Step 4 Curriculum Links

Including environmental education in a variety of different curriculum areas covering a variety of year groups during the school year.

Curriculum Links Criteria

In order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag award a school must meet the following criteria.

  • Environmental issues related to any of the ten Eco-Schools topics have been covered in your school’s curriculum at least three times.
  • Evidence of environmental curriculum links (ideally pupil’s work) is displayed on your Eco-Board (physical or digital).
  • Optional for first Eco-Schools Green Flag: Your three pieces of curriculum link evidence is from different year groups and subject areas.

Curriculum Links Criteria Guidance

Further information about the Eco-Schools criteria for Step 4: Curriculum Links.

  • Your three pieces of curriculum link evidence do not have to correspond with the topics you have chosen to work on in your Action Plan.
  • The Eco-Schools Team understand that some specialist settings may have a bespoke curriculum, and environmental work linking to this curriculum is perfect.
  • We recommend beginning to gather your Curriculum Links and completing this section of the Eco-Schools application form as early as October.

Eco-Schools Team Tip

Host an Eco-Day or Week in your school when all lessons are based around environmental issues. This is both celebratory and perfect for making sure every child in the school is involved in environmental education. It also makes it easy to gather all the evidence you need for Step 4 in one go!

Curriculum Links Resources

A list of Curriculum Links resources you will be able to access when you login to your Eco-Schools account.

  • Primary 100 Eco-Schools Lesson Ideas. A grid with lesson ideas demonstrating how each of the ten Eco-Schools topics can be taught across 10 subjects.
  • Primary Curriculum Links Staffroom Handwritten. A document to place in the staffroom to make gathering Curriculum Link evidence easy.
  • Primary Gathering Curriculum Links Editable. A document to e-mail to staff members to make gathering Curriculum Link evidence easy.

Curriculum Links FAQs

Everything you need to know about highlighting Eco-Schools in the curriculum.

Do the curriculum links have to specifically relate to the Eco-Schools programme?

No, if you want to create lesson plans based on the Eco-Schools programme, brilliant, the programme lends itself well to this, however, any work linking to any our ten topics is fine.

Does our curriculum evidence have to be from the same topics we have in our Action Plan?

No, it can be from any of our ten topics.

How many pieces of evidence do we need?

You need to gather three pieces of curriculum evidence for your Eco-Schools Green Flag application.

How can we find this evidence?

If you follow the National Curriculum then it should be easy to find examples from the whole school where Eco-Schools and the National Curriculum overlap. An easy example of this is that it is mandatory to teach a foreign language in Key Stage 2 – this links perfectly with our Global Citizenship topic. You can also use our 100 Eco-Schools Lesson Ideas resource for inspiration.

Can all of our evidence be from the same class?

For your first Eco-Schools Green Flag, yes! For Eco-Schools Green Flag renewals, no, we would like to see evidence from different age groups. Why not try using one of the resources listed above to help you easily gather evidence from other year groups?

We have found our evidence, what next?

We would like you to display this evidence on your Eco-Board: you can do this by choosing one or two good examples of pupils’ work and photocopying them for display.

Curriculum Links Examples

Rosslyn Park Primary and Nursery School, Nottingham

Pupils in Year 5 at Rosslyn Park in Nottingham learnt about the waste we produce, where it goes and how it affects our planet as part of their Geography curriculum. To launch their topic, pupils decided to investigate how much waste they produce as a class on a daily basis. The entire class was encouraged to hold on to their lunchtime waste in order to complete a waste audit. Waste was sorted into different groups: paper/cardboard, plastic, metal and food waste and their results used to estimate how much waste their school produces daily. They also used their waste to produce the visually-striking, life-size bar graph pictured. The lesson was a complete cross-curricular success blending maths and geography with an important environmental context which prompted rich and thought-provoking discussion.

School Website

West Jesmond Primary School, Newcastle

Year 6 at West Jesmond Primary School in Newcastle completed a geography unit titled, 'Our Island, Our Future' during which all pupils worked to answer the question, 'Saving My Planet: What Can I do?' Over a half term they looked at graphs and charts to find out which industries contributed the most Carbon to the atmosphere, whilst conducting their own, independent research. Over the half-term they improved their knowledge and vocabulary, before creating and delivering presentations on the topic incorporating existing persuasive writing literacy skills. They then created a collaborative video, using their presentations to add a voice over, an activity they all really enjoyed! There is a QR code linking to the video in all pupil's books and it has had a fantastic response from parents!

