Conference Programme 2021

Our programme

We have an excellent line-up of workshops and presentations, for both primary and secondary schools covering a wide range of topics related to climate change. There's something for all ages and interests, and lots of ways to tie in the sessions with your school's curriculum.

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to join the conference live, as all sessions are now available to watch on demand. You can find information about the workshops and presentations, and links to watch them, below.

For teacher notes and a list of resources you will need for each session, please download the conference timetable and resources guide. This document also includes links to watch the sessions. 

Jump to:  Day 1  |  Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Join our network

Day 1 - Monday 5th July

Each day, we'll be showing a short video before the main content starts, and another during the lunch break. These showcase examples of ideas and projects relating to climate change by students and schools (most of which are in South Yorkshire).

Watch today's morning warm-up video here
Watch today's lunch break video here

Dame Sarah Storey

Welcome address from Dame Sarah Storey

PRIMARY | SECONDARY

Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner for the Sheffield City Region, will be setting the scene for this year's event and sharing some of the things we can all do to help create a more sustainable planet.

Drawing on her experience in sustainable transport, Sarah will give an overview of the wide-reaching benefits of choosing active travel for short journeys, or as part of a long journey using public transport. From improving air quality to not replacing all of our cars with electric cars, Sarah will share some practical ways in which everyone can contribute to doing a little bit each to make a difference.

Watch the welcome address here

Madame Zucchini

Madame Zucchini - LIVE

PRIMARY | SECONDARY

Madame Zucchini presents a brand new piece of her infamous Veg theatre: "Beanworld!" where the superhero Veg Avengers join forces with Greta Iceberg in an unlikely meeting of minds. Will they be able to work together to save the planet from the ravages of Climate Change? 

She will also be leading two workshops, one for primary and one for secondary schools, offering the opportunity to get creative with vegetables and make a veg superhero character, think about what you can do to save the planet, and the questions we need to ask to make this happen. Just bring a vegetable, a few cocktail sticks, and your imagination.

Watch Beanworld! here
Watch the secondary workshop here
Watch the primary workshop here

Sheffield Youth Strike 4 Climate

Sheffield Youth Strike 4 Climate

SECONDARY

This is an emergency - Our House is on Fire 

We are at the point of history where humanity is creating an environment that is not safe for humans anymore, where the most destructive force on this planet is humanity. Sheffield YS4C will be discussing how young people can take part in democracy through collective action and other activism. 

They will be discussing who they are and how they have been demanding political leaders take immediate action in order to prevent climate change and for the fossil fuel industry to transition immediately on to renewable energy.

Watch this session here

Amazelab

Amazelab

SECONDARY

What will the cities of the future look like? Create your own wind turbines in this follow along video to spark a conversation about how cities in the future will be powered.

PRIMARY

Make your own ocean at home or in school in this follow along video. As you make your very own ocean start to think about the container you would like to make your ocean in, if you were not recycling it where may it end up?

This video will really encourage young people to think about sustainability and recycling plus investigate how plastic has a negative impact on the environment.

Watch the secondary workshop here
Watch the primary workshop here

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

SECONDARY

Studying whales and dolphins in Scotland 

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a marine biologist or work out at sea? Join this session to learn more about life on board the Trust's research boat. They will introduce you to the amazing whales and dolphins found around the UK and discuss why these animals are important and how our seas have changed over the last 25 years. 

This session links to SDG 13 - Climate Action and 14 - Life Below Water.

Watch this session here

In-between the Trees

In-between the Trees

PRIMARY

Emily from In-between the Trees will be giving an introduction to Forest Schools (for primary teachers).

Later on, she will be showcasing climate conscious craft ideas (for primary pupils).

Watch the teachers' workshop here
Watch the pupils' workshop here

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

PRIMARY | SECONDARY

Sara Booth-Card from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust shares a number of simple ways on how you can easily make your school grounds wildlife friendly.

Watch this session here

Sheffield Renewables

Sheffield Renewables

PRIMARY | SECONDARY

Sheffield Renewables is a renewable energy co-operative, run by volunteers, which owns and operates four solar schemes in and around Sheffield. 

Their current schemes are on a community building, a school, a police station and a wholefood cooperative warehouse. They are always on the lookout for new sites and ways of involving the community.

Watch this session here

Lets Go Zero

Let’s Go Zero

PRIMARY

How can you be a climate champion? 

