Manchester Metropolitan University is part of a new partnership which aims to help young people across the UK learn more about nature and biodiversity.
Announced at COP27 by The Department for Education (DfE), the new National Education Nature Park project will see the grounds of nurseries, schools, colleges and universities utilised to improve biodiversity – helping the UK achieve its climate goals and create more climate-resilient local communities.
Alongside this, the partnership will deliver a programme of support for teachers in Early Years (EYFS), primary and secondary schools to teach children of all ages about nature, biodiversity and sustainable lifestyles.
The new project will form part of the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy delivering a programme of support for teachers in Early Years (EYFS), primary and secondary schools.
Work in the programme will include:
- Supporting educators through developing curriculum-based climate education resources, lesson plans, and schemes of work from EYFS and Key Stages 1 to 4.
- Inspiring and supporting students to play a driving role in mapping and monitoring biodiversity on their grounds using citizen science and taking action to enhance it.
- A flexible and deliverable recognition scheme, that is easy for teachers to implement, with broad learning and skills outcomes achievable at each stage.
The programme which will be funded by the Department for Education aims to make sure every young person in England has the opportunity to develop a meaningful connection to nature, understand biodiversity and make a positive difference by taking action to enhance, nurture and learn about nature in their school grounds.
The programme outlines how education will play a role in helping to tackle the climate crisis by providing current and future generations with the skills and knowledge to create more sustainable environments.
Led by the Natural History Museum in collaboration with the RHS, other partners include The Royal Society, Royal Geographical Society, Manchester Metropolitan University, Learning through Landscapes, National Biodiversity Network Trust and UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
As the official university partner of the scheme, Manchester Metropolitan University will support teachers to develop pupils’ skills and knowledge in biodiversity and sustainability. The programme will see the university’s facilities and expertise shared with local schools and colleges.
Professor Liz Price, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sustainability at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “As a University Champion for the DfE National Education Nature Park scheme and one of the most sustainable universities in the UK, we are delighted to work in partnership to engage children, young people and their educators with nature, by sharing the University’s facilities and expertise with schools and communities”
As the most sustainable university in the UK, Manchester Metropolitan hopes to create opportunities for young people and children to connect with and protect nature by teaching biodiversity mapping, data collection and analysis skills.
Students and pupils will also be encouraged to learn about sustainability through in-school challenges like cutting food waste, saving energy and using less plastic – which in turn will earn them credits towards the new Climate Leaders Award.
The RHS will also help schools to encourage young people to garden through the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. Register your school today to receive details of how your school can be involved as well as a free welcome pack which includes seeds, educational posters and more.