environment

It’s time to junk the junk food | Education

School meals are a scandal. Discuss. Actually, let’s not, because nearly everyone now agrees that they are, even the private catering contractors who provide so many of them. Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners series on Channel 4 has touched a national nerve in the past two weeks because when he says we are feeding our children “scrotum-burger shite” and making them ill, we know it’s true. Every viewer seems to have their own worst moment from Oliver’s series. For some it…

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Outdoor learning grows in Scotland as grasp of benefits takes root | Education

On a bright spring morning, the air is crisp as an apple and the children of Lauriston Castle forest kindergarten are inventing muddy meals at their imaginary cafe. This woodland, north-west of Edinburgh city centre, has become an outdoor classroom for the day, with waterproofs and lunch boxes clustered around the lower branches of the trees. A black labrador liberates himself from his owner and charges through the sunny glade, to the youngsters’ delight. But unexpected connections are all part…

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‘I feel I’ve come home’: can forest schools help heal refugee children? | Education

When Kate Milman was 21, she paused her English degree at the University of East Anglia to join protests against the Newbury bypass. It was 1996, and the road was being carved out through idyllic wooded countryside in Berkshire. She took up residence in a treehouse, in the path of the bulldozers, and lived there for months. It was a revelation. She lived intimately with the catkins, the calling birds, the slow-slow-fast change in the seasons. Despite being in a…

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Transport after coronavirus: how will we fly, drive, commute and ride? | Australia news

Before the pandemic struck, Sara Blazey made the same three-hour commute to work, three days a week, for the better part of 12 years. The 63-year-old family lawyer from the Blue Mountains works for a domestic violence legal advice hotline in Parramatta and it used to be that she would wake at 7am, drive seven minutes to Hazelbrook station and from there catch the 7.17am train to Parramatta before making the same one-and-a-half hour trip home in the evening. With…

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Bugs, bark rubbing and bird nests: turn your daily walk into a nature home school | Education

If there is one thing to be grateful for at this awful time, it’s that it is unfolding (in the UK, at least) in spring. Even if indoor life feels as if it has been put on hold somewhat, the natural world has other ideas. Much-loved woods and rambling spots may be out of bounds (unless you live by one), but whether you live in the city or countryside, you can turn your daily exercise into a way of connecting…

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Renewables barely feature in building programme for 500 schools | Education

It is a modernist version of a log cabin nestling in a busy south London suburb – and it is about to make history. The new building for Hackbridge primary, in Sutton, opens next week as England’s first zero-carbon school, able to produce and conserve as much energy as it uses, and even put unused electricity generated back into the grid. With its wood frame and cladding, solar panels, pumps to collect heat from the ground, and insulation made from…

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Don’t Fear Summer Lee. Fear the Devil’s Bargain Labor Leaders Are Willing to Make Opposing Her – Education Article

 Cancer or unemployment.   That’s the choice Pennsylvanians are being asked to make in 2020.   Do we allow hydraulic fracking to continue to destroy our environment and increase our risk of cancers and other debilitating illnesses?   Or do we clean things up and risk losing jobs?   Some labor leaders seem willing to chose the former on behalf of their constituencies.   That’s why the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council (PA AFL-CIO) voted to oppose the re-election of…

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The national curriculum barely mentions the climate crisis. Children deserve better | Fiona Harvey | Education

There were toddlers in prams, babies in carriers, wrapped up against the cold, young children clutching placards and teenagers, thousands of them, banging drums and chanting protests. The energy and sense of urgency among the 500,000 climate marchers through Madrid at the last UN climate talks in December stood in stark contrast to the stalled, static and bloodless conference itself, where talks on the arcane technicalities of carbon markets fell apart amid acrimony. Schoolchildren have led the way in climate…

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Pupils draft their own climate bill as anxiety grows over lack of guidance for schools | Education

Like many young people, Joe Brindle, 17, is scared for the future because of the climate crisis. He is, he says, “angry about the injustice that is allowing the most vulnerable people in the world to suffer from the actions of the richest and most powerful”. So Brindle, who is preparing for his A-levels in Devizes, Wiltshire, decided to do something. On top of his studies, he founded a campaign group, Teach the Future, which has spent the last few…

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Sustainability must start in the nursery | Letter | Education

As a coalition of early years educators, we are alarmed that sustainability hasn’t been given a stronger focus in the government consultation on reforms to the early years foundation stage, which closes this Friday. Politicians of all parties must urgently acknowledge and address the vital impact that sustainability must have on saving future generations and our planet. We can only make a lasting difference by teaching the next generation about the values of sustainability. In England we start this too…

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Should a teacher report a pupil for Extinction Rebellion activism? | Education

Counter-terror police issued guidance requiring teachers to report members of Extinction Rebellion to the authorities under the Prevent powers. The guide was recalled after the Guardian revealed its existence, but later another list emerged citing the group, as well as Greenpeace and Stop the Badger Cull. Ed Finch Teacher, Larkrise primary school, Oxford No. While I would report a pupil for extremism if I believed they had motive, intent and ability to endanger property or life, I know numerous people…

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Slip-up leaves priests rolling in the aisles | Brief letters | Education

We applaud the rise in state-sector intake across Oxford University and are glad to see individual colleges praised (Report, 16 January). Perhaps Mansfield College deserves a mention. In a quietly radical fashion, we have led the way in Oxford access for 20 years. Our state intake has been over 80% for 10 years and over 90% since 2016. And more than 90% of our state-sector intake this year is from non-selective schools – a meaningful statistic for Oxford University.Lucinda RumseySenior…

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Can air purifiers improve students’ academic performance? | Education

A 2015 gas leak that belched toxic chemicals into the air and spread panic may have indirectly led to higher student test scores. In the days after a gas leak was discovered in Aliso Canyon, 30 miles north of Los Angeles, thousands of residents were evacuated from the area, many of whom reported headaches, nausea, stomach aches, dizziness or breathing problems. Students from two nearby schools were relocated and 18 other schools were impacted. The gas field owner, Southern California…

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Universities divesting from fossil fuels have made history, but the fight isn’t over | Zamzam Ibrahim | Education

Today the student movement made history by announcing that more than half of UK universities have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies. Since 2012, students have campaigned to marginalise companies like Shell and BP which profit from climate breakdown. The campaign, supported by the National Union of Students,People & Planet and Students Organising for Sustainability UK, has shown the power of students taking collective action. The University of Glasgow was the first UK university to divest in October 2014,…

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England region plans world-first for climate change teaching | Education

A region of northern England plans to become the first place in the world to have a UN-accredited climate change teacher in every state primary and secondary school. Jamie Driscoll, the new mayor of the North of Tyne combined authority, said every school in the area would have the opportunity to train a member of staff to give lessons on global heating and the impact of the climate crisis. The region is working with the creators of EduCCate Global, a…

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A delightful day with David Bellamy | Letter | Education

I have very happy memories of David Bellamy (Obituary, 13 December) visiting our first school (for children aged four to eight) in Binley Woods, Warwickshire, in 1983. A letter from the children asked him to visit their small copse in the grounds they cared for and a pond they had created. He came for two, but stayed for three hours, talking to all 150 children and sharing their enthusiasm for natural history. He lay on the floor with the reception…

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