Meet Devon’s first Climate Change Teacher, accredited by the United Nations

Dr Ben King, a Geography teacher here at Churston for 19 years, is the first teacher in Devon to become a United Nations accredited Climate Change Teacher and one of 80 initially trained in the UK.  Dr King can now deliver up to date climate change lessons to his students at Churston Ferrers Grammar School. He used our recent Inset day to film a Masterclass on how to complete the United Nations Climate Change Lead Teachers’ (eduCCate) Course and this will be released soon.

Dr King, Teacher of Geography, Science and Business Studies at Churston Ferrers Grammar School, says, “I was very excited to see that this United Nations Certified course was being offered.  For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in environmental issues and my Environmental Science degree from the University of Stirling in the early 1990s really enhanced my understanding of Climate Change Science and related issues; I studied Physics alongside Environmental Science and then moved to Exeter University to pursue my Ph.D. research into soil erosion in agricultural catchments, focusing on the Exe Estuary near Starcross in South Devon. Following subsequent PGCE training at St. Luke’s in Exeter, I have since taught a variety of subject areas in both Plymouth and Torbay.  Throughout my 20 years of teaching, I have taught children about Climate Change from a variety of perspectives, from the ages of 11-18, and I have witnessed great advances in understanding of Climate Change Science and wider issues relating to different impacts around the World. I have really enjoyed learning the new content provided by this UN Climate Change course and I am very excited to begin disseminating this information to my students, via other staff in the school.

Please see to find out more about the FREE online United Nations course – open to all.

The UN Climate Change Teacher Academy is being delivered by Harwood Education, in partnership with the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) and sponsored by YPO. Not only will teachers be able to teach their pupils vital lessons about climate change but they will also earn CPD and certification from the United Nations.

The innovative programme was launched on April 22 is free for primary and secondary school teachers. All they need to do is log onto the Climate Change Teacher Academy to access the free lessons. Once teachers have completed the five units of the Climate Change Teacher Course, they will be accredited by UN CC:Learn to deliver climate change facts and mitigation best practices. They will be able to encourage and generate social innovation, and prepare today’s youth to protect the planet.

The online training for teachers in primary and secondary schools has been designed to equip educators with the knowledge and confidence to deliver lessons on the topic of climate change to their class and across the school curriculum.

A target of 80 schools are being urged to sign up to take part in an initial trial of the course, lasting around two months, which covers topics including climate change science, gender and environment, children and climate change, cities and climate change, and human health. The programme will then be made available to all schools across the UK with first lessons expected to be delivered in the classroom from the end of June.