Climate Emergency Challenge

Midweek Spotlight Back

In May 2019, students from across the Harris Federation began a climate emergency initiative led by concerned students in response to the national news.

They have since been creating and implementing exciting initiatives to help their academies become more environmentally friendly. 

This work began in September 2019, when students attended the Harris Climate Emergency Conference held at Harris Academy St. John’s Wood. Two student delegates from 25 Harris academies spent two days working together in a series of workshops and talks. 

Run by The Economist Educational Foundation in collaboration with the Harris Experience team, the conference allowed students to learn more about the climate emergency and gave them ideas for how they could help address it. During the event, they were challenged to devise an emissions-reducing project to deliver in their academies. 

Since the conference, the student delegates have worked with their fellow students, staff and senior leaders at their academies to help bring their plans to action. These have ranged from planting trees on academy grounds, adapting food menus to become more environmentally friendly, managing electricity wastage and encouraging their school communities to find alternatives to single-use plastic. 

"The students had a great experience of working across the academies! I thought it really worked and the vertical nature and they were incredibly good together. A lot come from disadvantaged backgrounds and don’t get the chance to get out of their world. Materials were really well suited to the students - one of the things you do extremely well is helping students articulate why they think something and giving logical evidence for why they think things rather than be swayed by emotional responses!"


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