Curriculum Guidance 7 - Environmental Education

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This publication, from the National Curriculum Council (NCC), provides: aims of environmental education; a framework for environmental education; implementing environmental education; case studies and classroom activities.

The following attainment targets from the science National Curriculum were particularly relevant to learning about the environment:

ATl Exploration of science
AT2 The variety of life
AT3 Processes of life
AT5 Human influences on the earth
AT6 Types and uses of materials
AT8 Explaining how materials behave
ATl3 Energy

ATl7 The nature of science
A19 Earth and atmosphere

With the introduction of the National Curriculum, not only were the curriculum requirements described in terms of subjects but also in terms of cross-curricular themes. These were not intended to be additional subjects but to be taught through the subjects of the National Curriculum. In this way they were to contribute to whole curriculum planning.

Environmental education is closely linked to the other cross-curricular themes identified by NCC:

• economic and industrial understanding
• health education
• careers education
• guidance education for citizenship.

The five cross-curricular themes have in common the capacity to promote discussion of values and beliefs, extend knowledge and understanding, encourage practical activities and decision-making and further the inter-relationship of the individual and the community.

The National Curriculum was introduced by the passing into law of The Education Reform Act of 1988. It established the idea of a National Curriculum (NC) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The National Curriculum Council (NCC) set out also to support the implementation of the National Curriculum by providing support and guidance for teachers.

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