Categories
Climate Change maths Secondary Weather

Maths Resources for Scotland’s Curriculum

maths for planet earth

We are delighted to have worked with Education Scotland to tweak some of our maths resources to align them with Scotland’s Curriculum. 

These resources were developed a couple of years ago in conjunction with MEI, and allow teachers to demonstrate to their students how their maths skills are relevant to their understanding of issues associated with climate change.  

Categories
Climate Change Teaching

Quality Control Framework

Climate Change Quality Mark Pedagogy

Climate Change Education Resources

Part 1- Self-assessment

Resource author/ publisher to complete:

  1. Resource title
  2. Type of resource (see definition*)
  3. Resource location (url or similar) with any required access passwords
  4.  Level/ age
  5. Curriculum links
  6. Give an overview of the climate content in this resource (is it a small/ medium/ major part of the resource).
  7. Are references given within the resource/ teacher support materials for all climate change information used?
  8. If not, what was the source for any climate change information included?
  9. Are you able to update the resource based on this evaluation?
  10.  What pedagogical approach is the resource based on?
  11.  Have you referred to any existing research on effective climate pedagogy (please give reference if you have)?
  12. Are the learning objectives, including knowledge and/ or skills, stated in the resource? If not, please list them.

Part 2 – Expert Assessment

Climate Content

  1. Are the links to climate change explicit?
  2. Are the references given/ sources used reputable, reliable and up to date?**
  3. Has the author accurately conveyed information from the sources:
    – Are there any significant errors in the content (using latest IPCC report and similar for authoritative guidance)?
    – Are there any minor errors in the content (using latest IPCC report and similar for authoritative guidance)?
  4.  Is there anything significant missing e.g. a caveat, uncertainty statement, other important/ relevant piece of information etc.?
  5. Are all the terms defined and all the graphs/maps well explained?
  6. Could the resource be used out of context, to mislead or to promote misconceptions?
  7. Does the resource meet the required political guidance to schools***

Part 3 – Expert Assessment

Pedagogy and Curriculum Relevance

a) Climate change specific
i. Are the references given for climate pedagogy reputable and up to date?
ii. Does the resource promote student resilience through development of appropriate knowledge/ skills?
b) General

i. Is the chosen pedagogical approach appropriate and appropriately used?
ii. Clear, appropriate and beneficial/ rich learning objectives and achievable learning outcomes
iii. Appropriate pitch and progression of knowledge and skills with links to prior (and future) learning.
iv. Curriculum alignment – clearly stated and appropriate, both in terms of knowledge and skills and broader subject specific way of thinking (e.g. science capitol, thinking like a geographer etc.)
v. Material presented in an accessible and engaging way.
vi. Promotes effective learning.
vii. Supports adaptive teaching.
viii. Inclusive – is the material relevant to the lives and/ or future careers of all students?
ix. Teacher support/ guidance available – enabling the resource to be used effectively in the classroom and promoting teachers’ own content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and professional development.

* The definition used by CooperGibson research (2018), in their independent work for the Department for Education, was as follows:

  • Online/printed resources: such as worksheets, lesson plan templates, videos that can be accessed via websites (either requiring membership/subscription or freely available to download).
  • Digital resources: mobile applications, software packages and tools that are interactive and can be used for setting and completing tasks (e.g. on a computer/mobile device).
  • Physical resources: predominantly textbooks and literary texts/library books, and revision guides.

** appropriate sources include recent IPCC reports, Carbon Brief, Global Carbon Atlas, Climate Action Tracker, NOAA, Met Office, Royal Meteorological Society/ MetLink, UKCP, WMO

*** Teaching about climate change, and the scientific facts and evidence behind this, does not constitute teaching about a political issue and schools do not need to present misinformation or unsubstantiated claims to provide balance. However, in climate education there is relevant political and scientific debate about the best ways that climate change can be addressed – there are different views and opinions, and different solutions. Debates on political and policy change need to be grounded in wider citizenship education on democracy and democratic values and topics should be handled in line with schools’ legal duties on political impartiality (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/political-impartiality-in-schools )

 

The Quality Control framework was developed as part of the National Climate Education Action Plan and in partnership with other organisations. 

A list of resources which have been successfully assessed against these criteria can be found here.

Categories
Climate Change Schools Teaching

Easy Wins for Climate Change Education in England

climate change in the curriculum

There are many opportunities for better climate change education within the current secondary school curriculum in England, reveals a report published by the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS).

A key finding was that, through supplying teacher support and assessment resources, very rapid improvements can be made to the climate literacy of English school leavers.

RMetS research reviewed the GCSE specifications across all subjects and exam boards and highlighted how many concepts already taught in schools are relevant to students’  understanding of climate change and its relevance to their future lives and careers.

