Climate Change and Nature Conservation: Education

(asked on 1st February 2021) - View Source

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) the causes of climate change, and (2) actions that can benefit and decrease any negative impact on the natural environment, are taught in schools in England.

Answered by
Baroness Berridge Portrait
Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
This question was answered on 15th February 2021

It is vital that young people are taught about climate change. For this reason, related topics are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. In primary science and geography, pupils are given a firm foundation for the further study of the environment in secondary school. For example, in primary science, pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. They will learn about animals’ habitats, including that changes to the environment may pose dangers to living things. In primary geography, pupils will be taught about seasonal and daily weather patterns, climate zones and human geography, including land use, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.

In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. In secondary geography, pupils will look at how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate. As part of GCSE geography, pupils will look at the causes, consequences of, and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, the department also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable pupils to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

School and teachers can go beyond the topics set out in the national curriculum, or do more in-depth teaching of these topic areas, if they so wish.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
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