search
date/time
Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
frontpagebusinessartscarslifestylefamilytravelsportsscitechnaturefictionCartoons
3:19 PM 20th June 2024
frontpage

Schools Month Of Climate Action Kicks Off!

 
Just days before the Restore Nature Now! march gathers in London thousands of schools and community groups across the UK have come together to take action for climate – and there’s still time to join in!

Students and teachers from Cumbria to Cornwall, Suffolk to Shropshire, have joined the Let’s Go Zero campaign’s 30 climate charities to show they want education to be zero carbon and protect the planet.

In the month-long event’s first week we’ve seen schools holding climate assemblies.

Henry Green, Founder and Managing Director of Green Schools Project, one of the Let’s Go Zero organisations running this month of action, said:
“It's so great to see schools taking part in the Climate Action Countdown. It's clear that children and young people want more opportunities to tackle the climate and nature crisis. The fun activities on offer to schools are a great way to get involved and Green Schools Project is very proud to support.”


Sarah Perry, Eco and Sustainability Lead at St Patrick's C E Primary Academy in Solihull, which is one of the thousands of schools signed up, said:
"Students have written their manifestos of what they would like to see our school do to move forward with climate change; coloured posters, and then surprised the school by singing the SOS from the Kids climate song. We’re really excited to complete more of the activities across the school over the coming weeks.”


Christ Church (Erith) CoE Primary in London  kickstarted their Climate Action Countdown with an assembly from one of our climate action experts! They're now powered up to take action on climate!
Christ Church (Erith) CoE Primary in London kickstarted their Climate Action Countdown with an assembly from one of our climate action experts! They're now powered up to take action on climate!
The Climate Action Countdown is the most exciting, fun and collaborative climate event for schools this year. Four weeks of climate action activities and events are taking place from 7 June to 5 July 2024 – helping to inspire and engage students with fun activities related to reducing their own and their schools’ carbon footprints and protecting nature.

Organised by the Let's Go Zero coalition campaign, which supports schools to be zero carbon by 2030 organisations have created activities from holding uniform swap shops, spotlighting green careers, vertical gardening, building bug houses, active travel adventures, petitioning and sustainability bingo. There is something for everyone and every school to get involved with.

Alex Green, Head of Let’s Go Zero says:
“This is an amazing month of climate action inspiring and involve schools from all around the country. All the activities are fun and it’s a really eclectic pick-and-mix range of things to do – from singing to writing manifestos.

“You can take part as a whole school, or do the activities as a class, eco-club, or individual student. catering teams, caretakers and other staff can also help their school get involved. And we’d love home schoolers to join us too. By doing these fun and engaging activities, schools can take the first steps on their journey to being zero carbon. We know that the Countdown will inspire even more schools to be part of the growing Let’s Go Zero campaign, working to help all UK schools be zero carbon by 2030.”


St Peter's Catholic Primary School in Manchester welcomes Let’s Go Zero’s climate action team to their school
St Peter's Catholic Primary School in Manchester welcomes Let’s Go Zero’s climate action team to their school
Group activities like this are also important for mental health and reducing climate anxiety among children and young people, says Ms Green: “According to a survey by mental health charity Place2Be, 43% of children (8-16yrs) have worried about climate change / the environment in the last 3 months*. We know that positive action is what helps children stop worrying and engage with what can be very overwhelming information about climate. So this month will provide a whole range of ideas about how to act positively, improve schools, protect the environment, and get students outside enjoying nature.”

There is special ‘Eco-anxiety’ guidance to teachers on how to talk about climate change with students to make them feel more confident about their future while addressing the facts.

Sam Luker, Chief Operating Officer, Trinitas Academy Trust, said:
“We have 7 schools in South London and jumped at the chance of joining Let’s Go Zero’s Climate Action Countdown in June with engaging activities for the pupils, awareness assemblies and the creation of their own manifestos. And behind the scenes the Let’s Go Zero Climate Action Advisers have supported Trust leaders to draft our climate action plan and conduct site audits. This free support has been invaluable to the Trust and I don’t know how we would have got to this point without their help.”


Lee Hughes, Chief Operating Officer from Peterborough Diocese Education Trust, said:
“The Climate Action Countdown is an outstanding opportunity for our school communities to come together and show leadership in the fight to reduce carbon emissions and act positively on the government’s climate change strategy for education.

“As a Multi Academy Trust of 33 Church of England primary schools, we aspire to act now, engaging our staff, children and communities to make sustainable changes. No action is too small, and we want to encourage our schools to embrace the climate challenge and show that positive steps can be taken, even with really old estates!"


Penshurst Primary School colouring in Climate Action Countdown posters to spread awareness about climate change
Penshurst Primary School colouring in Climate Action Countdown posters to spread awareness about climate change
Schools and communities access a range of free Climate Action Countdown resources – including activity packs, assemblies, music videos, posters, quizzes, worksheets and a calendar of daily inspiration. Suggested activities to choose from including learning the SOS For the Earth song, enjoying a plant-based picnic, setting up a Pop-Up Clothes Swap Shop, or holding a talking session on eco-anxiety.

There is also a step-by-step activity guide to explain each day’s challenge and regular ‘how-to’ emails to make the month’s activities as easy for busy teachers and community leaders as possible – and the chance to win some fantastic sustainability prizes along the way.

Charlotte Milner, Schools Climate Action Manager for Brent Council, said:
“Schools in the Kingsbury and Kenton areas are teaming up for the Kingsbury and Kenton Climate Action Month. The schools are taking part in several of the Climate Action Countdown initiatives, including Sing to Save the Earth, the Big Weekend Switch-Off and What a Waste. Pupils are taking part in the competition with Brent by sending photos of themselves and their households engaging in sustainable behaviours such as recycling and planting! We can’t wait to see how these activities support young people in making an impact on the local community!”


Throckley Primary School in Newcastle have been sorting through the woodland litter to see what they can recycle. Great job Throckley!
Throckley Primary School in Newcastle have been sorting through the woodland litter to see what they can recycle. Great job Throckley!
More than one in ten UK schools are signed up to Let’s Go Zero and are supported by coalition members which include WWF, Surfers Against Sewage, Ashden, Fairtrade, Ecoschools, Global Action Plan, Sustrans, The Tree Council, Energy Spark, ProVeg, Young Climate Warriors, Green School’s Project, Carbon Trust, Climate Friendly Schools, Modeshift Stars, Young People’s Trust for the Environment, and WRAP, all of which have created activity days during the month and provided resources for schools. Climate Action Experts are also available to come to schools and deliver assemblies.

Sign up to the Climate Action Countdown here then share your climate activities by tagging @letsgo_zero on social media and using the hashtag #ClimateActionCountdown.