Frequently asked questions
Designed by teachers, the Zero Carbon Schools programme contains a comprehensive set of session plans, activities and support to embed climate and nature education into the way schools educate and function.
The programme guides pupils through a learning journey: exploring the causes and effects of climate change; investigating carbon emissions in their school; leading projects to reduce their school’s footprint; inspiring others to make changes in their wider community.
Nature connection is a vital part of the programme too, with outdoor sessions designed to enhance pupil wellbeing and foster an appreciation for the natural world.
To support teachers, the programme includes two CPD sessions to encourage staff to join in on the journey to zero carbon and feel confident in bringing climate and nature into all areas of their teaching.
With eco-anxiety on the rise, we know young people want climate change to be taught more widely in schools and to be given opportunities to get involved in tackling it.
If you want to involve your pupils in an exciting project-based learning experience that will help to reduce the carbon emissions of your school, then look no further! Register an interest now.
The programme incorporates the key knowledge, skills and values required to empower pupils to lead change in their school community.
The programme develops pupils’ knowledge of climate change, taking a global lens and considering the effects of a warming climate on different communities and ecosystems around the world.
With the programme revolving around active and project-based learning, the weekly sessions are enjoyable and will help pupils to develop key skills such as teamwork, leadership, problem solving and communication.
The programme aligns with national curriculum subjects for Key Stages 2 and 3, including aspects of Geography, Science, English, Maths, PSHE, and Art.
We’ve built in opportunities for young people to appreciate nature as part of the programme, with engaging activities to get pupils outside, connecting with the natural world.
26 fully resourced session plans and presentations for teachers to use with their classes.
Our team will work with your school to calculate an estimate of your annual carbon emissions. We will then turn this data into pupil-friendly sessions, involving pupils in the calculations process.
We will lead half termly online support sessions. These will provide an opportunity for teachers to receive guidance on the programme content, ask any questions they have and share good practice with other schools taking their first steps on the path to Zero Carbon. For schools around the country, this is a fantastic chance to collaborate with other climate education champions.
As part of the programme, there are two CPD sessions to encourage and include staff on the journey to zero carbon. These can be delivered by you, or we can deliver them as part of the premium programme.
Our friendly team are only an email away and happy to support with queries and questions along the way!
Due to the cross-curricular nature of the programme, this is a fantastic way to embed learning through a topic that pupils care about in a 45 minute – 1 hour session each week. For primary schools this is often best done with Year 5 within curriculum time.
For secondary schools, we understand that curriculum time is harder to find. A few schools have managed to deliver it in Geography, PSHE and RE lessons. Most secondary schools, however, have delivered it with their Eco-Teams in a lunchtime or after school session.
Whatever works for your school, we are here to support and guide you throughout the academic year. We believe that it is way better for schools to be engaging with climate education in the best way they can, rather than not at all.
We understand that school curriculums are already full and planned well-ahead in advance. However, we believe the time to act is now and prioritising climate education is well overdue.
To support you with getting your leadership team on board, we are more than happy to offer 1:1 calls or provide you with samples of the resources so you can see what you’re committing to before signing up.
We also provide CPD sessions as part of the remote programme to support all school staff to be up to date with climate education and able to talk confidently with pupils about this topic.
One of the main reasons climate education is not happening consistently in schools is because it can sometimes rest on the shoulders of one particular teacher. Whilst we require regular contact with the school coordinator, it’s important that the whole school sees this programme as a commitment and gets on board. This will help to inspire change on a larger scale and demonstrate to pupils that the school is taking their future seriously..
We know how hard our teachers work and how busy the school year can be. That’s why we want the Zero Carbon Schools programme to be as easy to follow as possible. We provide session resources, 1:1 support with the carbon calculations and ‘how to’ sessions to make sure teachers are confident leading the sessions. We’re also always on hand to help with any queries and specific questions you might have.
However, reducing carbon emissions is a big and important job so this programme requires commitment from the school. You will need to invest time to calculate your school’s total emissions, support student projects and enact real change. That’s what makes it so exciting… and we’ll be there to help you!
For 12 years the Department for Education has done nothing to support schools to be more sustainable and develop climate education, so we think this strategy is an important step forward.
By 2025 schools will be required to have a sustainability lead and have a climate action plan in place. We know that many schools already have teachers leading their work on sustainability, and we want to help them to do more. Our programme will support schools to develop a climate action plan, including having an estimate of the carbon footprint and how to involve pupils in reducing it.
There will be a Climate Leaders Award and the development of a National Education Nature Park. Our programme will provide evidence that pupils can use to gain the award, and projects that they run can help the school to improve biodiversity which is the aim of the nature park initiative.
Overall we think that the strategy doesn’t go far enough and its time frames are too slow. We want to work with schools who want to get on with developing an adequate response to the climate crisis, to educate their pupils about it and involve them in the solutions that give them hope for a greener future.