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8th December 2023

Capturing Climate Schools – a partnership project in East Ayrshire

In the face of environmental challenges, fostering a sense of awareness and responsibility among the younger generation is crucial. The GSA Biosphere and our multi-sector partners are constantly collaborating in new and creative ways to help young people feel a greater sense of connection to nature, land and community, most recently in the Capturing Climate Schools project which is underway in East Ayrshire. Working alongside colleagues at the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership (CCLP), Muirkirk Media, and the New Cumnock Development Trust ReUse Hub and made possible through CCLP funding, this initiative aims to equip children with the knowledge and tools essential to understand and address the issues surrounding climate change and its local impacts.

The project unfolded in two phases, with the first part conducted at Muirkirk Primary School and New Cumnock Primary School, followed by sessions at Netherthird Primary School and Littlemill Primary School. Muirkirk Media documented the entire journey, producing a compelling short film that captures the project and its impact on those taking part:


Capturing Climate Schools is centered around sessions specifically designed to deepen engagement with the causes and effects of the climate crisis. Topics included the Greenhouse Effect, exploring effects of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Using resources developed in research at the University of Manchester, the students used RoundView, a science-based framework for sustainability learning, visioning, and decision-making. RoundView is immersive, interactive and fun, encouraging learning through games while demonstrating the core principles of sustainability. Through activities exploring ecosystem restoration, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and recycling, children are able to envision a positive future for the planet.

Using Ketso, an inclusive method of engagement also developed by Dr Joanne Tippett at the University of Manchester, pupils contributed their thoughts and ideas about the climate crisis and how it impacts their generation. They then expressed these thoughts by writing words and messages on lollipop sticks and attached these to recycled furniture: a chest of drawers served as the canvas for the first part of the project, followed by a coffee table in the second part. These pieces of climate art will be displayed locally, offering the community a glimpse into how children perceive and respond to climate change. The messages pupils wrote reflect not only their concern for the environment but also the anxiety they have for the future of their world. Most importantly, these messages show their hope for a call to action, emphasising positive steps that can be taken to address the challenges we collectively face.

The Capturing Climate Schools project demonstrates the power of collaborative education in nurturing a generation to not only be aware of environmental issues but also to become actively involved in considering and creating potential solutions. By listening to young voices, initiatives like these help us work towards a sustainable future, where the concerns and ideas of the younger generations play a role in shaping a world that is environmentally conscious.

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere has specialist Community and Education officers who are available to visit schools and youth organisations to talk about the UNESCO Biosphere designation, nature and wildlife, climate issues, carbon literacy and more. Some of the opportunities are listed on our Learning page, or please email for more details or to arrange a preliminary call.

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