New climate change GCSE to teach pupils to protect the planet

Climate change will be a key focus of the new qualification set to be announced by the Education Secretary this week

A new natural history GCSE will be launched this week that focuses on teaching pupils how to protect the plant.

The course aims to give young people “a deeper knowledge of the natural world around them” and is set to be formally announced by Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi on Thursday (21 April).

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The new qualification will teach pupils how to protect the plant (Photo: Getty Images)

What will the qualification cover?

The new qualification will teach pupils about organisms and their environment, as well as environmental and sustainability issues.

It is understood that climate change will be a key focus of the course and it will allow pupils to develop skills for future careers in conservation, “from understanding how to conserve local wildlife to conduct the fieldwork needed to identify species”, the Department for Education (DfT) said.

Pupils already learn about environmental issues through the study of urbanization in geography and habitats in science, but the government said this new course would “go further” in teaching them about the history and evolution of species and the impact of life on natural environments, as well as how they are changing and evolving.

Mr Zahawi, who is expected to announce the new GCSE on 21 April as he launches the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, said: “Sustainability and climate change are the biggest challenges facing mankind. None of us can be in any doubt just how critical they have become.

“The new natural history GCSE will offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how to conserve it.”

When will the new GCSE be available?

The new qualification will be available from September 2025 and is one of the first new GCSEs to be launched since the reform of GCSE qualifications in 2017.

“The government will work closely with independent experts and a range of stakeholder organizations, exam boards including Cambridge OCR and Ofqual to develop the detailed content for the GCSE.”, The DfE said.

The Education Secretary will also launch a wider Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy which will set out to help “young people develop excellent knowledge of STEM and practical opportunities to improve biodiversity and climate resilience”.

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