At Downs View, we provide opportunities for our students to learn about sustainability, the environment and nature through engagement in social action and learning outdoors so they feel a deeper connection to the natural world. Through our work on sustainability we aim to improve environmental literacy and create a healthier and more engaged community. We do this by taking part in local and global events that tackle sustainability issues such as One Tree Day, The Big Plastic Count and Earth Day.
At the school site every class has a sustainability target. Some classes are collecting recycling, some are using less wipes and some are walking to places rather than using the minibus. We are working hard to develop our outdoor learning in the curriculum. All classes have plenty of opportunities to take their learning outdoors to experience the environment and continue to develop core skills.
At the Link College we have a strong focus on life skills so we teach our students about food waste, recycling, re-using and re-purposing so that we can all reduce our carbon footprint. Our students are full of fantastic ideas and came up with a Swap Shop that runs on site every term where students can exchange their clothes, toys, DVD etc. rather than buying new things.
As a fully inclusive school and college, it is important that all our learners engage with sustainability at a level that is appropriate for them so for many of our learners this will be through us encouraging a deeper connection and appreciation of nature. This can involve learning outdoors, noticing how the ‘wild’ changes in the seasons, exploring our local habitat and bringing nature into the classroom through nature trays. We want our whole community to experience the wonder and awe of nature and to see how they are connected and part of the natural world.
We have also provided extensive training for our staff so that they can be more environmentally conscious in their professional and home life. We provide regular training sessions and we invite staff to be innovative and climate conscious in everything they do. We are proud to be part of the Our City, Our World pilot project that has provided us with staff training and opportunities to share practice across the City as we all work towards Brighton and Hove Carbon Zero 2030. You can find out more about this project here https://www.ourcityourworld.co.uk/
There are links below to resources that we have used to support our staff and student learning on sustainable living. “I will be a Hummingbird” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGMW6YWjMxw
“Earth to Cop” Video shown to world leaders at Cop 26 and shows the devastating effect of climate change around the world https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzZcM8g4M0Q
“Greta and the Giants” story book that explores the impact of human behaviour on habitats and animals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGccpeALlgM
“The Great Big Lesson for Climate and Nature: Live from COP26” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HExapQfulPg