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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Hewett

Mrs Humanities shares... Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Climate Action Resources

Let's rewind to 2010 for a moment. It was a year that bore witness to a number of natural and man-made disasters. First there was the Haiti Earthquake in January, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April and of unforgettable eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. It was also the year I embarked on a PGCE course with the aim to work in environmental education. Yes, that does mean I didn't intend on staying in teaching beyond the NQT year. However, I could see the impact of the classroom teacher and ( despite the challenges) I kind of enjoyed it.

Why did we rewind?

I trained in Wales and at the time, the Welsh government were encouraging the integration of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC) in schools. I was totally enthralled by the concept; I ended up writing a dissertation on teacher understanding of ESDGC and the challenges they faced embedding it within the curriculum.

'“Sustainable Development is not an option that will go away - it is the only way forward” Rhodri Morgan, 2004

I could see the wide-ranging possibilities for ESDGC, probably due to my interest, but a lot of the teachers that I interviewed and surveyed struggled with understanding how to integrate it into their subject areas. At the time, Geography and Science teachers could see the potential, but struggled with curriculum content to fit it in, whilst many others didn't believe it applicable to them.

Why am I telling you this?

Essentially, because similar challenges exist for the integration of sustainability and climate education. Whilst many educators recognise the importance, there is still the challenge of how to integrate and embed sustainability and climate education across all subject areas.

Recommended read

As part of my curriculum design work, I want to help teachers and school leaders to develop their understanding and implementation of Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Action across the curriculum.

In order to do so, I have written a (very) short course as an introduction to ESD, accessible for free.

education for sustainable development


I have also added a unit plan for a topic on the sustainable development goals. Originally designed for key stage 3, but adaptable for upper key stage 2. I hope to add the teaching resources in due course.

unit plan for sustainable development goals


With the need for all education settings to nominate a sustainability lead by 2025 and put in place a climate action plan, within the confines of an overstretched education system, I want to try and make it that little bit easier for teachers and school leaders to implement.

Recommended read

Below is a Padlet with links to excellent sources of information and resources. I will add to it regularly, so be sure to bookmark the Padlet for future reference.

If you have any recommendations to add to the Padlet, please do let me know by commenting or emailing.

If you are as passionate about creating a curriculum that educates, empowers, and inspires students for a changing world, get in touch to see how we can work together.

The time to act is now!

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