Our blog today details how we teach climate change in the current curriculum, as well as looking at a rise in the uptake of modern foreign languages, and a positive feature article on apprentices in the Star.
Today, Thursday 23 May, the Labour Party issued a press release outlining their plans to make climate change a core part of the school curriculum. This was covered by the Independent, the Guardian, the Mail and the Times.
Climate change currently appears in numerous elements of the school curriculum. In secondary school science, pupils consider the evidence for human causes of climate change, and as part of GCSE geography they will study the spatial and temporal characteristics of climatic change. In primary science and geography, pupils study topics that provide the underpinning knowledge and understanding required to study climate science in secondary school. The primary curriculum also involves looking at changes across the four seasons, weather patterns, climate zones, vegetation belts, and the water cycle.
This government is a world-leader when it comes to tackling climate change. We are the first country to introduce long-term legally binding climate targets and cut emissions by more than 40% since 1990 - while growing our economy.
We’re investing over £2.5 billion to support low carbon innovation, taking action on our ambitious objectives in the 25 Year Environment Plan which aims to hand over our planet to the next generation in a better condition than when we
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
It is important that pupils are taught about climate change, which is why it is in the national curriculum as part of science and geography in both primary and secondary school.
The curriculum also includes the knowledge pupils need to help address climate change in the future. For example, in design and technology pupils are taught to consider the impact of the products they design on individuals, society and the environment. Schools have the autonomy to go into as much depth on these subjects as they see fit.
Today, Friday 24 May, Ofqual published provisional entry data for this summer’s GCSE and A Level exams. One of the key takeaways from the data is that there has been an overall increase in EBacc subjects, driven in part by increases in modern foreign languages (MFL).
The increase in EBacc and MFL entries comes alongside an overall increase of 3% in entries to GCSE arts subjects. This includes rises in art and design subjects and performing and expressive arts, demonstrating focus on core academic subjects does not come at the expense of important cultural education.
At A Level, biology, chemistry, physics and computing all showed increases, along with Spanish.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
It’s important that young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain and with the widest set of options available to them. Core academic subjects, such as English, maths, science and foreign languages are key to making that a reality.
Today’s data shows that following our reforms, those GCSEs are becoming increasingly popular among young people. We know parents place great importance on these subjects, so with 4.2million entries to GCSEs in EBacc subjects this summer, both parents and employers can be confident that our schools are providing pupils with the strongest possible foundation.
It is particularly pleasing to see an overall increase in entries to GCSE arts subjects, including a 9% increase in entries to art and design subjects. The arts are an important part of the curriculum, and I know the best schools combine a rich cultural education with excellence in core subjects.
Today, the Daily Star published a feature piece about a group of apprentices working for hardware company Screwfix.
The piece includes a series of positive case studies as well as noting that the past year has seen a 10% rise in the number of young people taking apprentices in a bid to get hands-on experience in work.