This session from Let's Go Zero will focus on what you can do in your school and in your homes, and how that can link into your school’s working to be zero carbon by 2030 (as an aspiration). This workshop is suitable for upper primary (KS2).

Watch this session here

Solutions for the Planet

Solutions for the Planet

SECONDARY

The Big Ideas Programme is an annual enrichment programme that focuses on sustainability and combines STEM learning and STEM activities with enterprise and employability skills. Bringing mentors from industry into schools to support young people develop Big Ideas to sustainability issues. The Big Ideas Programme promotes the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and supports the government-adopted Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance. 

Hear from some of the Big Ideas Competition 2020 Regional Finalists about their Big Ideas. Today's session is about Travel, Pollution and Waste.

Watch this session here

Leeds DEC

Leeds DEC

TEACHER CPD

Are you a teacher looking for innovative ideas, whole school approaches and curriculum inspiration? This session run by educational charity Leeds DEC will include:

  • How to access free lessons secondary Maths, Science, RE and MFL lessons
  • An introduction to their new Climate Curriculum CPD course, featuring 10 expert speakers from the University of Leeds, Benin and Nigeria
  • Their "Climate Curriculum" - an innovative methodology helping you to integrate the key ideas at appropriate age groups
  • Ideas to support pupils to take action

Watch this session here

Day 2 - Tuesday 6th July

Each day, we'll be showing a short video before the main content starts, and another during the lunch break. These showcase examples of ideas and projects relating to climate change by students and schools (most of which are in South Yorkshire).

Watch today's morning warm-up video here
Watch today's lunch break video here

BOSH!

BOSH! - LIVE

PRIMARY

Henry Firth and Ian Theasby are proud Yorkshire boys, having met each other when they both attended High Storrs School in Sheffield. They’re passionate about how the food we eat can help to protect the environment, and have been on a mission to show how awesome plant-based food can be. 

They’ll be cooking live, showing you how to make a super simple spaghetti bolognese without any meat or dairy products (that even your Dad will love!) and answer your questions about the world of going vegan for the planet.

Watch this session here

School Energy Efficiency

School Energy Efficiency

PRIMARY

James and Richard from School Energy Efficiency will take the students on an adventure to Antarctica to see what a dangerous and wondrous place it is for humans, only to find people are actually more dangerous to the white continent as we continue to change the climate around the world.

Watch this session here

Hope for the Future

Hope for the Future - LIVE

SECONDARY

This workshop introduces students to UK climate policies and the roles and responsibilities of MPs in shaping this climate policy. Students will be given the space to reflect on their own climate priorities and will learn how to build effective relationships with MPs in advance of the Q&A with a local MP the following day.

Watch this session here

Eco-Schools

Eco-Schools

PRIMARY

Eco-Schools is the largest education programme in the world, empowering young people to lead environmental actions since 1994. For over 25 years, environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy have operated the Eco-Schools programme in England facilitating immediate student-led climate action and creating future generations of environmentalists.

Join Eco-Schools coordinator Francis to learn the aims and ethos of the Eco-Schools programme and demystify the Eco-Schools Seven Step process.

Watch this session here

Clean Air Sheffield

Clean Air Sheffield

SECONDARY

Where does air pollution come from? What is the relationship between air quality and climate change? In this session, you will learn about air quality in the South Yorkshire region, how to measure it, and what can be done to improve it.

Clean Air Sheffield will show you how to make very low cost air quality monitors for your school which will measure ultra-fine dust levels in real time. You will get advice on starting your own air quality monitoring projects that will allow you to continuously collect air quality and weather data and compare it with 14,000 other locations around the world.

Watch this session here

Kids Plant Trees

Kids Plant Trees

PRIMARY

Children have an inherent need to feel connected to nature. Research tells us that time spent outdoors in wild nature is beneficial for their physical and mental health and encourages a positive behaviour towards the environment.

A short story, written and read by Kids Plant Trees, follows two children on a simple outdoors adventure, showing how easy it can be for children to develop a relationship with the natural world, if only they are given regular opportunities to spend time with it.

Watch this session here

Thoughtbox

ThoughtBox

SECONDARY

From anxiety to empowerment 

Learn how thinking in systems can support an empowered future. This workshop will be facilitated by Rachel Musson from ThoughtBox - the creators of the widely acclaimed Climate Curriculum that is currently supporting over 1 million students in 55 countries.

