It is becoming increasingly accepted that education needs to play an important role in tackling the climate emergency. Our new programme helps schools to take their first steps towards zero carbon while using it as a valuable educational opportunity for pupils to learn about what we need to do and lead the change. 

We are currently accepting primary and secondary schools onto our Zero Carbon Schools programme for this year. The first two cohorts of schools have started in September and November, and we have one more cohort with places still available to start in January.

See below for more details and how to sign up.

  • Learn about climate change – what the causes are, what the effects for people and the natural world are and what we can all do to tackle it.
  • Learn about how your school creates carbon emissions – through energy, travel, food and purchasing and calculate an estimate of the school’s carbon emissions.
  • This is carried out as a cross-curricular project involving Maths, Geography, Science and English.
  • Support for pupils to then run projects that aim to reduce the school’s carbon emissions..
  • Materials for staff training sessions to support teachers to improve their understanding of climate and the natural world and improve their confidence in using it in lessons.
  • Support for the school to become a learning hub for the local community on how to create a zero carbon future.
  • Provided restrictions allow it, support to set up a parent group to hold community events such as clothes, books and toys swaps and awareness raising events on specific themes.

How Do I Get Started? 

This year we are running a version of the programme that teachers can implement all over the country. The programme is fully funded, so is free for schools to join. It includes:

  • Plans and resources for a series of 30 pupil sessions suitable for years 4-9.
  • A monthly online ‘how to’ session for teachers delivering the programme.
  • A buddy and peer support system.
  • Support to calculate the school’s carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it. 
Click here for more information and for details of how to sign up, or contact Beth Newman on if you have any questions.


In 2019 a survey commissioned by Oxfam found that 69% of teachers believe there should be more teaching about climate change in UK schools. It also found that 75% of teachers don’t feel they’ve received adequate training to educate students about climate change.

The Climate Action programme is a series of teacher training sessions to support teachers to help their school develop an adequate response to the climate crisis, include climate and the natural world into the curriculum and help students develop a greater connection to nature.
The sessions can be done as standalone, a series over the course of an academic year, or combined in a half or full day INSET.

See below for how this programme works and what the sessions cover

Climate Reality and Response
  • The reality and science of the climate and ecological crisis and how to develop an appropriate whole school response.
  • Outcomes include: staff given the opportunity to reflect on and connect to the reality of the situation that we face; start the process of embedding the protection of the living planet into the ethos of the school.
  • How to develop strong shared values in the school to enable the whole community to contribute positively to the natural world.
  • Outcomes include: staff contribute to a coherent set of values; teachers understand how these values can be regularly reinforced leading to positive environmental behaviour.
  • How to integrate climate and the natural world in teaching all subject areas to create a powerful curriculum intent.
  • Outcomes include: staff given the opportunity to develop individual lessons and termly plans on incorporating the natural world into the curriculum.
Outdoor Experiential Learning
  • A trained forest school teacher will take your staff to a local natural space to get them to experience the benefits of being outside and the learning opportunities that it offers.
  • Outcomes include: developing a connection to nature which improves mental health and wellbeing of staff; changing mindsets; team building.
  • This will be the most fun and memorable INSET day your staff will ever have!
 How Do I Get Started? 

Contact and we will be able to put together a one off session or series of sessions that fit your requirements.


See below for how this programme works

University Student Volunteer

A university student volunteer will be able to help to run the regular meetings of the Eco-Team and support the projects. For secondary schools they can also provide guidance on applications to and life at university.

Expert visits

Three visits across the year from an expert with experience of running highly successful environmental projects in schools to support the programme’s implementation.

• The first visit will be to meet key people at the school and to deliver an assembly to improve understanding of climate change and recruit an Eco-Team.
• The second is to accompany the student volunteer on their first visit.
• The third can be used for staff training, energy use reduction support or any other support that the school requires.
Support Materials

Guides, resources and templates to help plan and structure the work of the Eco-Team including resources on:

• Learning about the climate and ecological crises
• Running an energy saving campaign
• Reducing local air pollution
• Encouraging wildlife
• Reducing waste
• Growing food
• Reducing litter
• Holding an environment day

Access to other Eco-friendly opportunities

Save time looking for other opportunities to get involved in by looking at the Green Schools Project Noticeboard. This outlines details of a variety of environmental, cost saving and grant funding opportunities that support the programme.

On-going support

Support is available according to your needs at any stage from an expert with first-hand experience of implementing these projects.

How Do I Get Started?

Contact and we will provide information on the cost and help you to get started.

The Social Business Challenge

Planet Earth faces many environmental challenges. They can’t all be solved by charities and governments; businesses have a hugely important role to play.

The Social Business Challenge will inspire your Key Stage 4 or 5 students to rethink how business can operate and how they can drive positive change in society.

Through participation in the challenge pupils will develop enterprise, team work, presentation, creativity, problem solving and sustainability skills.

Can your students design a business to help solve an environmental problem?

How it Works

The challenge will be led by staff from Green Schools Project who will visit your school twice over a two or three-week period. During the first visit the Social Business concept will be introduced and the challenge set.

When we return, students will present their social business ideas, receive feedback and a winner chosen.


The day will start with a brief overview and explanation of the basic concept and theory of Social Business. To consolidate the learning students will take part in one or two of the following example activities:

  1. Draw a Social Business Professional – What are his or her skills and values?
  2. Watch this video featuring Muhammed Yunus, discuss the main differences between Social Business and Conventional Business.
  3. Study this Social Business – Work as a team to come up with a marketing slogan.
  4. Compare two courier businesses. One is a conventional business, one is a social business, discuss how they differ. Identify the environmental and social problems are they helping to cause or helping to solve.

To set the Social Business Challenge, Green Schools Project will describe an environmental problem that students can understand and connect with – e.g. local air or noise pollution; dog fouling in a local park; waste collection on intercity trains; biodiversity decline; localised flooding; climate change.

Students will be challenged to come up with a Social Business idea that helps to solve or ease the environmental problem outlined. Students will be given parameters to work within. They will have limits on how much budget their business will have to begin with and a time limit on how quickly they need to repay investors. The Social Business idea they present in Stage 3 and 4 will need to have a name, a defined target audience, an outline budget, a list of staff and a clear explanation of how they will help solve or ease the environmental problem.


Students, in groups of four, design a social business idea to solve the challenge outlined by Green Schools Project.

In their groups, students will go through the following steps:

  1. List the negative consequences of the problem we are trying to solve. List the reasons why you think the problem exists. Discuss what you think is being done. Is it working? Why? Why not? Brainstorm ideas for a product or service that you think could help.
  2. Decide on product or service that your Social Business will run.
  3. Work together to design your product or service and be ready to explain how it works to others.
  4. Explain how you will use your start-up or seed funding in the first 12 months.
  5. You can employ up to 4 members of staff in the first year, what will their roles be?
  6. How will you sell your product or service, who are your customers, how do they find out about you and where can they purchase from?

To end the day, students pitch their social business idea to Green Schools Project and their fellow pupils and receive feedback to help them refine their concept.

Each group will have five minutes to pitch their social business idea. Their presentation will need to focus on the product or service, how it solves or eases the problem and how they will sell it to customers.


Allowing some time for reflection, students finalise their Social Business idea and prepare a PowerPoint presentation or video to present to Green Schools Project during a one-hour follow up session two to three weeks after our first visit.

A winning group will be selected from the pitches.


To register your interest for a challenge day or half day for a group of up to 40 students and a follow up workshop, please send a please send a brief email to or call Henry Greenwood on 07760381493