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Rethinking Curriculum – Climate Education and Sustainability in primary schools

Climate education and sustainability is the big topic in education at the moment but  how do you ensure meaningful impact in your school and avoid the known areas of concern? 

We will bring together a group of expert practitioners and researchers to discuss climate education and sustainability curriculum, with an opportunity for discussion and questions for all audience members to learn about the why, how and what next in the implementation of a climate and sustainability focussed primary curriculum.

It will be particularly valuable to primary teachers, those involved in curriculum design more broadly, and all educators who want to learn about climate education and sustainability curriculum in practice.

This is being shared with you as part of ‘Rethinking Curriculum’, a project aiming to support and equip teachers and school leaders with the knowledge and skills to identify, plan and implement curriculum development work in a sustainable, context specific and impactful approach. 

Rethinking Curriculum Project –

About the session

This webinar is part of a series around curriculum enrichment in primary schools as part of the extensive project for the Chartered College, Rethinking Curriculum. This aims to support and equip teachers and school leaders with the knowledge and skills to identify, plan and implement curriculum development work in a sustainable, creative and place based approach. This will mean that all pupils will have access to an expansive, inspiring curriculum that connects them with local communities and enables them to lead healthy, fulfilled lives.

Our webinar series around curriculum enrichment aims to bring experts around curriculum implementation with a variety of foci from youth social action, play, oracy, pupil agency, sustainability and many more. This series will be brought to you over the academic year 2023-24 and will aim to share from experts and allow attendees to discuss and ask questions. You will also have resources from the project pilot made available to you in relation to the webinar topics.

Event attendees will have access not just to the event itself but to supporting materials and resources in order to start discussions in their settings.

The session will be hosted by Jenna Crittenden ( Curriculum Design Lead and part of the Professional Learning and Accreditation team)  from the Chartered College of Teaching, our guests TBC. This will include the opportunity for attendees to pose their own questions to our guest panel around their experiences in implementing social action in primary schools.

Professor Leigh Hoath, Leigh started teaching secondary science in the late 90s and moved into Higher Education where she has led on science teacher education in 3 universities before she was appointed as Professor of Science Education. She is now Deputy Dean for the School of Education at Leeds Trinity University and a consultant to BBC Teach where she created the Blue Planet Live teacher materials and their Regenerators education campaign. Leigh is the current Chair of the Association for Science Education and the Co-Founder of Climate Adapted Pathways for Education (CAPE).

Heena Dave, Heena is an ESRC-funded PhD student investigating the pedagogical content knowledge of climate change education and is the Co-Founder of Climate Adapted Pathways for Education (CAPE).  She has served as a Senior Curriculum Designer for the Teacher Development Trust, Learning Design Manager at Ambition Institute and Head of Science at Bedford Free School.  She has also co-authored ‘Cracking Key Concepts in Secondary Science’.

Jenn Plews OBE is the Trust Leader (Chief Executive Officer) Northern Star Academies Trust and a National Leader of Education (NLE), NPQEL.

Jenn is a Mum to teenage boys, Artist (printmaker) Environmentalist. She is immensely proud to lead Northern Star Academies Trust, a diverse Trust Partnership of primary and secondary schools, educating children from 2 years old to 19 years old along with a School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) spanning North and West Yorkshire. Previously, she served as a Secondary Headteacher (Skipton Girls’ High School) and was the lead for a Cohort 2 Teaching School Alliance. She has spent 29 years as a secondary educator both teacher and leader, working in five Local Authorities from the Isle of Wight to West and North Yorkshire.

Jenn vehemently believes in education system improvement and sees herself as a boundary-spanner working to build effective collaboration and partnerships and to champion the voice of the child. To this end, she recently served on the DfE Advisory Board for Yorkshire and Humber. As a mission-driven Trust, Northern Star have placed environmental sustainability at the heart of our strategic priorities and are implementing evidence-informed pedagogies to support climate-adapted curriculum pathways. Robust and distributed governance has enabled them to achieve sustainable and impactful social capital and strengthened their civic community relationships for the good of all across the partnership.

Jenn believes that school leadership is a complex endeavour – without the collective and united efforts of the whole school workforce, no school community can truly flourish and thrive.

Emma Vyvyan started her career in Countryside Management, then decided that teaching would be a wonderful way to share nature inspired learning with children. 26 years later she is now Headteacher at Sky Primary and Eden Primary Nursery who are developing such a curriculum with sustainability and being climate wise at the heart. The school has a learning beyond the classroom approach, developing a sense of place and belonging for the children and families, whilst creating real life and relevant learning opportunities.