Environment

Environment

Environment

Introduction

Our Covid-19 Action Fund provided grants for Churchill Fellows to run projects combating the effects of Covid-19 in all areas of society. Hundreds of pandemic projects nationwide are being run or assisted by Churchill Fellows, using the international expertise they gained during their Fellowships overseas. Here are the Action Fund recipients working on issues relating to the environment.

January 2022 awards

Katy Barton: educating children about the natural world

Katy Barton (CF 2009) from London is the Centre Manager at Iver Environment Centre, which provides education programmes and activities for primary school children to learn about the environment. During the lockdowns, they adapted their educational offering to online, but now that they have resumed face-to-face activities, they have noticed a change in need from local schools and students who have been deprived of school trips during the pandemic.

Katy will use her grant to work with colleagues at the Centre to research and develop a programme of experiences that fits the needs of the local schools and communities. The funding will cover development time for the education team to adapt sessions, staff training, and research time to develop surveys and carry out focus groups with local schools. It will also be used to fund transport for 20 classes and education sessions for five classes to enable schools in deprived communities, who would otherwise not be able to afford to go, to undertake school trips. Katy hopes that this work will widen access for more pupils to develop an understanding and respect for the natural world. She will evaluate the project and plans to publish and circulate her findings.

Katy’s Fellowship in 2009 to Madagascar and Mozambique explored wildlife education.

Mary Jackson: improving student wellbeing through caring for the environment

Mary Jackson (CF 2003) from Winchester in Hampshire is Head of Education and Communities at Learning through Landscapes, a UK charity which promotes children’s outdoor learning and play. In the autumn of 2020, the charity ran a successful pilot project, My School, My Planet, with over 1,000 young people in 49 primary and secondary schools across the UK. The project involved taking groups of students outside into school grounds and community spaces to learn about climate change, biodiversity, and soils, resulting in physical improvements to local spaces.

Mary will use her grant to continue to develop My School, My Planet, to enable more schools and communities to deliver the project in the UK, with the aim of building it into a national programme. The funding will help pay for the development of approaches that link schools with their local communities so that they can work together to create physical changes to community sites to help mitigate climate change. The support will enable pupils to survey their site, explore their topic through hands-on, outdoor tasks, then create a new physical element for their site, such as compost bins or raised beds, with links made to different areas of the curriculum throughout. Mary hopes to build on the success of the pilot, which resulted in improved wellbeing for pupils as well as greater engagement in environmental issues.

Mary’s Fellowship to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 2003 explored the use of school grounds to reflect culture and heritage.

Michael Jones: increasing student engagement through nature

Michael Jones (CF 2015) from Chatham in Kent is the Computer Science Director at a boys’ secondary school in a community with pockets of high levels of deprivation. During the pandemic, he has noticed decreased levels of students’ engagement with each other and with their lessons. To tackle this, his school has recently introduced an active break system, when students are encouraged to interact with each other and their environment. Preliminary results are positive, with a noticeable increase in student focus and engagement during lessons.

Michael will use his grant to build on this activity, by setting up an active nature watch project for his students at a small nature reserve located on the school grounds. He will source the technology needed for the students to monitor the flora, fauna and environment around the reserve and to capture and record the data to be published online and shared with others. Michael hopes the project will help students to re-engage with each other as a community, to take responsibility in caring for their local environment, and to re-engage with their subject in a way that is beneficial for their wellbeing.

Michael’s Fellowship to the USA in 2015 explored the delivery of a computer science curriculum in England. It was supported by The Mercers’ Company.

January 2022 awards

Katy Barton: educating children about the natural world

Katy Barton (CF 2009) from London is the Centre Manager at Iver Environment Centre, which provides education programmes and activities for primary school children to learn about the environment. During the lockdowns, they adapted their educational offering to online, but now that they have resumed face-to-face activities, they have noticed a change in need from local schools and students who have been deprived of school trips during the pandemic.

Katy will use her grant to work with colleagues at the Centre to research and develop a programme of experiences that fits the needs of the local schools and communities. The funding will cover development time for the education team to adapt sessions, staff training, and research time to develop surveys and carry out focus groups with local schools. It will also be used to fund transport for 20 classes and education sessions for five classes to enable schools in deprived communities, who would otherwise not be able to afford to go, to undertake school trips. Katy hopes that this work will widen access for more pupils to develop an understanding and respect for the natural world. She will evaluate the project and plans to publish and circulate her findings.

Katy’s Fellowship in 2009 to Madagascar and Mozambique explored wildlife education.

Mary Jackson: improving student wellbeing through caring for the environment

Mary Jackson (CF 2003) from Winchester in Hampshire is Head of Education and Communities at Learning through Landscapes, a UK charity which promotes children’s outdoor learning and play. In the autumn of 2020, the charity ran a successful pilot project, My School, My Planet, with over 1,000 young people in 49 primary and secondary schools across the UK. The project involved taking groups of students outside into school grounds and community spaces to learn about climate change, biodiversity, and soils, resulting in physical improvements to local spaces.

Mary will use her grant to continue to develop My School, My Planet, to enable more schools and communities to deliver the project in the UK, with the aim of building it into a national programme. The funding will help pay for the development of approaches that link schools with their local communities so that they can work together to create physical changes to community sites to help mitigate climate change. The support will enable pupils to survey their site, explore their topic through hands-on, outdoor tasks, then create a new physical element for their site, such as compost bins or raised beds, with links made to different areas of the curriculum throughout. Mary hopes to build on the success of the pilot, which resulted in improved wellbeing for pupils as well as greater engagement in environmental issues.

Mary’s Fellowship to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 2003 explored the use of school grounds to reflect culture and heritage.

Michael Jones: increasing student engagement through nature

Michael Jones (CF 2015) from Chatham in Kent is the Computer Science Director at a boys’ secondary school in a community with pockets of high levels of deprivation. During the pandemic, he has noticed decreased levels of students’ engagement with each other and with their lessons. To tackle this, his school has recently introduced an active break system, when students are encouraged to interact with each other and their environment. Preliminary results are positive, with a noticeable increase in student focus and engagement during lessons.

Michael will use his grant to build on this activity, by setting up an active nature watch project for his students at a small nature reserve located on the school grounds. He will source the technology needed for the students to monitor the flora, fauna and environment around the reserve and to capture and record the data to be published online and shared with others. Michael hopes the project will help students to re-engage with each other as a community, to take responsibility in caring for their local environment, and to re-engage with their subject in a way that is beneficial for their wellbeing.

Michael’s Fellowship to the USA in 2015 explored the delivery of a computer science curriculum in England. It was supported by The Mercers’ Company.