Downs Infants Vision For environmental Education


The world is changing and we need to be flexible and adapt to new ways of living and educating our young people to create a sustainable future. Our vision is to transform our school environment by introducing co-created green spaces into a place where children, staff and visitors feel a sense of awe and wonder. We believe that through an ambitious greening of the curriculum and school systems, we can become inspirational changemakers, where empathy towards our unique planet, and desire to protect it, is nurtured. With a creative approach, we will be developing skills through outdoor learning, whilst embedding a strong culture of sustainability and belonging across the school, one that reflects our diverse community and our environment. We will be thinking outside the box with our mantra always in mind ‘Is it green? Can it be greener?’



What is environmental education at Downs Infants?

As a school we are in the first stages of developing a green curriculum. We are working together to thread environmental awareness and education throughout all the subjects of the curriculum. We have changed our approach to all systems, looking through a green lens. Our driving moto ‘Is it green? Can it be greener?’ helps us to approach teaching, learning and living in more eco-friendly way.

Our approach to outdoor learning aims to empower the children to learn, discuss and react to what is happening in their world. We reverse eco-anxiety by turning it into active hope and allow all pupils, families and staff to have a voice, valuing all opinions.


Why is Carbon Literacy important in Primary schools?

We endeavour for our pupils to have a deep connection with nature and a sense of awe and wonder about our world.

We hope to inspire pupils to understand the impact we have as individuals and collectively, and the positive change we can make. Not only reducing carbon emissions but actively making positive changes to support biodiversity and our environment.

Carbon Literacy educates and empowers our children, so they will reach junior school demanding a higher level of environmental education and action.


Our Carbon Literacy Curriculum – Our City, Our World

Last term Downs Infants launched ‘Our City, Our World’, a project supporting the introduction of climate change and sustainability into the school curriculum. This is ground-breaking work and will be passed on to all schools within the Local Authority. What this means in the day-to-day of the school, is that we use every subject to teach about the environment in an inspiring and empowering way, no longer relying on just science to cover this huge topic. For example; English uses the environment for inspired discussion and writing across all topics, PSHE allows us to be reflective and mindful of our changing world and how we care for each other within it. Geography focuses on our local environment and the biodiversity in and around Sussex. We also think about how we travel around our city. In art we focus on a variety of artists inspired by nature, such as Andy Goldsworthy, Hilma Af Klimt and Hundertwasser. The children become experts in observational drawings looking carefully at the natural world.

In Science, each year group is carefully considering our impact on the environment, how we use materials to build and create eco homes and how we can promote biodiversity in our school with planting a range of flowers.

This is just the start as we evolve our green curriculum. We are excited to continue the journey together with our families.

How you can help?

Any parent who works in a company or industry where there is a healthy environmental policy would be very welcome to share this information with our children, we are always looking for inspiring visitors.

We are also very keen to hear from any parents wishing to share their gardening or environmental skills in a practical way in school. As we are developing our Forest School approach to continuous provision, we are always looking for resources and skilled advice.