Pupils share challenges and learn new skills during environment elective project

Rachel Smith, Head of Lower School & Pastoral Care, explains how Oxford Education Online used the G7 Summit to inspire pupils across the school

As teachers we simply love the opportunity to work across subject areas and help the children understand that the world is a vibrant mix of interesting people, places and things. Choosing subjects for our programme of elective projects across the year is exciting, and we are delighted that our recent school-wide elective on the environment brought so many benefits for every child.

G7 Summit June 2021

Britain’s hosting of the G7 summit in Cornwall provided a topical focus for our investigations into the environment. Our Geography teacher, Lizzie Shipman, developed the module and produced active, thought-provoking resources which reflected the students’ interests and enabled them to learn about projects happening around the world.

Over the course of four weeks our students responded enthusiastically to a range of linked sessions, including:

Introduction to the Greenhouse Effect

Understanding what is happening, why, and how we can help. This was a great opportunity for teamwork, as students in mixed-age groups undertook shared research on a range of alternative energy sources.

Interview with an Environmental Expert

Mark Clayton of AArdvark kindly talked to the students about his inspiration and his work in the environmental sector, answering questions on a broad range of subjects including his career path and the opportunities for creating energy from waste. Students benefit enormously from such opportunities to meet people outside their normal life, prepare and voice questions and listen effectively.

Dragon’s Den Debate

A lively and competitive session in which mixed groups were given an imaginary £0.5 million to ‘invest’ across different energy sectors. Stimulating discussions, creative thinking and confident presentation skills all featured in this memorable debate.

Eco Villages

An investigation into how individuals and groups can act to save the planet whilst also benefitting their community. This session showed students practical ways to apply the knowledge and understanding they have gained.

Shared learning for life

Our students engaged happily in the variety of challenges we set them, soaking up information and learning life skills along the way. OEO’s electives are designed to give pupils the opportunity not only to explore new ideas, but also to work collaboratively with different groups across the school and meet people from other backgrounds online. As a whole school project, this environment elective was a great success, and we look forward to offering many more opportunities to inspire and educate our students through our continuing programme of elective modules.

Leave a comment