Southroyd and Climate Change
In conjunction with Leeds City Council and Children's Wellbeing, Southroyd is committed to the Southroyd Climate Action Route Map, to work with children and communities to plan for and manage sustainable practice in support of the minimisation of climate change.
School is currently developing it's Climate Action Route Map (CARM) which will be presented on this page.
The first aim of the CARM is to communicate the facts regarding climate change, hence the notes on this page directly from Leeds City Council in conjunction with Leeds Children's Wellbeing.
The Aims of the CARM
- To communicate with parents and the community about Climate Change
- To review the coverage of climate change within the school curriculum.
- To refine processes on the school site to minimize the effects of climate change as a result of the school setting.
- To involve children and governors in the planning and implementation of the program.
So what is Climate Change?
(from Leeds City Council)
The debate over the causes of climate change has a long and turbulent history which continues to this day.
Overwhelmingly, however, the scientific community acknowledges the impact of human activity on the environment and evidence is clear that, unless the world takes urgent action to limit carbon emissions within this decade, average global temperatures will rise above 1.5ºC with catastrophic consequences.
Recent instances of direct action across the world provide both a spotlight on, and reflection of, a heightened sense of anxiety, particularly amongst our children and
young people which is, in some cases, negatively impacting their mental wellbeing. Increasingly professionals report a surge in ‘eco-anxiety’; a concern or worry about ecological disasters and the advertised risk to the natural environment.
Arguably, this puts even greater emphasis on clarifying a school/settings’ position alongside an awareness of the impact of the language used when communicating with pupils i.e. key vocabulary needs to be communicated in a positive way empowering pupils to take action and seeking to galvanise their passion rather than leaving them feeling
powerless, uninvolved and potentially even more anxious - a solutions focussed approach.
In response to the landmark United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC warning that, unless urgent action is taken, the opportunity to avoid the worst effects of climate change will be missed, Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency at full Council (March 2019). This marked an important turning point for the Council and the city to put sustainability, biodiversity and the reduction of carbon emissions firmly centre-stage.
Importantly, there was complete political consensus that we are in an emergency situation - the climate is changing and the impact of the increased regularity of extreme weather events is being keenly
felt. The UK government has set a target for carbon neutrality by 2050, the vast bulk of the reduction will need to be achieved this decade - a 50% reduction by 2025 and 85% by 2030. Leeds City Council is focussed on 2030 and working towards achieving carbon neutrality by that date. To meet this a significant reduction in carbon emissions is required through action in key areas such as energy, buildings, transport, food, waste, tree planting, public engagement, etc.
In working to make Leeds carbon neutral by 2030 tackling climate change is now one of the Council’s 3 key strategic plans, sitting equally alongside inclusive growth and improving the health and wellbeing of residents.
Our Actions So Far (update May 2022)
- Governors are exploring renewable energy options and have included climate change as an agenda item
- The Woodland Creation team have planned an area around Southroyd for tree and wild planting
- Catering have been contacted to explore possible changes to the use of food waste
- School council explored the climate change implications from the school catering team
- Eco monitors have used posters and tweets to communicate the challenges we all face
- After school Eco-Club children have devised a routine for monitoring the school site
- Regular monitoring of waste undertaken by monitors
- School Council have met with Business Manager and Site Manager to discuss waste and recycling
- Children taking part in Big Plastic Survey for Greenpeace
- School are accessing 30 minute energy meters to support their climate work
Although Climate Change is only explicitly referenced in the KS3 curriculum, Southroyd will continue to link the important concepts of climate change and what we can do to reduce it's effects, through curriculum projects, Climate Change Week and the school Eco-Monitors. The areas of the Ks2 curriculum below directly map to the concepts of climate change.