Schools supporting climate action

More than 40 schools across the city are now taking part in the ‘Our City, Our World’ sustainability, climate change and environmental education programme. 

Our City Our World is the climate and sustainability strategy for Brighton & Hove schools. The council is working with schools to integrate environmental education throughout the curriculum, support climate action projects and create systems and practices that support sustainability. 

On 19 May headteachers, governors, project leads and business managers from the third group of Our City, Our World schools will come together at a ‘Leading for Sustainability’ event at Brighton Town Hall. 

As a result of their involvement in the strategy, schools have been leading the way on climate action in the city. Some of their recent achievements include: 

  • 15 schools have sown wildflower meadows in their grounds (in addition to the 30 meadows sown last year as part of the City of Meadows project) 
  • Goldstone Primary School has opened a refill shop with another due to open soon at Cardinal Newman School 
  • Students from the University of Brighton are helping to monitor the impact on biodiversity of schools taking part in No Mow May 
  • Cottesmore and Cardinal Newman schools organised a Freegle event and West Hove Infants ran a successful clothes swap
  • St Luke’s Primary School undertook a food waste audit and Varndean School ran a sustainable ‘Food Festival’ 
  • Children at Westdene Primary School have designed an interpretation board for the ‘mini South Downs’ they helped to create in the school’s grounds and are planting up the chalk bank with local wildflowers.
An interpretation board designed by children at Westdene Primary School for the ‘mini South Downs’ they helped to create in the school’s grounds.

Our City, Our World is also catching the eye of central government. Members of the group presented recently at the Department for Education’s stakeholder good practice event and the National Climate Education Action Plan network meeting, with articles in the DfE Climate Snapshot and Local Government Association website.  In June the strategy will present the programme to other local authorities through a Let’s Go Zero national webinar. 

Environmental education officer Katie Eberstein said: “Schools are putting sustainability at the heart of their curriculum and operations, whilst providing opportunities for students to connect with The Living Coast and become changemakers in their schools, families and communities. 

“We are continuing to support good practice in the first 2 groups of Our City Our World schools and are now working with a third group, as well as setting up a focus group for secondary schools.” 

Find more information on the Our City, Our World website

  • This story is part of our ‘Eight for Earth Day’ series, highlighting projects and actions the council and partners are taking, following on from Earth Day 2023. Earth Day  recognises the positive actions of people making a difference to reducing the effects of climate change and restoring nature. 

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