for teachers, school leaders and school governors. Learn Sheffield’s aim is that all teachers will be confident to teach about the climate and nature emergencies by 2030. We will give an overview of the training offer and a school’s perspective.

To view the video presentations from this event, and download related PDFs, please click on the link below.


Attached Files

REPN Meet Autumn 2022 Flyer [File: REPN_Meet_Dec2022.pdf]


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