26,000 children confront the climate crisis
With just a few days to go until COP26, the media is awash with articles around climate change, further exposing the scale of the problem and alongside it, the lack of action to keep global temperature rises below 1.5C.
It’s a concern that affects us all, but none more than our children who will undoubtedly feel the consequences and impact on their everyday lives. Whilst this can feel overwhelming and beyond our control, learning about climate change and how our everyday choices have an impact, we are able to make better decisions and positively influence others to do the same.
Whilst we acknowledge that it's adults who are in large the decision-makers, we mustn’t forget to include children in our discussions, those who will inherit some complex and difficult decisions. And, whilst science is a large part of climate change education, for our children to be resilient to change, we must wholly support their emotional development too.
‘Although not yet considered a diagnosable condition, recognition of eco-anxiety and its complex psychological effects was increasing, they said, as was its “disproportionate” impact on children and young people.’ – The climate crisis and the rise of eco-anxiety. BMJ, 6th October 20211
From the week commencing 1st November The Country Trust is delivering 1000 free Climate Action Farm in a Boxes which have been ordered by KS2 teachers and educators from all over the country. The Box builds connections to climate change and the food we eat through 10 progressive hands-on activities. Emphasis on developing emotional literacy and creating space for children to reflect and share how they are feeling is woven through all the acitvities.
The Country Trust’s mission is to empower children to make change in their lives through food, farming and countryside experiences. We all eat therefore we are all participants in agriculture and how we eat determines to a significant extent, how the world is used. Farm in a Box is no different and brings lessons from the farm to the school, creating child-centred learning experiences right where they are. And importantly, the activities make connections to real-life, making them tangible and relevant. From the basics of climate science to carbon sequestering, pupils learn about climate change through the food they eat. There are opportunities to meet the farmers who produce their food and hear from extreme weather climate scientists to discover how they are tackling climate change where they are.
To interest their pupils, teachers say that climate change should be framed within ‘animals, nature and wildlife’ (64%) or ‘health, food and wellbeing’ (55%) -
Teach The Future Report
Over 800 teachers have signed up to be involved in Climate Action Farm in a Box. 86% of those registered stated that they did not have a School Action Plan although over half reported that they felt ‘confident to respond to issues relating to climate change in the classroom’. However, in a recent report by Teach the Future, 70% of teachers felt that they have not received adequate training to educate students on climate change. Combined, a lack of confidence in the education sector around how to teach climate change, together with a growing interest amongst young people, children are left feeling frustrated and without agency.
The Country Trust believes this is where Climate Action Farm in a Box has a place, supporting c. 26,000 pupils on a journey to develop confidence and awareness in order to move forward and make change in their world.
Over the coming weeks and running alongside COP26 we will be sharing stories and photographs about the Climate Action Farm in a Box delivery in schools. Connect with us on social media for updates.
Country Trust Blog. From the Teacher: Farm in a Box. Our experience of bringing the farm to our school family.
BMJ Article - October 2021: The climate crisis and the rise of eco-anxiety