smallDavid Bellamy, who was NAEE President for many years, died last Wednesday.  He was a good fit with NAEE because of his interest in promoting environmental issues and educating (in the broadest sense) people about them, including through television (particularly ITV beginning in the late 1970s).  He was ahead of his time in this given that so much TV programming about the natural world was just about natural history and wildlife filming; a lot of it still is.  Bellamy was a larger than life figure who had an imposing and enthusiastic screen presence and he was a strong and effective advocate for botany in particular and for the wellbeing of nature more generally.   He became a controversial figure in later years for a number of reasons.  These included, the work that his consultancy did with multinationals to try to help improve their environmental performance, his vocal impatience with the policies of a number of environmental pressure groups, and an inexplicable entry into politics in 1997 for the Referendum Party.  While he was wrong about anthropogenic climate change (he called it “a load of poppycock”), the Royal Geographical Society awarded him its Busk Medal in 2001 for his services to conservation research.  NAEE was pleased to have him as its President, and we salute all he did for botany, conservation and environmental education.  ∫∫∫

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On the 10th of February, the  London Environmental Educators’ Forum Conference will take place in the London National History Museum.  The conference will consist of three keynote speeches in the morning, a choice of one hour workshops before lunch and another set of workshops in the afternoon.  NAEE recently collaborated with LEEF on a special edition of our journal, Environmental Education.  This first national conference will mark LEEF’s 30th anniversary year. LEEF says:

“We invite you to celebrate with us and help showcase the best urban environmental education work taking place in London and the UK, as we look ahead to future challenges”.  ∫∫∫

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The Wildlife Trusts are calling for every child in the UK to experience one hour outside in nature, every day, as part of the school curriculum.  This is following research carried out by the Institute of Education at University College London, which looked into the effects of regular outdoor activities on children’s wellbeing.  The researchers studied children participating in outdoor activities with their local Wildlife Trust, ranging from a single activity, to a series of activities over the course of several weeks.  451 children (mostly 8-9 years of age) in 12 areas across England took part by completing surveys before and after they participated in outdoor activities. Additionally, teachers, Wildlife Trust educators and 199 of the children were also observed by the UCL research team and interviewed about their experiences.

There’s more detail here.  ∫∫∫

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The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) has announced it is developing a closer working partnership with the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP). The aim is to bring the organisations together to increase their collective impact and reach and to make it easier for schools to know where to turn for guidance, support, training, assurance, evidence and advocacy for all learning outside the classroom experiences.  ∫∫∫

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Climate Action says that the UK set a new renewable energy record last Sunday, with wind generating more than 16 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, providing more than 40% of electrical power.  National Grid said that was enough #electricity to power 8 million kettles.  ∫∫∫

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Teach the Future says that following the election, it needs to run a parliamentary reception to engage new and returning MPs in its  campaign to transform education.  It needs to raise £4000 in the next 8 weeks to make sure it can do this and urge MPs to support its six demands.  NAEE supports the aims of Teach the Future.  If you would like to donate, please click here.  ∫∫∫

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The London National Park City initiative has launched a Schools Network to help London’s children become more environmentally aware, healthier and wilder.  Schools in the city can join the network and connect more children to nature.  More details here.

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You can now view sessions from the 2019 Communicate conference by clicking here .  The theme was Riding Waves, Changing Worlds.  ∫∫∫

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The GA understands that many young people have concerns about climate change and a determination to change society’s attitudes to environmental issues.  As it believes that geography education makes a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding needed to address climate change, it has designed a range of teaching resources focused on the topic for both primary and secondary.  You will find them here.

The GA has also launched a new primary handbook that “offers a carefully considered approach to planning for, and delivering, outstanding geography across the primary age range, in and outside the classroom”.

There are free downloads including a framework linking primary geography to the Ofsted EIF, teaching activities, case studies and exemplars.  You will find it here.  ∫∫∫

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Although there is still a few days to go until the Winter solstice, sunset is already getting later. Here is a link to a post in the Explaining Science blog which explains what, in astronomical terms, is going on.  ∫∫∫

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This is our last weekly round up of news in 2019, but we’ll be back in January.  A Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year to you all from all at NAEE.