Educating for a Sustainable Future: United Curriculum’s Commitment
Embracing sustainability in education is a vital step towards creating a more environmentally conscious and responsible generation. Elizabeth Lupton, a leading expert in sustainability education, provides an in-depth look into how United Learning's Sustainability curriculum is shaping young minds and fostering a sense of responsibility towards the planet.
A Coherent and Embedded Curriculum
"At United Learning, we're committed to embedding sustainability throughout our curriculum, from nursery to sixth form," explains Elizabeth. The primary phase of the curriculum has been meticulously audited, mapped, and sequenced to ensure that sustainability concepts are seamlessly integrated, offering pupilsa comprehensive understanding.
Weaving Sustainability across Subjects
The United Curriculum meticulously sequences knowledge and concepts across subjects. For example, understanding of waste management begins in early years with simple routines and progressively builds understanding throughout primary school.
In Year 1 in Religion & Worldviews, pupils consider stewardship and why the world may no longer be described as it was in Genesis, as ‘very good’, with a focus on litter. In Year 2 Science, pupils are taught the definition of ‘sustainability’ and are taught explicitly to reduce, reuse and recycle. In Year 3 science (and Food), pupils consider food waste and how this can be reduced, and build on this in Year 5 Geography in the context of global trade and food miles. In Year 6, pupils in Geography explore plastic pollution, and build on this in both Art, where they exhibit an installation using non-recyclable plastic, and in English, where pupils write a persuasive campaign to reduce waste, which draws on all the knowledge gained in this strand.
This structured approach ensures that pupils develop a deep comprehension of sustainability concepts.
Fostering Responsibility through Knowledge
"The sustainability curriculum is objective in the way that it teaches issues like climate change," says Elizabeth. It equips pupils with factual information, presenting case studies that showcase how positive action has made a difference. This approach empowers pupils to make informed choices about their impact on the environment.
Embracing Global and Local Perspectives
The United Curriculum addresses both global and local perspectives on sustainability. It teaches pupils about global issues, such as deforestation and climate change, while also encouraging them to consider their impact on their local environment and community.
Resources for Seamless Implementation
The Sustainability curriculum is supported by a dedicated document outlining the development of key strands, along with lesson resources that integrate sustainability seamlessly. Teachers have access to detailed guidance and background subject knowledge, streamlining the delivery of effective sustainability lessons.
Continuous Professional Development
Elizabeth highlights the ongoing commitment to supporting teachers in implementing the Sustainability curriculum. Each unit includes background knowledge for teachers, and ongoing efforts are in place to provide a comprehensive Subject Knowledge Pack to enhance curriculum delivery.
Nurturing Responsible Global Citizens
With Elizabeth Lupton's insights, it is clear that United Learning's Sustainability curriculum is not only imparting knowledge but also instilling a sense of responsibility in pupils. Through carefully sequenced content, thoughtful integration across subjects, and a wealth of resources, United Learning is shaping the environmentally conscious leaders of tomorrow.