Schools to get new weapon in fight against climate change
Schoolchildren and teachers across South Tyneside are joining forces with the council in a bid to tackle climate change.
South Tyneside Council has produced a climate change toolkit to help school staff educate the Borough's next generation about environmental issues.
It contains practical advice and guidance all in one place to teach children about the causes of climate change and the actions that can be taken to create a more sustainable future.
The kit identifies opportunities to drive down carbon emissions while enhancing the school's natural environment.
The toolkit provides suggested activities to help reduce their carbon footprint, such as promoting active travel, tree planting, setting up composting and a food growing space, reducing waste and recycling more.
Cllr Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, with responsibility for climate change, said: "Children are the future, and there may be no greater threat than climate change facing their generation.
"We have a moral obligation to act now, before it is too late, and it is crucial that we educate and empower children to make a change.
"Every school in the borough will receive this toolkit, which will help children and their educators take steps to move towards a greener, cleaner future.
"It contains some fun, practical ideas and suggestions which means pupils can really enjoy and engage with it."
Earlier this year, the leader of the council made a commitment to invest in the natural environment as a key priority.
Harton Primary teacher Stephanie Robson, who leads the school's in 'eduCCate' Global Climate Change Education Programme, said: "Harton Primary is committed to teaching and engaging our pupils in ways of carrying out shared responsibilities for protecting the environment in school and at home.
"The toolkit will complement our school's current engagement with the UN accredited eduCCate Global Climate Change Education Programme."
Peter Nord, Head Teacher at Bamburgh School, added: "It is vital that we continue to teach and inspire our pupils to better understand about caring for the environment and how to act responsibly and promote sustainable living.
The toolkit will assist teachers with ideas and suggestions to help plan and prepare meaningful lessons around this very important subject."
In July 2019, South Tyneside Council declared a climate emergency. Since then it has developed a comprehensive climate change strategy, backed by a five-year action plan. It also pledged to become a champion for a carbon neutral future for the borough.
Cllr Gibson added: "We're striving to become a carbon neutral council by 2030, but we've also promised to lead by example.
"With this toolkit we are working hand in hand with schools to our mutual goal of a more sustainable borough."