smallA motion at the NAHT conference seeking support for climate change lessons in schools was passed unanimously.  This adds to pressure for change and mirrors the motion passed by the NEU conference at Easter (full details here).  We will report back on what happens as a result.

 

The Young Environmental Project is a new competition organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RotaryGBI).  There are three stages to the competition, each designed to support and encourage the development of environmental skills.  The competition aims to encourage young people to:

  • interact with the environment
  • address serious environmental issues
  • develop and explore solutions to the issues
  • explore, investigate, research and undertake an environmental sustainability project

The competition is open to all schools and college communities and those who are home educated, along with any other young peoples’ community organisations, for example, community RotaKids, community Interact, Scout Groups, Girl Guides.

To enter, contact your local Rotary club details of which can be found here.

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NAAEE has opened the search to find 30 game-changing leaders under 30 years of age from anywhere in the world who are using environmental education to build a sustainable future for all.  The EE 30 Under 30 Class of 2019 will join a growing alumni network of inspiring environmental education leaders and receive ongoing opportunities to network, grow professionally, and promote their work.  Since 2016, the EE 30 Under 30 program has recognized 90 individuals from around the world who are making a difference through environmental education.  This program is made possible by the Global Environmental Education Partnership, and others.   Look at the EE 30 Under 30 YouTube playlist to hear about the scheme.

More details here.

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Peter Higgins, Professor of Outdoor & Environmental Education, Director of the Global Environment & Society Academy and Director of Learning for Sustainability Scotland shares his views on education and the recent school climate strikes in this RCE Scotland blog.  This is how it ends:

Our young people shouldn’t have to address the twin impacts of our historic failure to act to address sustainability at the same time as they will need to learn to live with and adapt to the growing challenges of doing so.  Nor should they have to miss school to remind us of our obligations, and that it is morally indefensible to pass on problems we have caused to future generations.  We will not do so simply by educating children outdoors.  However, children have a natural affinity with nature, and natural systems can help heal the damage we have inflicted on the planet – working with children in and about and for nature, is a profoundly important and positive step in doing so – and best of all – it is fun and joyful – and it is not just the kids who need a dose of that!”

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NAEE President, Justin Dillon, gives his inaugural professorial address in Exeter on Wednesday.  His title is: A National Disgrace: Why Learning Beyond the Classroom Matters More Than Ever.  Justin explains:

“Everyone remembers their school ‘trips’ yet we barely scratch the surface of the educational opportunities to be had beyond the classroom.  The UK has an abundance of museums, science centres, heritage sites, botanic gardens, etc. often staffed with highly qualified educators.  However, while some students attend schools that make use of these facilities, others don’t, and it’s often those children from less well-off families that consistently miss out.  That is, I argue, a national disgrace and one that needs to be addressed.”

There may still be tickets available.  Please contact SSIS-Events ssis-events@exeter.ac.uk to check.  The lecture is being recorded and we’ll bring you details of how to access it next week.

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Pinterest has 18 ideas in environmental education for you to consider – here and The Ecologist website has a range of features about the environment, climate, social change and sustainable development here.

Kate Humble & Forestry England are encouraging people to put one foot in front of another and soak up the nation’s forests during mental health awareness week (13 – 19 May).  With over 1,500 forests across the country, there are many ways to find a connection and enhance wellbeing. To find out what your forest can do for you, click here.

There’s an open-air theatre at Martineau Gardens on Thursday 30 May.  I AM TURTLE is a live show including puppetry, music and performance, telling the turtles’s tale, with a strong message about plastic-free oceans.  It’s aimed at 3 years +.  Tickets are on sale now.

 

The Churchill Fellowships in Education will fund Fellows to explore new thinking on any topic related to improving or transforming how children and young people learn in schools.  Projects to help ensure children enjoy good mental health are of particular interest, as also are ideas that encourage the recruitment and retention of school teachers, through improving their professional leadership, motivation and development.

Churchill Fellowships are travel grants and are available in 12 fields of interest, including Education.  Julia Weston, Chief Executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, said:

The education sector faces high expectations, increased scrutiny and scarce funding. We’re looking for new ideas that can help to ensure that all children receive the best possible education at school and university level. We also want to hear from people with fresh ideas for recruiting and retaining teachers. We are funding Churchill Fellowships to find inspiration from the world’s best projects and practice for this important area of need.”

Everyone can apply for a Churchill Fellowship, regardless of age, background or qualifications, so long as they are a UK citizen aged 18 or over.  To apply, or for more details, click here.   The deadline for applications is 17th September 2019 for travel in 2020.

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The UK went a week without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since 1882, when a plant opened at Holborn in London (when there were fewer qualms about dirty air in urban areas).  It comes two years after Britain’s first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution.  Coal-fired power stations still play a part during periods of high demand.  In the USA meanwhile, in April, renewable energy surpassed coal generation for the first time since records began.  Climate Action has the story.

Climate Action also has details of the new Committee on Climate Change report calling for the UK to be net zero by 2050.  The original target in the UK, set out in the 2008 Climate Change Act, was to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 relative to 1990 levels, but the CCC has called for net zero emissions by 2050, with Scotland to target net-zero by 2045 and Wales to target a 95 per cent reduction by 2050 relative to 1990.

 

The International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO] has developed a methodology to calculate the carbon dioxide emissions from air travel for use in offset programmes.  The ICAO Carbon Emissions Calculator allows passengers to estimate the emissions attributed to their air travel.  It requires only a limited amount of information from the user.  The methodology applies the best publicly available industry data to account for various factors such as aircraft types, route specific data, passenger load factors and cargo carried.

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SEEd’s next Facilitation for Sustainability course will be beginning on September 7/8.  To book a place please email admin@se-ed.org.uk  This is made up of two experiential learning days (Sat & Sun 9am – 5pm), followed by a fully supported 8 week action learning period, followed by a further two experiential learning days.  This course gives you the tools to run creative, facilitated events and workshops to bring about change in your workplace or personal life.  It brings facilitation techniques together with learning theory, social learning, behaviour change, practice, and sustainability learning in a safe, shared space with other participants.