Schoolchildren encouraged ‘rewild’ their neighbourhood for new Duke of Edinburgh-style award

A Duke of Edinburgh-style award scheme is to be introduced in schools to reward children for rewilding, the Department for Education is set to announce.

The new award scheme will encourage students to work on projects to learn about wildlife, "increasing the biodiversity of a neighbourhood piece of land", or working with younger children to understand nature.

The award will be modelled on existing schemes such as the popular outdoors course launched by Prince Philip in 1956, and will also have "bronze", "silver" and "gold" levels.

A new primary science curriculum, expected to be in place by 2023, will also offer more education on the environment, including "an emphasis on nature and the recognition of species", the strategy says, with more training and resources for teachers also set to be introduced.

The measures appear in a new draft sustainability and climate change strategy, set to be finalised next April.

New guidance for teachers also says they do not need to balance scientific information about climate change with opposing views.

Prince Philip, who died in April this year, launched the Duke of Edinburgh scheme in 1956

"Teaching about climate change and the scientific facts and evidence behind this does not constitute teaching about a political issue and schools do not need to present misinformation or unsubstantiated claims to provide balance," it says, adding that “it would not be appropriate to encourage pupils to join specific campaigning groups or engage in specific political activity, such as protests”.

A virtual "National Education Nature Park" will also allow pupils to track their progress against other schools in learning about and recording local wildlife, and improving nature on school grounds through measures such as bird feeders.

Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, said: "Empowering teachers in every school to deliver world-leading climate change education will not only raise awareness and understanding of the problem, but also equips young people with the skills and knowledge to build a sustainable future.

"Our National Education Nature Park and Climate Leaders Awards will let pupils get hands-on experience of understanding, nurturing and protecting the biodiversity around them."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *