Getting them thinking outside the classroom.

This weekend was DofE expedition weekend for 30 Yr 9 students. I think this is such a fantastic award. I completed Gold myself many years ago but remember every moment of my expedition. We set the groups off in the morning, all in good form and full of enthusiasm. We set them a little environment challenge to take a empty bag and collect any litter they saw on their way. Unfortunately by lunch time  the weather turned against us. It poured and poured with rain. The rain didn’t stop for the next 24 hrs. The students remained optimistic and I admire their resilience. The camp we booked was an eco camp. http://www.chantryfarm.org/chantryfarm/Home.html

The compost loos got a lot of discussion going.

The most excitement was looking down the toilet and the disbelief at having to use sawdust. There was lots of discussion about why this is  better and how our waste breaks down naturally.

We also made use of the recycling bins and students were very careful to sort their rubbish. I was proud of them. They took it all on board and embraced it. The rain continued all night and all the next day. Depiste having wet feet, wet clothes and having slept in wet sleeping bags, they all completed it and all passed.

Today, I took 120 students yr 9 geog students to the river Cuckmere for their field work. We included looking at the impact of tourists in the area by doing traffic counts, pedestrian counts and infiltration rates on the footpath and vegetation quads. None of this is unusual but what we did get to do was discuss was how these impacts are affecting the local area. That led us down to the beach. This is where we could consider the impact  of climate change. The area is being managed by allowing the sea defences to break. This will allow the valley to flood and return to its natural salt Marsh ecosystem. The reason for this is to allow for the rise in sea level due to melting ice. The local impact of global warming.

70% of these students had never visited this area, despite it it being 20 mins from their school and here on their door step was evidence of climate change and the adaptation that was taking place because of it.

It’s so important to get kids out of the classroom and so important to use those experiences to highlight the importance of climate change. Some of these students had spent 3 days with me living and experiencing first hand some of the things being done to cope with climate change. Hopefully, that has made it very real for them and will  inspire them to take more action now they’ve seen it actually happen outside the classroom.

N/B:The compost didn’t smell by the way. Which is a good sign as it had 30 Yr 9s using it  continously.

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