Children, as Greta Thunberg has shown, can change the course of history. Like many of us, children are worried about climate change and want to do something about it. But fear can take the fun out of life and make us feel helpless, a feeling that can ramify into other aspects of life. What to do about it?

School Climate Challenge

The School Climate Challenge was organised by Ghazala Ahmad-Mear from Tideswell and Steve Platt from Hathersage. It ran with over 300 9-12 year-old children at all ten primary schools and the secondary school in Hope Valley. The Challenge got the children talking about climate change with their teachers and friends, and at home with their parents. They changed the way they travelled to school, they ate less meat and more plant based foods, they thought more about what they bought, they consumed less and they valued nature more. They wrote to their local MP demanding a change in government policy. Children became ambassadors, persuading and cajoling their families to take action on climate change.

Later we returned to the schools to see how they had got on with their pledges and how they had fared talking to their parents. Almost without exception the children had been able to involve the whole family in thinking about the climate emergency and in taking action. With the teacher’s help, the children filled in a tally itemising all the things their family was doing. The challenge showed that children are keen to do something about climate change and are able to mobilise their families to take action. 

Thanks to our funders, we are making a Teachers’ Pack freely available for non-commercial use by schools, and community climate action groups.  This contains all the material you need to run the Challenge in your own school or group.  

Click here for Teachers’ Pack

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Please contact HVCA if you would like the pack for commercial use.

We would like to acknowledge our funders, Breedon Hope Cement Works and the Foundation Derbyshire, whose grants helped develop the Challenge.