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What the English National Curriculum says about Education for Sustainable Development...

Education for sustainable development enables pupils to develop the knowledge, skills, understanding and values to participate in decisions about the way we do things individually and collectively, both locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future. There are opportunities for pupils to develop their understanding of sustainable development within the school curriculum, in particular in their work in geography, science, PSHE and citizenship.

Opportunities for subjects at key stage 1 and 2 to contribute to education for sustainable development:

Geography -  plays a significant part in promoting education for sustainable development through:

  • developing pupils' knowledge and understanding of the concept of sustainable development and the skills to act upon this understanding [for example, as part of a Local Agenda 21 initiative]
  • developing pupils' knowledge and understanding of key concepts of sustainable development, such as interdependence, quality of life and diversity
  • developing pupils' skills of critical enquiry and an ability to handle and interpret information
  • exploring values and attitudes about complex issues, such as resource use and global development.

Design and Technology - through developing knowledge and understanding of the principles of sustainable design and production systems, developing skills in creative problem solving and evaluation, and exploring values and ethics in relation to the application of design and technology.

Science - through developing pupils' skills in decision making on the basis of sound science, the exploration of values and ethics relating to the applications of science and technology, and developing pupils' knowledge and understanding of some key concepts, such as diversity and interdependence.

ICT - through developing pupils' understanding of the implications of ICT for working life, society and the environment.

History - through developing pupils' skills of enquiry, critical thinking and communication, and knowledge and understanding of how past actions, choices and values may impact on future societies, economies and environments.

Art and Design - through developing pupils' knowledge and understanding of the role of art and design in shaping sustainable environments, and exploring values and ethics within art and design.

PE - through developing pupils' knowledge and understanding of healthy lifestyles and of different, challenging environments.

Citizenship - through developing pupils' skills in, and commitment to, effective participation in the democratic and other decision-making processes that affect the quality, structure and health of environments and society and exploring values that determine people's actions within society, the economy and the environment.

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