Watch this session here

Alan J. Hesse

Alan J. Hesse

PRIMARY

Conservation biologist, environmental educator and graphic novel author-illustrator Alan J. Hesse presents a short video summarising the key steps to creating a comic with an educational punch.

Focusing on climate change, Alan takes viewers through his own storytelling process, covering techniques, tips and best practices in an engaging style featuring his main character, Captain Polo the climate change bear. The video also features extracts from Alan’s own work, and is designed to be used interactively, prompting viewers to pause the video and complete specific tasks that build up to creating your very own climate change comic.

Watch this session here

Solutions for the Planet

Solutions for the Planet

SECONDARY

The Big Ideas Programme is an annual enrichment programme that focuses on sustainability and combines STEM learning and STEM activities with enterprise and employability skills. Bringing mentors from industry into schools to support young people develop Big Ideas to sustainability issues. The Big Ideas Programme promotes the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and supports the government-adopted Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance. 

Hear from some of the Big Ideas Competition 2020 Regional Finalists about their Big Ideas. Today's session is about  Nature, Oceans and Water.

Watch this session here

Climate Conversations

Climate Conversations

SECONDARY

How to get people talking about the climate emergency 

The purpose of this workshop is to give you some tools to help you have constructive conversations about the climate emergency with friends, family and others. The focus will be on developing the skills you need to get a climate conversation going and to build understanding with the other person or persons.

Watch this session here

Neil Kitching, author of Carbon Choices

Carbon Choices

TEACHER CPD

Common-sense Solutions to our Climate and Nature Crises 

In this workshop, geographer, energy specialist and author, Neil Kitching, will provide a whistle stop presentation on climate change based on his new book, Carbon Choices. Neil will explain climate change and how humans are causing it. He will run through the ten 'building blocks' that are the necessary foundations to tackle climate change (including education) and then apply these to our everyday lives - our homes, our travel, our diets, our leisure activities. Carefully selected photographs of climate change activity and nature will keep you enthralled.

Watch this session here

Day 3 - Wednesday 7th July

Each day, we'll be showing a short video before the main content starts, and another during the lunch break. These showcase examples of ideas and projects relating to climate change by students and schools (most of which are in South Yorkshire).

Watch today's morning warm-up video here
Watch today's lunch break video here

Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Whale and Dolphin Conservation

PRIMARY

Whale Poo: How Whales Help Fight Climate Change! 

In this workshop you will learn about some of the different species of whales and dolphins we can see around our coasts as well as how whales help fight climate change. Suitable for Primary Years 1-6.

Materials needed for the workshop:

  • Measuring tape, at least 11m long (preferably a flexible tape measure) 
  • Download and print the ‘Whale Pump’ worksheet relevant to the class year group (one per pupil)
  • Pencil

Watch this session here

Zero Carbon Britain, Centre for Alternative Technology

Zero Carbon Britain, Centre for Alternative Technology

PRIMARY | SECONDARY

The Zero Carbon Britain project offers the hard data and confidence required for visualising a future where we have risen to the demands of climate science. It has helped to reduce fear and misunderstandings and to open new, positive, solution-focused conversations.

In this workshop, pupils will explore how we can reduce Britain’s carbon emissions to zero and think about what a zero carbon Britain would be like. This workshop enables pupils to develop their own vision of a sustainable future, and to find out more about the available technologies and skills that can make their vision a reality. 

There will be one workshop suitable for upper primary (KS2) and one for secondary.

Watch the secondary workshop here
Watch the primary workshop here

Solar-Active

Solar Active - LIVE

PRIMARY | SECONDARY

Solar Active’s solar car resource covers concepts in GCSE science, maths, use of algebra and geometry applied in a useful way. Students gain skills in problem solving, are given the opportunity to re-apply knowledge and test ability to use it. Students gain knowledge for a solid grounding in core principles of climate change science and for teachers to achieve sustainability curriculum targets to promote careers in STEM subjects.

Participants will need to have registered with Solar Active and have received their solar car kit to get the full benefit of this session. Ideally for small groups.

Watch this session here

Hope for the Future

Hope for the Future - LIVE

SECONDARY

Member of Parliament Q&A - with Olivia Blake MP

Students will be able to apply the lessons learned from the previous workshop and ask a local MP questions about life in politics and taking action on climate change.

Watch this session here 

School Energy Efficiency

School Energy Efficiency

SECONDARY

What's happened with the Climate Emergency - globally, nationally and locally?

James and Richard from Schools Energy Efficiency will share a vision of the future made real and find out how we can take responsibility and action to propel our schools towards Carbon Net-Zero.

