An extensive, multi-channel green education programme that will revolutionise the way young people learn about sustainable and healthy living was unveiled today (26 April) by The Co-operative.
From today, all schools are invited to join The Co-operative’s Green Schools Revolution by registering at www.greenschools.coop, which will give them free online access to a wide range of cross-curricular classroom resources and activities, as well as a number of other valuable benefits for the first schools to sign up.
It will give young people the tools to inspire change in their schools, homes and local communities and teachers will have access to materials covering key stages 1 to 4, including lesson plans, topic webs, assembly presentations, classroom activities, debating topics, quizzes and competitions.
Schools will also be able to arrange free visits to The Co-operative’s own wind farm to see renewable energy in action and to one of seven Co-operative Farms to see how food grows and how to cook it. They will also be able to take advantage of support and free materials to set up walking buses at their schools.
In addition, a series of Green Schools Revolution events will take place across the UK from the autumn, including activity days at regional science and discovery centres, funded by The Co-operative.
Written by educational specialists, Green Schools Revolution is available free to all UK schools and incorporates many areas of the national curriculum for 5 to 16 year olds, including science, geography, literacy, citizenship, PSHE, maths, design and technology and art. It also provides valuable opportunities for learning outside the classroom and complements existing Eco Schools and Healthy Schools initiatives to help support schools on their sustainability journey.
Peter Marks, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said: “Green Schools Revolution forms a major part of our £30million drive to inspire young people and is a key part of The Co-operative’s revolutionary Ethical Plan.
“Through Green Schools Revolution, we will give young people the opportunity to inspire others in their school, at home and in their local communities, helping them to learn about the challenges we face environmentally and giving them the knowledge and experiences to be pioneers for their generation in living more sustainable and healthier lives.”
Ann Finlayson, Chief Executive of SEEd (Sustainability and Environmental Education), said: “It’s fantastic that The Co-operative is investing in inspiring and educating young people and showing the links between farming, renewable energy and business in such an engaging way through practical lessons, schools visits and helping teachers get started quickly and easily with sustainability.”
Dave Boston, head teacher of Sir Thomas Boughey Co-operative Business and Enterprise College in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and Chair of the Schools Co-operative Society, said: “Co-operative values and principles are more relevant than ever at a time when people are being urged to be more independent and active citizens in their communities.
“The Co-operative has a wealth of experience in the education sector, working with over 120 Co-operative Schools, and three Co-operative Group sponsored Academies. To expand its offering to schools through Green Schools Revolution, using its experience in renewable energy, sustainable living and the environment and passing this on to schools, will inspire young people to be more environmentally and socially aware of the issues we face and how to combat them.”
The Co-operative Group
The Co-operative Group is one of the UK’s leading businesses and the world’s largest consumer owned co-operative. The Group is the fifth biggest food retailer and the leading convenience store operator and The Co-operative Financial Services runs the largest “super mutual”. Other interests include the third largest retail pharmacy chain, the number one funeral services business, Britain’s biggest farmer and a leading travel agency. The Co-operative Group has around 6.5 million members. As well as delivering on its financial and operational goals, The Co-operative Group aims to deliver on its social goals, playing an active part supporting local communities and the wider world.
In February 2011, The Co-operative Group set a new benchmark for corporate sustainability in the UK, which will support its aim to have 20 million members during this decade and boost the move to a more environmentally sound and just UK economy.
Among the groundbreaking pledges in The Co-operative’s new Ethical Plan are the toughest operational carbon reduction targets of any major business and a cultural shift in youth perception and opportunities for young people through a £30m programme that will support an Apprenticeship Academy, a Green Schools programme and the creation of 200 Co-operative Schools by 2013.
In total there are 47 distinct targets within The Co-operative’s Ethical Plan, which will be reported on each year within The Group’s sustainability report, a globally recognised leader in terms of transparency, materiality and independent audit.
SEEd is an umbrella, membership organisation for NGOs, schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and educators interested in Sustainability and Environmental Education and the environment. We work to drive forward the uptake of Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development by promoting shared learning, building capacity and developing cross sector partnerships e.g. the Sustainable Schools Alliance.
The Co-operative Group
Public Relations Manager Corporate
Tel: 0161 827 5614