In the second part of the event students either take part in mini-workshops or go round a carousel of stands to hear about local initiatives and ask questions.

The culmination of the whole conference is time given for students to reflect on what they have heard and decide on their ideas for action to take back to school.

The focus for Local Action is on the key areas where we can make the most difference: energy-use, food and food waste, travel and transport, waste and resource-use. Local sustainability leaders and active organisations generously share their expertise and enthusiasm with participants. This is a great chance for students to learn about the thriving local and national ‘green’ economy and find out more from staff and volunteers.

Teacher quote

  • ‘It was great having industry experts speak to students’
  • Thank-you all for another great day. Well done! Students are becoming political and interested in climate action!

Student feedback (2018)

  • I can do a lot more on a smaller scale to help
  • It has fuelled me to follow through with my issues surrounding waste in college. I am going to talk with my headmaster when I get back tomorrow.
  • I would like to help do assemblies in school and create posters to encourage others to join.

Examples of students’ ideas for action

  • We want to carry out an Energy Audit in our school.
  • Encourage people to choose more vegetarian options by informing them of how it affects climate.
  • The majority of our students eat at school. We would like to work with Andigestion to think about recycling food waste and setting up food stations.
  • We want to have a more systematic recycling in school and to spread the word. We want to act on binning chewing gum too!
  • Plastic pollution and its impact on wildlife came across strongly talking with Marine Conservation Society. Our idea is for a waste prevention campaign with a focus on ‘looking at it personally’.

Benefits

Students learn about the lived experience of climate change around the world and global responses, and have to think critically about issues of international development and climate justice. Their teachers also point to the great benefits for their students’ teamwork, communication skills, presentation, research, and generally coming out of their comfort zones. ‘The students will have gained SO MANY soft skills they won’t even be aware of!’

Teachers receive very accessible curriculum information about climate change and a full and dynamic experience that engages their students, and often reaches beyond to other students and parents as they share their experience. The team provides prompt communications and tailored support and will work hard to help overcome any hurdles to students’ participation.