New natural history GCSE launched to focus on environment and changing world

‘Sustainability and climate change are the biggest challenges facing mankind,’ education secretary says

Saphora Smith
Climate Correspondent
Tuesday 19 April 2022 12:16 BST
<p>The government is due to announce a new GCSE in Natural History </p>

The government is due to announce a new GCSE in Natural History

A new GCSE is to be introduced to allow young people to better understand the environment and how it is changing.

Pupils will begin studying the course in natural history in September 2025, enabling young people to learn about sustainability issues and gain a deeper understanding of the natural world, the government said.

They will develop the skills to help them build careers involving nature, from understanding how to conserve local wildlife to conducting the fieldwork needed to indetify species, the Department for Education (DfE) added.

Young activists take part in the Youth Strike to Defund Climate Chaos in London 2021.

Students already learn about climate change in subjects such as geography and science. However, the DfE said that new natural history GCSE will teach the evolution of species, the impact of life on our natural environments, and how they are changing and evolving.

“Sustainability and climate change are the biggest challenges facing mankind,”said the education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi. “The new natural history GCSE will offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how to conserve it.”

Mr Zahawi is expected to announce the new GCSE on Thursday as part of the DfE’s sustainability and climate change strategy, which aims to help young people deveop science, technology and maths skills, as well as offering them opportunities to improve biodiversity and climate resilence.

The GCSE is among the first to be launched in England since 2017 when new qualifications were introduced in a range of subjects such as economics and geology. An environmental science A level is already available.

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