Sustainability and Environmental Education (SEEd) are delighted to be holding this year’s conference in one of the UK’s most unique cities. Bristol is home to a diverse number of world famous attractions, from spectacular historical structures, such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain, to renowned street art from local artist, Banksy. The city has long been a pioneer in the fields of culture, creativity and the environment. Bristol is the first UK city to gain the prestigious European Green Capital Award.
The Sustainable Schools Alliance (SSA) aims to provide a clear and compelling offer of support to all schools in the country, and help them to put sustainability at the heart of what they do. The evidence for the benefits of Sustainable Schools is stronger than ever. However, the government’s focus on greater school freedom means local and civil society organisations must act to help schools to pursue sustainability.
At the conference teachers can engage their pupils through peer-to-peer learning with student volunteers from the University of Bristol, share personal innovative and creative ideas with other delegates during the open platform session and develop new strategies for embedding sustainability across your curriculum, grounds and community. Delegates can also meet the experts on Education for Sustainable Development and participate in interactive workshops throughout the day, as well as being able to plan for next year’s sustainability curriculum and take home new ideas and resources.
Confirmed Speakers Doug Hulyer is a confirmed keynote speaker at the National Sustainable School’s Conference. Doug is an advisor to the heritage and environmental sectors on strategy, change and public engagement; he also is a public sector commentator/writer and policy maker. His mission has been about putting people at the heart of the environmental and heritage worlds – through learning in all its forms participation and community cohesion.
Joining Doug at the Conference is Quinn Runkie and Justin Dillon. Quinn is Senior Project Officer for Communities and Curriculum within the NUS’ Department for Sustainability. Before joining the NUS, Quinn managed the Student Green Fund Project at the University of Bristol Students’ Union and delivered student sustainability engagement programmes at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her keynote will look at: ‘the significance of curriculum reform matter, what can we do about it and how can we support our learners in asking for it?’
Internationally renowned Professor of Science and Environmental Education and Head of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol, Justin will use his keynote to focus on: Post-election 2015, where now for education for sustainability and the environment?
Workshopping Confirmed workshops at the Conference include Ashden’s Alex Green on ‘How to create behaviour change at your school’. This workshop will explore examples of best practice from Ashden Award winning schools around the country. Jenny Stevens of Beetles and Bees conducts a workshop raising awareness of the importance of Hawthorn in the countryside through the use of handmade headgear/handpuppets representing insects (including pollinators), birds and mammals.
Jo Taylor will focus on some of the developments which have come out of Bristol European Green Capital, while James and Tatiana Tanner talk about the Go Green workshop (Eco-school education partner). This talk will summarise James and Tatiana’s achievements in delivering the Go Green workshop, which is for children aged seven - 11 on the main problems of global warming and the solutions that National Curriculum topics cover.
Mark Stead, from the Severn Wye Energy Agency will host a workshop where primary aged children will present what they have learned through the ‘Energy Detectives’ project and participants will use this information to design an energy saving plan for their own classroom. John Parry of the Railway Land Wildlife Trust in Lewes has been pioneering approaches to environmental education for over 25 years. John’s workshop will explore different ways of thinking about green open spaces within reach of schools.
Meanwhile, Jill Foster of PECT will explore the variety of opportunities in the curriculum to get children thinking about and using food grown locally or in school. The workshop will draw attention to the health benefits of eating local seasonal food.