EfS  July 2019

Reflecting on the last academic year for our educators' newsletter, we realised just how far most people have now come, in accepting that ‘climate change’ is beyond doubt and that it has now become a ‘climate emergency’.

Preparing for a September school INSET at this time last year, we felt it best to include a quick explanation of the causes of and need for mitigation of climate change before we made recommendations and suggestions for teaching and tackling sustainability in school, in case staff were unaware or sceptical.  This year, significant events and people have made this virtually unnecessary.


The IPCC report in October 2018 warned that we had at most twelve years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C; at the UN climate change summit came the acclaimed Climate Change warnings from Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg and this year the threats culminated in global school strikes and demonstrations by Extinction Rebellion.  All raised awareness of the need to combat climate change by changing the way we live and exerting pressure on national and local governments worldwide to declare and act for a Climate Emergency.

Hackney Council have declared a Climate Emergency and councillors have approved a motion to do ‘everything within the Council’s power’ to deliver net zero emissions across its functions by 2040’. https://news.hackney.gov.uk/hackney-council-pledges-to-reach-net-ze...

The motion, however, does not include any mention of teaching climate change in schools and encouraging schools to become sustainable entities.  We need to work together to persuade the council and The Learning Trust to work with us to ‘tell the truth’ about Climate Change as school strikers have demanded and to enable our children and communities to understand and cooperate together to urgently help to alleviate the present Climate Emergency. (See below for Sustainable Hackney meeting on the Climate Emergency Action Plan on 31/7)

So now, it’s not whether to teach about climate change but how? 

We still feel, even more strongly perhaps, that using the Eco Schools programme, if followed as intended, is the easiest and most comprehensive way of ensuring that pupils learn, from an informed and committed staff,  about the causes, effects and mitigation of climate change, both through the curriculum and the day to day life of the school.     Eco Schools’ requirements, set out clearly on the website, also stipulate that not only the whole ‘in-school’ community is involved and aware, but that the wider community – families, businesses, faith and other groups are informed and involved. (https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/)


In order to support Eco-schools progress in Hackney and to extend teacher capacity, we have provided, and will continue to provide, free INSET sessions, assemblies, workshops for staff and children and advisory meetings.  In addition to this, we decided to hold twilight Networking/Support Group meetings, open to all Hackney teachers, which have so far focused on three of the Eco-schools’ topics, Waste, Global Citizenship and School Grounds development.

Our next meeting will predictably focus and advise mainly on the teaching and mitigation of  Climate Change, in anticipation of the new related topic being added to the Eco-schools’ programme during the next academic year.  It will take place at 4.30 pm on 26th September at the new, sustainable building of Nightingale School, Tiger Way, Upper Clapton, E5 8NA.  All welcome to start the new year sustainably and to begin or continue their school’s journey to the coveted Green Flag (we still only have one Green Flag school in Hackney).  SAVE THE DATE TODAY!

More details will follow next term.

(NB if you are unable to come to the meeting, we are happy to come into your school to deliver a version of the presentation to you and/or your staff).

Other dates for your ‘sustainability’ diary:-

- UK Climate Strikes: Friday 26th July Creative Sprint by Glimpse & Good For Nothing

 A day spent putting our creativity and superpowers of persuasion together to help get one million people onto the streets alongside the youth climate strikers on September 20th. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uk-climate-strikes-creative-sprint-tic...



Wednesday 31st July  - Sustainable Hackney - Open meeting:, 7-9 pm, Rhodes Estate Community Hall, Dalston lane.


Climate Emergency - Let's get ready! What do we want? When do we want it?  

What more can we do, across the council, in Hackney and more widely, to tackle climate breakdown?


July and through the summer – National Park City Foundation celebrations


London National Park City Celebration at Netil Market July 21, 2019 from 11am to 6pm

NPC event at Hackney Tree Nursery Open Day - Saturday 27 July, 10am - 4pm at Hackney Tree Nursery E9 5PF.  



Monday 23rd September 5pm – Hackney NEU First Meeting of the Academic Year – focusing on Climate Change.

The Urswick School, Paragon Road, E9 6NP 


26th September   - Sustainable Hackney Education for Sustainability Network.

Teaching Climate Change – Network/Support Group Meeting 4.30 pm at Nightingale School.


Friday 20th – 27th September -  Global Week of Climate Action  

School Student Strikes and General Strike Support on Friday 20th September - plan some action in your school if striking is not possible Have a demonstration and/or plan to teach climate change for the day to all pupils.





Fairtrade Foundation - 25 Years of the Fairtrade Mark – Join the Party! 

October 2019 – coinciding with Black History Month – make the connection!

Hackney events to follow – see next newsletter or https://sustainablehackney.org.uk/events




12th October National Education Union (NEU) Climate Change Conference in London - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/education-for-the-future-climate-eme...



AND FINALLY BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY-  we owe it to our young people to join them in demanding their right to choices over their future and to learn the facts about Climate Change, its causes and mitigation at their places of education – what could honestly be more important for them to learn?

So please work with us to help meet our aim of making every school in Hackney an Eco-school and making Hackney a ‘Beacon Borough for Education for Sustainability’.

Contact us for INSET, assemblies, workshops, advice sessions etc on Eco Schools/Education for Sustainability on sustainablehackneyefsnetwork@gmail.com. Or phone 07904 437677



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