Green light for ‘game-changer’ GCSE in Natural History

21 April 2022

A brand-new GCSE in Natural History is set to be introduced, as the Department for Education backs our proposals for a new qualification.

Natural History could be taught to 14 -16 years old from 2025. Pupils will develop a rigorous understanding of the natural world: from their own local wildlife, environment and ecosystem to critical global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity and sustainability.

The move is the culmination of a decade-long campaign led by naturalist Mary Colwell, with support from leading environmentalists such as the Eden Project’s Sir Tim Smit, broadcaster Baroness Floella Benjamin, teenage conservationist Kabir Kaul, and ‘urban birder’ David Lindo.

It builds on years of research we’ve carried out alongside Cambridge University Press & Assessment, involving more than 2,500 teachers, students and environmental experts.

The UK government Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi will announce the new GCSE as part of the Department for Education’s flagship sustainability and climate change strategy, which he is launching at the Natural History Museum in London later today (21 April 2022).

MPs and peers from across the political spectrum, including the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and Conservative former teacher Caroline Ansell, have backed the qualification, which is seen as a major step forward in efforts to ‘green the curriculum’.

Eden Project co-founder Sir Tim Smit said: “This decision is one of the most exciting things that has happened in education in the last thirty years. Seeing the world through the lens of the natural world will transform our wider understanding and empathy for the interconnection between all living things. I am so pleased that the Department for Education is demonstrating real leadership. Mary Colwell inspired us throughout to keep believing in her vision that this could be achieved.”

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Post expires on June 27th, 2022