23 August 2021
All over the world, the climate is changing. The biggest contributing factor for this change is more greenhouse gases in the air, trapping heat within the Earth’s atmosphere. Across the globe, farming produces around 20% of all greenhouse gases, in the UK, this is around 10%.
Farms generate greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels to power machinery, spraying fertilisers, digging up the soil and through dairy and meat production, as ruminant animals such as cows, release methane into the atmosphere when they ‘burp’. However, farms can also do something to help to absorb (or ‘sequester’) emissions – farming is uniquely placed to lock up carbon and reduce greenhouse gases.
Climate Action Farm in a Box is a free, hands-on, cross-curricular programme that builds connections between farming, the food we eat, and climate change as pupils progress through the activities and learning objectives. Developed by food, farming and countryside education specialists The Country Trust, the Box aims to support Key Stage 2 (7-11 years) pupils by introducing the concept and consequences of climate change, whilst inviting them to reflect and explore their feelings around this often over-whelming subject.
The activities in the Boxes explore; weather and climate, plant growth and CO2, and how the food we eat contributes to greenhouse gases. Short films which feature real-life farmers, show how the changing climate is having an impact on their farms and the steps they’re taking to adapt to these changes. Pupils are also guided to create their own pupil-led climate action plan, to identify issues around them, and, working with their head teacher, create a plan to reduce their school’s carbon footprint. Curricular links include science, maths, geography, English and PSHE.
The Boxes land in schools at the beginning of November, coinciding with the COP26 summit held in Glasgow which brings parties from all over the world together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Jill Attenborough, CEO of The Country Trust, explains:
“In the latest IPCC report, the UN has said it’s code red for humanity as our climate changes rapidly. At the Country Trust we believe in empowering children to create change in their own lives and the world around them through food, farming and countryside experiences. Most of us don’t farm but we all eat and therefore we’re all participants in agriculture through the choices we make. Climate Action Farm in a Box supports children to be curious, make connections with the world around them, and grow in confidence to become active participants in tackling the climate crisis."
Vicki Leng, Learning Lead adds:
“Climate Action Farm in a Box supports Key Stage 2 teachers in talking about climate change with their pupils as well as guiding them in running practical, hands-on climate activities using the school grounds. Activities in the Box equip children with the basics in climate science, support emotional literacy, and showcase how farmers in this country are already facing and dealing with climate issues. Children will learn how the positive action they can take in their schools will mirror that of some farmers across the country and help them connect with the events of COP26.”
Thanks to support from the Hiscox Foundation, Climate Action Farm in a Box is free for eligible schools.
This Box is recommended for KS2 children and is only available to eligible schools or groups that meet one or more of the following criteria:
In partnership with: