Shelley Monk - Geography Subject Advisor
We know many young people are interested in climate change, and they want to know what contribution they can make. In this blog I explain the aims of COP and present some ideas and resources you might like to use and share with your students.
The United Nations climate change Conference of the Parties (COP) started in Glasgow on 31 October 2021 and will run until 12 Nov 2021. The aim of the conference is to bring people together to ‘accelerate action’ towards goals identified in the Paris Agreement and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. There’s more information in this COP overview.
There have been many climate events preceding COP26. In late September 2021, 400 young climate leaders (aged 15 to 29) from 186 countries met in Milan for the ‘Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition’. Find out more about the themes and topics discussed and read their manifesto.
Here are some ideas and resources you might like to use and share with your students:
There are also plenty of ways students can embrace sustainability in day-to-day life:
Find out from UNICEF’s young environment and climate activists what students are doing around the world.
The UN suggests that there are nine things young people can do ‘right now’, one of which is to educate themselves about the impacts of climate change. As educators we all play a role in that, most obviously through the curriculum.
Our Geography A and Geography B GCSE qualifications cover the causes and impacts of climate change, as well as sustainability. We have an optional topic for our A Level qualification called ‘Climate Change’ as we knew this was of interest to students and teachers. The students can explore national and global perspectives on this issue, what the challenges are and understand the range of responses to climate change.
Our students have a chance to build their understanding, so they can become the informed decision-makers and change-makers of the future.
Resources which you may find useful when teaching about COP26 and climate change include:
Are there opportunities beyond the curriculum which could engage young people with the environment? These could include outdoor learning, conservation projects, school gardens, eco-schools and planet pledges.
We would love to hear more about what you are doing with your students in school. Please share ideas below, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @OCR_Geography. You can also sign up for email updates for information about resources and support.
Shelley joined OCR after teaching geography for 16 years. She has considerable experience in delivering GCSE, IGCSE, A Level and the International Baccalaureate qualifications, as well as leading departments in secondary schools in the UK and internationally. She has eight years’ experience as Head of Year 12 and 13, supporting students both pastorally and academically. Shelley worked with the geography team to reform the GCSE, AS and A Level qualifications and she currently supports teachers through the development of a variety of resources, the CPD programme and subject communications. She loves walking her dog, exploring distant places and finding new recipes to trial on family and friends.