Climate change is traditionally taught in subjects such as Geography, however not all students take Geography at GCSE meaning that a considerable proportion of students leave school without a basic understanding of climate change. Also, there are many aspects of climate change that are relevant to subjects like Design and Technology, Art, or English.

Earlier research published by RMetS in 2022, shows that there are notable gaps in how much students understand about climate change. However, students are concerned and believe that climate change will affect them personally. With the right support and without increasing teacher workload, teachers can help students to make the connection between what they are already learning in school and climate change.

Prof Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the RMetS, said: “The Royal Meteorological Society is working to ensure that every student in the UK leaves school with at least a basic understanding of climate change.

“This valuable report shows how teachers can be supported to deliver high quality climate education, within the current curriculum, to equip students with the knowledge and tools to engage with messages about climate change from the media and politicians, and to make decisions about their own lives and careers.

“We are indebted to the RMetS members involved in the review; without their support and expertise this work would have not been possible.”

For media enquiries, please contact Angela Lovell, Communications Manager (Royal Meteorological Society), at angela.lovell@rmets.org  or +44 (0)118 208 0483.

 

Categories
Climate Change Schools

Climate Literacy Survey Extended

climate literacy

We are very excited to announce that, in partnership with Ecorys and Ipsos and funded by the DfE, we will be extending the climate literacy survey of school leavers which we first ran in 2022.

Our baseline findings in 2022 highlighted that, despite around half of school leavers (54%) saying they have had education on climate change in the past year, confusion and misunderstanding prevail.

The DfE funding will allow us to broaden the annual survey, in terms of both the numbers of questions we are asking young people, and the number of young people being surveyed. 

Ecorys will also be evaluating the National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award, delivered by the Natural History Museum partnership. The programmes aim to give young people more outdoor learning opportunities, connect to nature, learn about climate change, and take positive action while developing numeracy and data science skills. The evaluation, funded by the DfE, will assess how the programmes run in practice and benefit education estates and young people.

 

Categories
Climate Change CPD

5 Climate Change Websites to Keep an Eye on

Here are 5(ish) websites which anyone teaching about climate change may find useful: 

The IPCC website for the latest reports. 

Carbon Brief for current articles covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. 

Gridwatch for live statistics showing UK energy production or mygridgb

The Global Carbon Atlas  to explore and visualize the most up-to-date data on carbon fluxes resulting from human activities and natural processes.

The Climate Action Tracker tracks international government climate action and measures it against the globally agreed Paris Agreement aim of “holding warming well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.”

NOAA monthly reports on global climate/ extreme weather events. 

Climate Analytics for data and analysis. 

Other sources of climate data:

Copernicus maps and time-series of all sorts of climate data sources (CMIP5/6, reanalyses, regional climate models, etc.) for several variables. With the possibility of customizing the plots and exporting the data.

The IPCC interactive atlas

CRU data

Categories
Climate Change Schools

Maths for Planet Earth

Empowering the next generation of climate critical thinkers

Over the past year, The Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) has been working with the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford and MEI (Maths, Education, Innovation) to provide free maths teaching and learning resources. Having targeted resources for different school subjects will help integrate the knowledge of climate change into the broader school curriculum.

This work follows new research published last year by the Royal Meteorological Society in partnership with Ipsos, showing an opportunity for better climate education in schools in Great Britain. Just over half of pupils in their final academic year (aged 15 to 16 years old) could recall being taught about climate change in the past year, with one in five (20%) believing that they either have never been taught about it or couldn’t recall when they were taught about it. This upcoming generation have signalled that they need (and evidence in the media that they want) to be better informed on how they can help be part of the solution of one of the most important challenges our planet will ever face, and scientists alone can’t fix the problem. It requires a whole range of skills and expertise, which is why it is important to look at existing opportunities to incorporate climate change in the current curriculum across all subjects. Learning maths can help raise critical thinkers, which is an essential tool for anyone interested in climate issues, whether they are producing the solutions or consuming the information.

Prof Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the Royal Meteorological Society, said:
“Maths is key to the climate literacy of school leavers – not just for those considering a career in meteorology. We are delighted that, through working with MEI and the University of Oxford, we can support teachers in demonstrating to their students the relevance of the numeracy and data literacy skills they have learned. Incorporating these resources into lesson plans can help inform the decisions students will have to make in their personal and professional lives about mitigating and adapting to climate change. It will also help with the skills they need for green jobs and their understanding of the messages they see in the media about climate change.”

The existing ’Maths for Planet Earth’ resources from the University of Oxford will now be housed alongside other weather and climate educational materials on the RMetS education website MetLink. All the questions in these resources have taken existing and previous GCSE and A-Level exam questions but adapted the context to a climate change theme. The same skills are needed to solve the example problems, enabling teachers to integrate climate change into the school curriculum beyond the usual subjects.

