Climate change: GCSE students to learn how to save planet with new course option

Climate crisis 'drawing nearer' due to oil and gas says Slater

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On Thursday, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi will announce a brand new natural history GCSE course starting in September 2025, focusing on climate change and how students can take climate action. The DfE noted that this course will allow pupils to learn about organisms and their environments, along with focussing on environmental and sustainability issues “to gain a deeper knowledge of the natural world around them”.

The DfE also stated that this qualification will facilitate students to pursue a career in climate change and conservation, “from understanding how to conserve local wildlife to conducting the fieldwork needed to identify species”.

Students already learn about climate-related issues through the study of urbanisation in geography and habitats in science.

However, the Government said that the new course would “go further” in teaching them about the history and evolution of species and the impact of life on natural environments, as well as how they are changing and evolving.

Mr Zahawi, who is expected to announce the new GCSE on April 21 as he launches the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, said: “Sustainability and climate change are the biggest challenges facing mankind.

“None of us can be in any doubt just how critical they have become.

“The new natural history GCSE will offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how to conserve it.”

This comes amidst a recent report that shows that many cities and towns in the UK are under threat of flooding by 2050.

According to data from Fathom shared with The Independent, Cardiff in Wales is at the highest risk of flooding in the UK, with a 17.09 percent risk assessment, up from 15.06 percent in 2020.

Cardiff is closely followed by Windsor and Maidenhead 16.18 percent, up from 14.61 two years ago.

The third place in Britain that’s most at risk is Warrington, England, which was given a 14.36 percent, up from 13.28 percent.

In London, the borough of Barking and Dagenham took fourth place at 12.31 percent, up from 11.56 percent.

The study found that currently there are about 1.09 million properties across the UK that are at risk of flooding, and this number is set to increase by 25 percent to 1.35 million in 2050.

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According to experts, the places that are most at risk currently are only likely to become more at risk of flooding as climate change intensifies.

Speaking to the Independent, Professor Paul Bates, Chair of Hydrology at the University of Bristol and co-founder of Fathom said: “Yes, climate change does increase flood risk in most parts of the country, but actually most of the risk is already here with us today.

“If we dealt with the now better, we’d put ourselves in a much better place to deal with climate change.”

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