Students learn about tackling climate change and develop new skills at summer school

Students at Ron Dearing UTC have been learning about how to tackle climate change at a special summer school.

Around 40 students either joining the school or moving from Year 10 to Year 11 in September took part in a week-long series of activities to raise their awareness of the climate emergency and develop valuable new skills.

The summer school had the theme “Five Days to Save the World” and began with a keynote address from author Robert Bell. It then saw the students take part in biology, physics and futurology workshops, all with an environmental focus. They also enjoyed a trip to The Deep to discover more about the planet.

In the second half of the week the students were tasked with designing their own sustainability-themed computer platform games, based on what they had learned in the first part of the week.

From left, Francesca Wilkes-Oliver, Grace Massam, Katie Hatfield and Adam Salter.


Working in teams, they adapted a basic template to create their own bespoke games. Each team then delivered a presentation on their game to the whole cohort.

Chris Berry, Lead Practitioner for English, led the week with Assistant Principal Joanne Campbell.

He said: “The students have all been brilliant and we saw them really flourish throughout the week.

“They developed a much broader understanding of environmental issues and the difference they can all make, worked in teams, delivered presentations and learned about computer coding, so it was a really valuable experience for them.”

Ron Dearing UTC students at The Deep.


Students Francesca Wilkes-Oliver and Adam Salter, along with their teammates Katie Hatfield and Grace Massam, created a game about saving animals from forest fires in Australia.

Francesca, 15, said: “The week really opened my eyes to what we can all do to help save the planet.

“It raised my awareness about the issues and the part we can play to tackle the problems. We can all make small changes which, together, can make a big difference.”

Adam, also 15, said: “It’s been a really interesting week and I’ve learned a lot. We’ve worked in teams and developed new skills, so it’s been great.”