Sitting alongside these on MetLink is a set of new resources developed with MEI to engage young people with climate issues and show the relevance of maths to climate change and meteorology. The resources aim to empower students to understand information and data and to highlight how maths skills can be used to examine and evaluate issues and draw evidence-based conclusions. Different versions have been developed for Key Stage 3 and Core Maths lessons. The Core Maths versions are also suitable for the SQA’s Applications of Mathematics qualification. Each set of resources contains session notes, presentations, and printable sheets for students.

The Trees for Net Zero resources are designed to be delivered over one or two lessons, looking at the topic in depth using skills of estimation as well as interpreting and plotting data in context.

The Trees and Carbon Capture resources are standalone activities that can be delivered as part of a lesson, a filtered version of the Trees for Net Zero sets.

The dynamic Extreme Weather activities use Desmos tools to investigate connections between global warming and extreme cold weather by calculating probabilities. This activity can form part of a lesson.

The EVolution of Vehicle Sales resources explores vehicle registration data with links to proportional reasoning and estimation/modelling. These can be delivered as part of a lesson.

All resources embed the development of analysis and comparison techniques, as well as opportunities to make conjectures and present conclusions.

Categories
Climate Change Schools

COP27 Bulletin for Schools

Monday 7th November – Bulletin now available – sorry for the slight delay. 

COP27 logo

We estimate that over 50,000 young people saw our daily bulletins from COP26, aimed at putting the negotiations and the media and social media messages from them into a relevant context. 

We’re not able to do the same from COP27, but RMetS Chief Executive Liz Bentley will be there and will record one bulletin prior to the start of the event. It should be on our YouTube channel in time for school on the morning of Monday 7th November. 

Categories
Climate Change Geography Secondary Teaching

New IPCC linked teaching resources

 
We are delighted to have worked with the Royal Geographical Society to produce more climate change teaching resources for A Level geography. These are based on the IPCC Working Group II (Impact, Adaptation and Vulnerability) and WGIII (Mitigation) reports. 
 

Energy Security in Africa

  • The focus of these resources are to explore climate change and energy security in Africa.
  • Hydro electric power has been identified as a more sustainable way for Africa to achieve energy security in the future.
  • Throughout the continent of Africa there are already many hydroelectric power stations, with many more planned over the coming decades.
  • Climate change could potentially impact upon these plans. These resources focus upon that relationship.
 Lesson and Homework Resources

Climate Change in Africa

Africa is one of the lowest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, yet key development sectors are already experiencing widespread losses and damages attributed to human-induced climate change.

Students complete a knowledge organiser. 

Extreme Heat in Urban Africa

Climate change has increased heat waves (high confidence) and drought (medium confidence) on land, and doubled the probability of marine heatwaves around most of Africa.

Heat waves on land, in lakes and in the ocean will increase considerably in magnitude and duration with increasing global warming.

Most African countries will enter unprecedented high temperature climates earlier in this century than generally wealthier, higher latitude countries, emphasising the urgency of adaptation measures in Africa.

Lesson and Homework resources

Wildfire

Wildfire is a natural and essential part of many forest, woodland and grassland ecosystems, killing pests, releasing plant seeds to sprout, thinning out small trees and serving other functions essential for ecosystem health. Excessive wildfire, however, can kill people, the smoke can cause breathing illnesses, destroy homes and damage ecosystems.

Students complete a knowledge organiser. 

Categories
Climate Change Teaching

Teachers Needed: Curriculum Mapping

Earlier this year, we asked climate change experts from a wide range of subject disciplines to look for opportunities to teach about climate change in the current English GCSE specifications and KS3 curriculum. 

Over 100 people responded, and between them reviewed well over a hundred documents. 

Teachers! Now we need your input – which of the suggestions they made would actually work in a secondary classroom? Do you have any more suggestions to add?

What are the easiest ways for teachers to show their students the relevance of the current curriculum to climate change? 

If you think you have a few minutes to be able to help, by looking at the suggested opportunities in your subject area, please contact education@rmets.org and tell us which subjects you teach. 

We plan to ask similar questions of young people, and to share the information we collect with a diverse range of other organisations as well as use it ourselves to improve the support we offer to teachers.

We also plan to extend the project to Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland.

 

Categories
Climate Change Geography Science Teaching

Resources for COP27

We have produced some curriculum linked resources for schools to use in the build up to and during COP27 this year.

For geography teachers: a 11-14(+) resources looking at population growth, pyramids, urbanisation and the climate impacts of construction.

For maths teachers: an 11-14 or possibly Core maths resource applying Pythagoras’ theorem to the problem of efficient road construction.

For science (physics) teachers: a 13-16 resource looking at energy transfer and electricity production in the Benban solar farm.