Meet Northamptonshire’s first Climate Change Teacher, accredited by the United Nations.

Fiona Old is the first teacher in Northamptonshire, and one of the first 80 in the UK to be a UN accredited Climate Change Teacher. Fiona Old can now deliver up to date climate change lessons to all pupils at Kingsthorpe College and plans to share Best Practice in an inset day later in the academic year, with all teaching staff, so that they too can take part in this new innovative programme being trialled in UK Schools.
Fiona Old, Lead Practitioner for Vocational and Community Engagement, Kingsthorpe College, says; “It is vital that we teach our young people about climate change and how they can have an impact on the planet. Through our lessons at Kingsthorpe College, particularly in Geography, we can provide students with up-to-date information about how climate change will affect them and what they can do to help save our planet. I have always been interested in the impacts of climate change and I am excited to be able to offer our students and the wider community lessons on how to look after our planet and the impact of our actions. After all, we are only borrowing our planet from our children”.

Headteacher, Jennie Giovanelli, says; “We are delighted to become one of the first UN accredited Climate Change schools in the UK and the work that Fiona will be doing will be vital in educating our students about the causes and impacts of climate change. This is a pressing issue and one that our students need to know about, especially as we encourage our students to become global citizens. We are so pleased that Fiona has completed the UN accredited Climate Change Teacher course and we are excited about the work that she is going to complete”.
The UN Climate Change Teacher Academy is being delivered by Harwood Education, in partnership with the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) and sponsored by YPO. Not only will teachers be able to teach their pupils vital lessons about climate change but they will also earn CPD and certification from the United Nations.
The innovative programme was launched on April 22 and is free for all primary and secondary school teachers. All they need to do is log onto the Climate Change Teacher Academy to access the fully funded courses. Once teachers have completed the five units of the Climate Change Teacher Course, they will be accredited by UN CC:Learn to deliver climate change facts and mitigation best practices. They will be able to encourage and generate social innovation, and prepare today’s youth to protect the planet.

The online training for teachers in primary and secondary schools has been designed to equip educators with the knowledge and confidence to deliver lessons on the topic of climate change to their class and across the school curriculum.

A target of 80 schools are being urged to sign up to take part in an initial trial of the course, lasting around two months, which covers topics including climate change science, gender and environment, children and climate change, cities and climate change, and human health. The programme will then be made available to all schools across the UK with first lessons expected to be delivered in the classroom from the end of June.
Credentials Education specialists, Melanie Harwood and Denise Meissner, whose company Harwood Education have created the easy to assimilate audio/visual courses for the Climate Change Teacher Course, have also created the eduCCate Global Programme, which will be delivered as part of the second phase of the project, which hopes to achieve a broad vision of delivering hundreds of climate literacy lessons to every school throughout the UK. Melanie Harwood explains the context of the project further: “Young children are far more vulnerable to climate-related disasters and associated health risks than any other social group. We need to give them the tools to understand the effects of a changing climate so that they can take well informed and effective action in the future. In these days of a Climate Emergency, now more than ever, teachers all need the knowledge in these five courses that make up the Climate Change Teacher Course to ensure they deliver clear Climate Literacy to all their pupils.”

YPO, the official sponsor, for the launch of the Climate Change Teacher Course and the UN CC:Learn Educate Programme for schools, “We are honoured to be sponsoring a programme that is addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

YPO’s managing director Simon Hill, “Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change, helping young people understand the impact of global warming and how they can play a part in future trends. Recent strikes by schoolchildren as part of a growing global campaign for action on climate change makes the programme even more relevant to educators. As a sponsor of Climate Change Education Programme, YPO will help support delivery of climate change lessons in the classroom, and the need to better train teachers to improve the climate change curriculum and provide quality resources.”
Angus Mackay, Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, “We are delighted to be able to support this important educational initiative in the United Kingdom. Anyone below the age of 20 is part of the ‘climate generation’ living all or most of their lives having to deal with climate change. The Climate Change Teacher Training Academy is an excellent idea because it will give children an intuitive understanding of the issues and it is solutions based”.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Fiona Old or Harwood Education please call:
Claire on +44 (0) 7939 044 542
Melanie on +44 (0) 7595 099 144
Download press images and videos here:

Climate Change Teacher Call to Action - Angus Mackay, Head of UNITAR, United Nations:

To register for the Climate Change Teacher Course go here:…/ClimateChangeTeacherA…

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