School Website

Evergreen School, Warwick

In Art lessons, Wren class at Evergreen focused on the environment and recycling. They were inspired to create their art installation (pictured), from a piece of art titled, 'Where Does the Rubbish Go?' which used bottle tops to make a scenic landscape, and old plastic bottles to create a sea creature installation piece.
The purposes of creating their display was to show that, with a little creativity, 'rubbish' can be reused and re-loved whilst raising awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans.
Pupils in Evergreen are very eco-friendly and are particularly motivated during lessons that touch on environmental issues!

School Website

SJKT Sungai Ara, Penang, Eco-Schools Malaysia

As a headmaster, I have implemented the UN Sustainable Development Goals in our school. I selected goals 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 as part of our environmental and daily learning activities. Since the year 2017 we have designed programs for every SDG goal and integrated them with our school curriculum. It has opened more opportunities for the school to expand teaching and learn beyond whiteboards. Through using the SDGs We have been able to network, explore a variety of outdoor activities, improve our student’s skills, and receive recognition for the impact of our work. The most important benefit has been developing a young, empowered generation. Our projects on the UN SDGs earnt us a shortlisting for SEAMEO JAPAN ESD AWARD in 2017 and we won the best project (Eco-Education) in 2018 at 41st Seameo High Official Meeting, Bangkok, Thailand. SJKT Sungai Ara, was the only school selected to represent Malaysia to receive this award.

Eco-Schools Malaysia

Booker Avenue Junior School, Liverpool

Booker Avenue Junior School in Liverpool have been running a creative writing competition for over 30 years, each year with a new theme. Like Eco-Schools Eco-Code, their writing can take any form it likes fiction or non-fiction.
Booker Avenue's most recent theme was wildlife. One of the students (Toby) chose to write a poem about technology and nature - he had noticed that as he (and his peers) are getting older they are beginning to spend more and more time staring at screens instead of getting out and interacting with nature.
Writing and recording his poem made Toby realise the importance of appreciating the world around you, rather than just looking at it on a screen!

School Website

Padiham Primary School, Burnley

For the past eight years, the first week back after Christmas is always Eco-Week at Padiham Primary School. Each year we have a different theme for example: 'What does our school do to care for the world?', 'Recycling,' and this year 'Global issues.' Each class teacher takes this theme and plans activities that are appropriate for their class, aiming to cover as many curriculum areas as possible. This year was very successful and happened to coincide with the amazing Blue Planet series on the BBC. 'Global Issues,' led most classes to carry out research into plastic pollution and the terrible effect it is having on our planet. The children were particularly upset by images of sea creatures tangled in rubbish, and their work during the week definitely raised awareness of our impact on the wider world and the responsibility they have as individuals to reduce this.

We often run a competition during the week, for example the most useful item made from recycled materials. The children have created items such as bird boxes, bags and pencil holders from junk.

Over the years, we have had lots of fun during Eco-Week including trashion shows, no power day (no ICT or lights all day!) and collecting unwanted clothes or textiles. Our (Re)Love a Book sales are always very popular.

At the end of the week, we have a celebration assembly where each class shares what they have learnt during the week. A selection of their work is displayed on our Eco-Board in the corridor. We would definitely recommend Eco-Week as a way to get the whole school involved in Eco-Schools.

School Website

Gorse Hall Primary School, Stalybridge

Eco-Schools Hall of Fame school Gorse Hall have recently participated in the Pod's What's Under Your Feet campaign. The campaign is a citizen science project that encourages students to dig up a small patch of land in their school to find out what invertebrates are present. They then submit their results to be used in a scientific study for the British Trust for Ornithology. Their data is helping scientists understand the relationship between climate change, availability of invertebrates and the impact this is having on UK bird numbers.
As part of the project, Gorse Hall produced stunning pictures of British Bird species in art lessons. Not only was the art lesson vast amounts of fun, it also helped pupils appreciate the beauty of British wildlife.

School Website

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