Weather and climate learning resources for Devon schools

CHILDREN in Devon will be exploring the impact of climate change on their environment through a range of curriculum topics – thanks to a new project being introduced to schools next year.

CHILDREN in Devon will be exploring the impact of climate change on their environment through a range of curriculum topics - thanks to a new project being introduced to schools next year.

The Devon County Council grant-aided collaborative project between the council's Devon Education Services (DES) and Weatherworld has resulted in the launch of an exciting and challenging cross-curricular unit of work about weather and climate for children in primary schools.

The Weather and our World learning and teaching materials have been written by DES advisers in nine separate subjects: literacy, mathematics, science, religious education, geography, history, music, art and design and technology. The project, which was launched at a special teacher training event at Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre earlier this month, has been written to help schools meet the recommendations of the new national primary curriculum, and includes carefully planned learning activities that are relevant, interesting and aim to raise children's attainment.

David Weatherly, adviser for geography and education for sustainable development at DES, who co-ordinated the project, said: "The recommendations for the new primary curriculum emphasise the importance of providing a strong, flexible learning programme for children that encourages them to investigate relevant and stimulating topics and issues across a broad range of subjects.

"The objective of our collaborative work with Weatherworld has been to create a coherent, progressive and challenging experience for children. There can be few issues as important to the lives of children and young people today as the implications of changing weather and climate both locally here in Devon and globally in countries such as Bangladesh.

"The Weather and our World unit will support children to explore weather and climate from a wide range of different perspectives and to appreciate the role they could play in making a positive contribution in the future".

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Roger Hunt, Chief Executive of Weatherworld said: Roger Hunt, Chief Executive of Weatherworld said "We have been very pleased to work with Devon Education Services on this project. Understanding how weather affects us in all aspects of our lives is important, especially with climate change being such a vital issue. Indeed it is one of the key overall objectives of Weatherworld. We hope that the success being achieved with this cross-curricular approach in Devon - the home of Weatherworld - can be extended to the rest of the country in time."

Councillor John Smith, Devon County Council Executive Member for Children and Young People's Services, said: "This is another interesting and innovative project which will stimulate children's learning as well as their imagination.

"We are constantly looking to make the curriculum more relevant to the world today, and this resource does just that - we are constantly being reminded of how climate change is impacting on our environment, and this project will help educate children about the changing world around them."

Children from Wembury Primary School were on hand at the launch day to perform a Weatherworld theme song by local composer David Haines the principles of which teachers can adapt to any themed cross-curricular work. The Weather and our World unit also supports children to investigate, amongst other things, the science behind surviving extreme weather conditions, how to produce a short film clip to change their lives and reduce their carbon footprint; the influence of weather and climate on people's beliefs and how weather helped to shape England's history at the time of the Armada in 1588.