Pupils from across Sheffield join regional School’s Climate Education conference

Pupils from more than 40 primary and secondary schools in Sheffield joined 30 others from across the region for the inaugural Schools’ Climate Education South Yorkshire conference.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 3:18 pm

Students took part in dozens of online workshops over three days that covered a range of issues related to the climate and nature emergencies.

The main aim of the conference was to raise awareness of the pressures facing the planet and to encourage schools to have more focus on these issues in the curriculum.

Workshops covered a variety of aspects such as what action young people can take, how to talk with members of parliament about these issues and how solar-powered cars and wind turbines are constructed.

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School children working in a group.

Pupils also took part in creative activities including creating comics and vegetable puppets and were given a live plant-based cooking demonstration by ex High Storrs students who have a successful plant-based cooking business called BOSH!.

Patrick Wakefield, a local student and Sheffield Youth Strike 4 Climate campaigner, said: “It’s really important that young people are involved in the conversation about climate change because ultimately it’s our future that’s going to be affected by this. It really is an insanely rapid pace that things are deteriorating and so we need to act now.”

Expert attendees included Dame Sarah Storey, active travel commissioner for Sheffield City Region, John Grant, of Sheffield Hallam University and representatives from Friends of the Earth, Clean Air Sheffield, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the Centre for Alternative Technology.

Richard Souter, organiser of Schools’ Climate Education South Yorkshire conference, said: “We were delighted with the engagement of so many local schools and with the energy and creativity of the workshop leaders, often delivering online content for the first time. The conference was also a platform to launch a South Yorkshire Network of schools tackling climate change and we plan to hold an annual conference – hopefully not always digitally.”

All workshops and associated resources are now available for free on the School’s Climate Education South Yorkshire website here: https://www.scesy.org.uk/

Many schools are planning to incorporate the workshops into their curriculum for the next academic year.