On Monday 30th of January, the Cork County Mayor, Cllr. Danny Collins and Katherine Corkery from Cork County Council visited 1st Years at Kinsale Community School who are currently working on a Climate Literacy programme with their Geography Teacher, Ms. Diane O’Shea. The programme is organised and supported by Cork City Council, and delivered by Education for Sustainability, a social enterprise who provide teacher training, teaching resources, lesson plans and a student workbook.
Education for Sustainability have partnered seven Local Authorities to delivery their ten-week climate literacy course running in fifty schools throughout Ireland in 2021 and 2022. Over the last two months Orla Coutin, who is one of the Education for Sustainability facilitators has delivered classes every week to 1A9 on the following topics: climate change, sustainable development, climate justice, plastic pollution, fast fashion, sustainable development, biodiversity loss, food, soil and taking action. Each class is engaging, game-based and interactive. Students take part in games and engage with an online platform called My Quest where they participate in a range of different activities which assess their knowledge on each topic. Once these classes are complete students will take action on an environmental issue of their choice.
The course is designed around a series of activities which really engage the students and consolidate what they are learning. The course is also action focused. Every week the students learn about what actions they can take in their daily lives to make a difference and brainstorm solutions to different environmental issues.
Diane O’Shea from Kinsale Community School outlined the benefits of the course “The Climate Literacy Course has been very interactive, informative and enjoyable for the students. It has provided them with the opportunity to engage with a range of environmental issues from fast fashion to biodiversity. It has provided the students with the knowledge to enable them to make informed and responsible decisions regarding actions that may affect our climate. It is imperative that our young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle the environmental challenges of the 21st century. This course has provided our young people with the opportunity to think critically about environmental issues. I believe that it is essential to develop students' capacity to think critically about environmental issues in order to reduce eco-anxiety and develop a culture of agency and empowerment.”