We are delighted to report that Northampton High School has been awarded the EduCCate Bronze Award, which has been designed to help build schools’ confidence and capacity to deliver high impact solution focused climate change education. Schools who undertake the EduCCate Global Awards program are committed to being a leader in their community, and to fueling climate action.
The school and its in-house Eco Team, led by Mr James Earp, includes students from ages 7 to 18 as well as staff, who have been preparing for this process since January 2022, with a variety of different tasks and challenges to undertake. Staff and teachers undertook bespoke teaching modules on the impacts of climate change, examining topics such as the unequal impacts of climate change on women and how health can be impacted by climate change, which filtered through to students through a whole host of enriching activities such as the ‘Carbon Buster Challenges’ and using ‘Energy Sparks’ data to help reduce the school’s carbon footprint.
Melanie Harwood, co-founder of the not-for-profit, eduCCate Global, explains the context of the initiative further, “Children are far more vulnerable to climate-related disasters and associated health risks than any other social group. We need to give them the tools to understand the effects of a changing climate so that they can take well informed and effective action in the future. Now, more than ever, schools need to take the lead in helping our youngsters make sense of the issues and options.”
Northampton High School is ahead of the curve in addressing the climate change education challenge that was repeatedly echoed at and following COP26. For example, Larry Flanagan, General Secretary, Educational Institute of Scotland and President, ETUCE, European Region of Education International has said: “We have to ensure that the teachers have the knowledge they need to deliver effective climate education and not assume that that knowledge is there already… the world has moved on… we need to make sure teachers have the knowledge and then the professional development to take that knowledge into the pedagogical approaches in the classroom to engage young people in the classroom in”.
The school has fostered a commitment to the environment for a number of years, and this accolade is the latest in a line of prestigious ‘green’ awards the school are delighted to have achieved – which includes being an ‘Eco School’ and achieving the Green Flag Award from Keep Britain Tidy. What makes this even more impressive is that Northampton High are the first of the Girls’ Day School Trust’s (GDST) 25 schools to achieve this distinction, which Head, Dr May Lee, proudly explains, “We are so proud of our Eco Team’s hard work, raising eco-awareness amongst pupils and making our school more environmentally friendly. Being the very first GDST School to achieve the eduCCate Global Bronze Award shows that at Northampton High, we are bold and fearless in cultivating eco-champions and warriors to make a real difference. The award demonstrates our school’s commitment in empowering pupils to take control of sustainable action and develop the skills needed to steer our ever-changing society in a greener direction. Indeed, Mr Earp, who has ably led the Eco Team, should be justifiably proud of his great work – together, they are an inspiration and we feel heartened and positive about the future of our planet”.