Teaching Climate and Sustainability in Primary Schools: An Outdoor Learning Approach is a free online course hosted on the social learning platform, FutureLearn.

The course is for Primary teachers who are concerned about our planet and want to take action by embedding these vital topics into their teaching.

It will be particularly beneficial for those teachers who are leading climate and sustainability initiatives or looking for opportunities to build their confidence for such a role in the future.

The course is led by Institute of Education experts; Professor Helen Bilton, Professor of Outdoor Learning and Dr Catherine Foley, Associate Professor in Mathematics Education with support from Dr Peter Inness, Associate Professor in Meteorology.

To care for the world, you need to love it. To love it, you need to be a part of it. To be a part of it, you need to spend lots of time out in it. In this way you can appreciate the world’s power and fragility. Children must be allowed to learn in the outdoor environment.” Professor Helen Bilton

Drawing on real examples of climate and sustainability education with expertise in outdoor learning, the course will guide teachers to discover and discuss what knowledge and skills are required for teaching climate and sustainability outdoors and apply this understanding to their own working practice.

  • Course Participants (‘Learners’) will hear from teachers and pupils at a Primary School in Wokingham which is developing their approach to climate and sustainability education through outdoor learning.
  • Learners will watch children discovering how to care for the planet through a range of outdoor learning activities including working on the vegetable beds, exploring nature on a meadow walk, investigating food waste and more.
  • The course will be underpinned by expert opinion on the value of using the outside as a teaching space for climate and sustainability education to encourage connection to the subject, whilst also addressing common queries around learning outdoors.
  • Recommended resources will be signposted to enable learners to pursue their own understanding of climate and sustainability.
  • Learners will share their own ideas and experiences with fellow teachers on the course and combine this with expert opinion from the University of Reading to build an action plan for their teaching or to help make a wider impact at the whole school level.

**To mark Earth Day on 22 April, the course will be supported by our experts for two weeks from Monday 25th April.**

Join the course here