Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School

A blog post by Keith Turner

Keith Turner

Posted 08/02/2021

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One of the best parts of our education work is the time we spend teaching pupils about the environment.  Lockdown has meant that this has looked a bit different over the last year, but as we have all adapted to remote learning, we’re really enjoying our time in the virtual classroom.  Lately, our Climate Ready Classrooms course has been really popular, and we’ve taught more than one thousand pupils from 54 schools since March 2020, as well as training teachers in 29 schools through our Train the Trainer course.

We asked Keith Turner, Principal Teacher of Geography at Speyside High School, to share his thoughts about taking part in Climate Ready Classrooms:


Back in November 2018, Speyside High School was lucky enough to host one of the early Climate Ready Classroom workshops.  The Keep Scotland Beautiful team worked with S3 pupils for the whole day, exploring the causes and consequences of our changing climate through a range of exciting hands-on activities.  Students ended the session by pledging actions to combat our climate emergency.

Fast forward to November 2020 and some of these students were in Higher Geography, balancing their learning with the ongoing Covid restrictions.  I approached Keep Scotland Beautiful about signing up for the digital Climate Ready Classrooms initiative, with the intention of covering the Higher Geography Climate Change topic, as well as training up the students to deliver peer-education to junior classes.

Over six weeks at the end of 2020 we welcomed Josh into our classroom once a week, via Glow!  The Keep Scotland Beautiful delivery was different to how I would normally teach the topic, so as the students worked through activities with Josh, it was like ongoing professional development for me.  The students looked forward to their weekly sessions, it helped break up the teaching week, and it allowed students who were self-isolating or unable to attend class, to join-in via Glow.  The weekly Kahoot quizzes provided to be very popular with the competitive S6 members of the class!

With support from Josh and myself, the students completed their Carbon Literacy course by making their pledges, many of them committing to work with junior classes.  I am really excited to see these senior students working with the broad general education classes in the future.

The real success of this initiative is seeing students engage with a topic that is so crucial to our lives, and for them to see it as more than just another topic in their Higher curriculum. 

As we move forward in 2021, I know that the experience of Climate Ready Classrooms has massively helped my students.  It has also given me another layer of evidence that they understand the issues and complexities of our changing world. 


Climate Ready Classrooms uses interactive activities to navigate the science behind climate change and discusses how we can all reduce our carbon footprint. It started as a one day in-person workshop and has evolved into a multi session remote learning experience for both pupils and educators. Upon completing the course, pupils receive Carbon Literacy accreditation from the Carbon Literacy Project and have the opportunity to connect to a network of carbon literate ambassadors. 

If Climate Ready Classrooms sounds like a course your class would be interested in, get in touch to discuss your requirements.  

We also offer:

Huge thanks to all the educators and pupils who have invited us into their classroom so far.  Thank you for your time, your interesting project work, and for engaging with us in taking action on climate change.

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