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Blog Climate Change Extreme weather Fieldwork Geography Microclimates Schools

New Resource: Heatwave Fieldwork in the School Estate

In conjunction with the Field Studies Council, we have developed a new, flexible resource for secondary geography lessons which allows students to explore the impact of, and potential for adaptation to, extreme heat events (heatwaves) in their schools – both inside and outside. 

Launched in time for the 2024 National Festival of Fieldwork, these resources can also be used to give school Sustainability Leads some of the information they need when completing their Climate Action Plans. 

Field Studies Council
National Fieldwork Festival
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Blog Climate Change Curriculum Schools Teaching

Greening Curriculum Guidance Published

UNESCO’s Greening Education Partnership has published this extremely comprehensive report.

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Climate Climate Change CPD Geography Microclimates Schools Secondary Teaching Weather

Weather and Climate: updated Teachers’ CPD

weather and climate teachers guideWe have just updated and extended the ‘More for Teachers’ information associated with our award-winning Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide. These information sheets are designed to provide CPD for teachers of geography who would like to improve or update their weather and climate subject knowledge. 

The teachers’ guide and the accompanying online teaching resources, aim to give UK geography teachers all that they need to deliver relevant, engaging and thorough weather and climate lessons to 11–14+ year old students. They are not linked to any specific curriculum but should be easily adaptable to all.

There are 20 topics or chapters. Across these, there are three threads or paths which can be taken through the online resources, depending on the teaching time available:

Basic weather: Weather in our lives, weather measurements, weather and climate, global atmospheric circulation, global climate zones, air masses, pressure and wind and water in the atmosphere

Climate: Weather and climate, global atmospheric circulation, global climate zones, past climate change, polar climate, hot deserts, changing global climate, UK climate, changing UK climate, the climate crisis

Extending weather: Anticyclones, depressions, microclimates, urban weather, tropical cyclones.

The Royal Meteorological Society believes that:

  • all students should leave school with basic weather literacy that allows them to understand the weather that affects them, their leisure activities and the careers they choose to follow
  • every student should leave school with basic climate literacy that would enable them to engage with the messages put forward by the media or politicians and to make informed decisions about their own opportunities and responsibilities.

To this end, we have embedded a climate change thread throughout the online resources, showing its relevance to both weather and climate. An understanding of weather and climate is fundamental to an understanding of climate change.

There is a progression of knowledge through the topics, supported by review and assessment activities. The resources also progressively develop key geographical skills such as data, mapwork, GIS, fieldwork and critical thinking.

We also include common misconceptions which should be challenged in the classroom.

Many of the online teaching resources are available with standard or easier versions, as well as extension or alternative activities.

Find the scheme of work, teaching resources, background information for teachers, as well as the Teachers’ Guide here

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Schools Teaching

MetMark Scheme Update

Congratulations to the following schools which achieved a MetMark in 2023:

Didcot Girls’ School
Masefield Primary School
Kilmarnock Academy
Tanbridge House
Outwood Primary Academy
Danes Hill School

The MetMark is awarded by the Royal Meteorological Society and Met Office which recognises excellence in weather and climate teaching, over and above the normal requirements of the National Curriculum or exam specifications. 

However, we have now made the difficult decision to end this initiative – congratulations to every setting which successfully applied for a MetMark over the last 9 years.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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
Schools Science Secondary

Isaac Physics Resources

Isaac Physics logo

Over the course of 2022 we produced questions for Isaac Physics, an online study tool developed by the University of Cambridge. Isaac Physics questions are self marking practice questions for secondary school and undergraduate scientists. 

They cover a diverse range of applications of physics in weather and climate, including sea level rise, radar frequencies,  aerosols, oceanic circulation, tidal barrages etc. 

These questions are now live and fully searchable on the Isaac Physics website. 

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 CPD Research Schools Teaching

Panel Discussion: Climate Literacy in 2022 School Leavers

Join experts from the worlds of education policy and climate science to explore the findings of a climate literacy survey conducted earlier this year on the Royal Meteorological Society’s behalf by Ipsos MORI as part of their Young Person’s Omnibus survey.

The questions asked in the survey were developed by the Royal Meteorological Society, in conjunction with many of their members, including authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, to ensure that they give a fair assessment of climate literacy. The questions will remain relevant in years to come as we hope to repeat the survey annually to assess the impact of interventions on climate change education in schools.

The ongoing results of the survey will inform the work of the Royal Meteorological Society, supporting teachers of all subjects to make use of the opportunities within the current curricula and exam specifications to teach climate change.

This free 50-minute virtual event will include an overview of the findings of the survey, panel discussion and Q&A.

The panel will include:

  • Prof Andrew Charlton-Perez, Head of School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences, University of Reading and Professor of Meteorology
  • Dr Sylvia Knight, Head of Education, Royal Meteorological Society
  • Dr Pippa Bailey, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability Practice, Ipsos MORI
  • Carl Ward, Chief Executive, City Learning Trust and Chair of the Foundation for Education Development