Last Friday, Teach the Future launched its Tracked Changes Curriculum Review. This ‘first-of-its-kind’ report reviews the curriculum for key stages 3 and 4 in the English National Curriculum, covering subjects ranging from History to Art and Design. Using a ‘tracked changes’ methodology the report suggests where  and how  the national curriculum can be amended to include sustainability and respond to the climate and ecological crisis.  This report, report was commissioned by Teach the Future and facilitated by a team of leading academics, with input from teachers, educators, and education experts. NAEE was pleased to support this.

Here is Maya Hoare’s introduction to the event. Maya is a student member of Teach the Future and she can be reached here:

My name is Maya and I have the pleasure of working alongside fellow students at TTF and I am just going to briefly introduce the student perspective to this report. Teach the Future England has commissioned this tracked changes review of the curriculum, led by eminent academics, to help realise our vision for education. At Teach the Future, we believe that students need to be taught about the climate emergency and ecological crisis: how they are caused, what we can do to mitigate them and what our future lives and jobs are going to look like due to them. We believe the majority of teaching and learning throughout the entirety of our education system is misaligned with the systemic changes urgently required to make our society sustainable. Therefore, sustainability and the climate crises need to become key content in all subject areas and educators need to be trained in how to teach about these difficult topics in a way that empowers students, and they need funding and resources to do this.

The project is a comprehensive guide, working alongside our Climate Education Bill for England and Wales to show leaders exactly how and why climate education should be integrated into the curriculum. This project clearly demonstrates that climate education shouldn’t be siloed and restricted to certain subjects like Science and Geography. Instead, climate education should permeate the entire curriculum in order to equip students with the necessary tools to understand and deal with the climate crisis. This project shows that the curriculum does not necessarily require a huge amount of additional content. Our vision for climate education can be realised through repurposing current content, making considered edits, and shifting focus and framing.

We know that teachers and students alike support our vision for climate education. According to the recent Pearson report, 47% of headteachers want climate change incorporated into the national curriculum with as much time and emphasis as core subjects and 61% of teachers say the current education system is not successfully developing tolerant, sustainably-minded global citizens of the future. 

As young people, we feel our education system routinely fails to educate, prepare and equip us, and our fellow students, for the climate emergency, leaving us ill-equipped to navigate these problems in our everyday lives. I grew up attending comprehensive schools in Coventry and my exposure to climate education was limited. Yes, we learnt about carbon emissions, recycling, natural disasters, and of course how to turn the light off when leaving a classroom. I believe what is central to the Curriculum for a Changed climate, yet was missing in my education is empowerment. Of course, we need to learn the facts about climate change but we also need to learn how to engage with the climate crisis so that instead of leaving us with a sense of hopelessness, we feel empowered to participate in tackling the climate crisis. Similarly one of our volunteers, Katherine talked about how being given a space to share concerns and communicate openly, can foster a sense of community. She says, ‘Breaking these barriers and supporting each other from a young age would have been extremely beneficial for myself as I now navigate growing up in a world where such honest conversations and awareness can be rare in the everyday.’

And I know we are not the only ones to feel this way. According to the Schools and Sustainability survey in 2018, 42% of young people aged 9-18 say they have learnt a little, hardly anything or nothing about the environment at school and 68% are interested in learning more about the environment. Without sufficient climate education, the onus is on us to educate ourselves, which, at worst, can result in misinformation and eco-anxiety. If the Curriculum for a Changed Climate is implemented, young people would be able to discuss and learn about our environment and sustainability in a safe, controlled environment, leaving them prepared for our ever-changing world.


Maya’s introduction was followed by an input from NAEE Chair, Bill Scott who explained why Teach the Future and its Adult Advisory Board set the project up. You can see what Bill said here.

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