Teaching tomorrow's energy champions

Pupils have come a long way in their learning about climate change and what they can each do to save energy. For the last five years npower has been visiting schools across the country delivering interactive sessions to year 5s. When they started out, the government had recently brought out its Sustainable Schools Framework and climate change became part of the curriculum. Teachers were really grateful for help with these new challenges. Now five years on npower finds that many children in a year 5 class can stumble through a global warming explanation, almost all can name three ways to save energy at home and teachers are confident in delivering lessons on the topic.

Support for schools
Interestingly though, feedback has shown that teachers and other partners still feel that it is important that as an energy company npower should continue to support schools with education on energy generation, saving energy and climate change. It is important that there is an aim for every pupil to know what they can each do at school and at home to save energy.

To quote the Department for Energy and Climate Change: “The UK is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. We need a transformation of the UK economy while ensuring secure, low carbon energy supplies to 2050, and face major choices about how to do this.” The Government hopes to engage the public in the debate on how to achieve targets and they need us all to do our bit. The government has a communications plan to help educate UK citizens on key issues – over the next year or two we will all have to make personal decisions as a result of the government’s plan to help us save energy, such as putting a smart meter in our home or whether we sign up to the Green Deal.

Future green champions
Pupils today are our current and future energy users in a world with constantly developing energy generation and technological advancements and exciting careers within the science, technology, engineering and maths professions. What they learn today can change their behaviour which then becomes an embedded way of life going forward.

It’s not just about learning the facts either, it’s important to build the link between what is taught in the classroom to actual carbon reduction activities taking place either in the wider school environment or in pupils’ homes; building momentum for change through pupil leadership and involvement, influencing others to do their bit to become more sustainable.

Climate cops
Though everyone’s awareness of the environment and how we can all save energy may have increased over the years, teachers’ feedback shows they still want high quality, easy to use, hard copy resources and materials, mapped to the curriculum, on the subject of sustainable development, energy, climate change and the environment. Even though numerous resources from companies and organisations are now online, teachers still value hard copy resources which include posters, so they can brighten their classrooms and remind pupils of the topics they’re currently learning about.

npower is delighted that its Climate Cops teaching resources continue to get top marks from teachers. Clare McDougall, head of community and education at npower points out: “When we developed our Climate Cops resources we worked with a panel of practising teachers to ensure that what we produced was real and relevant for teachers and pupils alike. We wanted to provide teachers with free resources that would save them valuable planning time whilst tooling them up with materials they could use in a lesson or whole school project – something teachers could dip in and out of or use fully which would appeal equally to a newly qualified teacher through to a highly skilled teacher with 30 or more years experience.” 

npower’s Climate Cops resources, designed for 4 to 7, 7 to 11 and 11 to 14 year olds, aim to engage students in tackling the causes of climate change in a lively and stimulating way by making a positive difference to the way they use and save energy. The resources help students develop their knowledge, understanding and skills through a range of subjects such as Geography, Science, PSHE, Citizenship and Education for Sustainable Development. 

So far, over 16,500 resource packs have been distributed to schools and community groups. To order your copy of these free hard copy resources today, visit the Climate Cops section of www.npower.com/education and remember to complete and return the feedback form in the pre‑paid envelope provided once you’ve used the resource, as this is how npower can constantly review whether the resource is meeting the needs of teachers.

Further information