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Summary of Project

The Climate Curriculum project addresses the urgent need to provide school curricula that take the climate crisis seriously. In many ways, children and young people are ahead of many adults in calling for this, through, amongst other things, the Fridays for Future movement. Although climate education is touched on in most schools, there is no systematic approach for schools to enable them to teach the critical key concepts across school.

This project develops the capacity of teachers to provide future-oriented curricula that address the needs of learners, provide them with the key sustainability competencies and prepare them to become active ‘agents of environmental change’.

In the project, 4 primary schools in Turkey, Germany, the UK and Ireland will collaborate with an NGO in the UK and one in Turkey to test innovative whole school and cross-curricular approaches which will aim to foster behavioural change through the introduction of a new methodology to learning about Climate Challenges. The development of a cross-school Climate Curriculum with age appropriate specific Learning Outcomes will enable young people to acquire the competencies and mindsets (through coherent year on year progression), where key ideas can be introduced at an appropriate age, and understanding of these is reinforced and deepened by further study in each successive year of their primary school education.

To address this our key objectives are to develop a ‘Climate Curriculum’ methodology suitable for each national context - adapted and owned by each school; identify and develop classroom resources to support this; train teachers in 4 primary schools to deliver The Climate Curriculum; create a guide, toolkit, website to disseminate to school networks in 4 countries.

The partners in this bid are 4 primary schools working in differing contexts, which all have a commitment and passion to provide forward-looking environment education addressing the UN Climate Goals. They are supported by 2 Education NGOs which are recognised for their expertise on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Learning.

This project will facilitate their collaboration and demonstrate the adaptability of the Climate Curriculum to different national contexts and curricula across Europe.

Year 1 of the project involves teacher training in Global Citizenship and Climate Change, and development of the Climate Curriculum Framework (with a set of learning objectives providing progressively deeper understanding of the complex issues involved as children move through primary school). Schools will identify existing resources and also develop new materials to address each learning objective and build up a Toolkit to support teaching of the Climate Curriculum.

Year 2 of the project sees the continuation and deepening of the Climate Curriculum and the introduction of Peer Education methodologies to facilitate pupils to share their passion for the planet and their future with their peers and with the wider community. Project partners will also develop a Guide on ‘How to implement a Climate Curriculum in your school’ with case studies and further information.

The results will be the development and testing of an innovative Climate Curriculum methodology with an accompanying resources set (including a Climate Curriculum Framework, a ’How to’ Implementation Guide, a resources Toolkit and a website). 4 schools will have tested this ground -breaking whole school approach. At least 120 teachers will have received training in climate education and peer learning. At least 100 further teachers and Head Teachers will have received cascaded training and be aware of the potential of the methodology. Over 1200 pupils will have taken part in peer learning events.
Towards the end of the project, partners will use the Framework, Toolkit and Guide to disseminate the project methodology more widely in their countries. Our children are setting us a challenge when they walk out on school strikes for the climate. Unless we take this challenge seriously, our education system will fail our children and young people, leaving them unprepared for a fast-changing and uncertain future. The Climate Curriculum has real potential to contribute to a European educational response to this challenge because it’s an approach which can be quickly and easily implemented by schools to teach about this critical issue and give young people the skills they need to overcome this “systemic threat to human civilisation”.

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