Watch this session here

Aim Hi

AimHi

TEACHER CPD

Bring climate into any classroom

Our world is in a race to avoid a climate and nature catastrophe. Never in history have teachers, and the education they provide, been so important.

As this unfolds around us, we have an urgent need to inform and empower everyone, and none more so than students. This hour session is designed to provide key information for teachers about the climate, nature and how to talk about it. Become an inspiring role model for future generations and help us fix our future.

Watch this session here

Our panel answer your questions

Our panel answer your questions

PRIMARY | SECONDARY

We finish our conference with a panel discussion, during which our panellists (see below) will answer questions pre-submitted by primary and secondary pupils attending the conference.

We will be asking live viewers to vote on questions for us to put to world leaders at COP6 in Glasgow later this year.

Watch the panel discussion here

John Grant, Sheffield Hallam University

John Grant, Sheffield Hallam University

John is a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. He is also an academic adviser on Sheffield City Council's Green City Partnership Board on sustainability strategies and climate change working for a Zero Carbon Sheffield by 2030, and he is on the committee for the Environmental Hub, organised by the Sheffield Climate Alliance.

John’s research and knowledge include: renewable energy, sustainable building design, climate change, environmental and water management (capture, storage and flood mitigation). In addition, he has a media presence as director of The ARC at SHU.

Rachel Kennerley, Friends of the Earth

Rachel Kennerley, Friends of the Earth

Rachel is the International Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth and climate justice activist. Her work aims to make sure we’re always thinking beyond national boundaries when tackling the climate crisis and making sure climate solutions work for the most marginalised and locally, nationally and internationally.

Rachel has worked on policy tracking for climate justice movements at UN climate talks for 5 years as well as challenging UK support for fracking and most recently a new gas mega project in Mozambique.

Neil Kitching, author of Carbon Choices

Neil Kitching, author of Carbon Choices

Neil Kitching is a geographer and energy specialist from Scotland. He has written Carbon Choices on the common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises. He works for a public sector agency promoting the opportunities for business to benefit from low carbon heating and water technologies. Neil had a mid-life career change from accountant (in Sheffield) to working in sustainable development then energy.

This book arose from Neil’s frustration that so many people lack a basic understanding of climate change and its serious impacts. Education is the first step towards taking action.

Amanda Smith, Centre for Alternative Technology

Amanda Smith, Centre for Alternative Technology

Amanda has over 20 years’ experience in teaching, school leadership, adult training and organisational improvement. She is a highly qualified and experienced educator, with Qualified Teacher status, the National Professional Qualification for Head Teachers and is a Specialist Leader of Education.

Prior to joining CAT Amanda was a Head Teacher, and she also worked in an advisory capacity for her local education authority from 2003, working with schools and other organisations in challenging circumstances to enable them to develop effective action plans and bring about organisational change and improvement as a result.

Amanda is the Training Manager for the ZCB Hub and brings a passion and belief in the power of education and learning to both change lives and bring the understanding that the choices made as individuals, policymakers or business people are important at a global level.

Patrick Wakefield, Sheffield Youth Strike 4 Climate

Chair: Patrick Wakefield, Sheffield Youth Strike 4 Climate

Patrick Wakefield, a Sheffield school student and an active campaigner with Sheffield Youth Strike 4 Climate, will be chairing our panel discussion.


Acknowledgements

Firstly, thank you to all the teachers, headteachers and school staff, who have gone out of their way at an incredibly difficult time to enable their students to participate in this important event.

We'd like to thank all the amazing contributors to our conference - the presenters and workshop facilitators, our panellists and panel chair, and the schools who contributed short videos for our morning and lunchtime sessions. We are so pleased to be able to showcase the fantastic and vital work you all do and the inspiring ideas from young people across South Yorkshire and beyond. Thank you.

Our thanks also go to our wonderful partners - Development Education Centre South Yorkshire (DECSY), National Education Union Sheffield District, Friends of the Earth Sheffield and Sheffield Climate Alliance - as well as all the individuals and organisations who have made donations. This conference wouldn't have happened without your generous support. Thank you.

We're very grateful to Sam Osborne, who stepped in to manage the production of the conference and has done an excellent job. We highly recommend him to anyone needing production management or tech support for an online event. Visit: samosborne.me

Finally, a huge thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers, who have pulled out all the stops to make this conference a success. Well done to you all (you know who you are).


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