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Learning about climate change

08 September 2011

A new bilingual educational resource developed by academics from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences to help Welsh secondary schools deliver stimulating lessons about climate change has been launched by the Chair of Climate Change Commission for Wales.

The Climate Change Educational Resource Pack for Key Stage 4 explains the scientific basis of climate change and explores how changes in climate could impact citizens of Wales. In particular it looks at how citizens could adapt to living in a different climate.

Aimed at pupils and teachers, the multidisciplinary pack is tailored to meet the requirements of the Welsh national curriculum. It will be distributed to at least 100 secondary schools in Wales to help teachers deliver high quality, balanced information and inspire young people to adapt their behaviour to ensure their future sustainability. Although the focus is on Wales, this packs draws on examples from all over the world and covers everyday issues such as how food supply, settlement, transport and health may be affected.

climate change web

The Pack has drawn on the views and concerns of the Welsh Young People's Climate Change Forum (YoCCo Forum) – a collaboration between Cardiff University, the Wales Youth Forum for Sustainable Development, the Severn Estuary Partnership and Techniquest.

Young people from rural communities in Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Swansea, Vale of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire were invited to become part of the Forum, where they were able to work with scientists, academics and planners to identify issues as well as contribute to a policy document, develop this education resource pack and develop a dedicated web site.

Chair of Climate Change Commission for Wales, Peter Davies, said: "The Climate Change Commission for Wales has raised concerns over the way in which climate change is covered in the school curriculum. This pack will be an important science based resource to support teachers in covering this vital issue in key stage 4."

Dr Rhoda Ballinger, leader of the project and a senior lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: "Today’s young people are the decision-makers of the future, and so it is vitally important to ensure they have a clear and balanced view of potential climate change risks and an understanding of options and implications of adaptation. This educational resource will fill a much needed gap in the Welsh curriculum.

The Climate Change Educational Resource Pack has been jointly funded by the Beacon for Wales, Countryside Council for Wales and the INTERREG IMCORE project (Innovative Management for Europe’s Changing Coastal Resource) project. It has been produced by academics in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, with the support of the Severn Estuary Partnership, Welsh Government, the National Grid for Learning Cymru, Wales Youth Forum for Sustainable Development and Cyfanfyd.

Bruce Etherington, Beacon for Wales Manager said: "This project is a great example of how universities can use their resources to support the wider community. This started with workshops to help young people understand possible responses to climate change and to help university researchers understand how young people viewed these possibilities, and ended with the production of this high quality resource designed to meet the needs of teachers and pupils."

The Climate Change Educational Resource Pack contains a number of sections on issues such as the global climate perspective, the Welsh climate perspective, food supply and natural resources, settlement, critical infrastructure, industry and health and wellbeing. Each section includes Teacher’s Notes that indicate how the section relates to the National Curriculum and key learning outcomes. There are also notes for pupils, activities and web links for further work. Materials are also freely available online for teachers to easily extract graphics and text for use in lessons. For more information is available at:

Related links:

Beacon for Wales

School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Severn Estuary Partnership