Front cover of the book showing a misty valley

Teaching Climate in the Classroom

11 May 2021

As the climate conversation has reached the top of the UK news agenda and young people are leading the way in calling for change, the Royal Meteorological Society has produced a new FREE classroom resource to support the teaching of Weather and Climate in secondary schools.

Weather and Climate: A Teacher’s Guide aims to provide UK teachers with everything they need to deliver relevant, engaging and thorough weather and climate lessons to 11-14-year-old students and above. The book and accompanying online teaching resources are available on the Royal Meteorological Society's education website Additional resources are included as ‘More for Teachers’, providing background information to support each of the topics in the guide, whatever level they are currently teaching.

Dr Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the Royal Meteorological Society said:

“When students (amongst others) have been demanding more climate change teaching in schools, it is particularly important to show them the relevance of their classroom learning to one of the most pressing issues of their time. However, for teachers to help young people understand climate change, we first need to equip teachers with the tools they need to make sure their student know about the weather and climate.

At the Society, we believe that every student should leave school with the basic climate literacy that would enable them to engage with the messages put forward by the media or politicians and to make informed decisions about their opportunities and responsibilities.

It is also vital that all students have the basic weather literacy that allows them to understand the weather that affects them, their leisure activities and the careers they choose to follow.”

Weather and Climate: A Teacher’s Guide includes a progression of knowledge through the topics, supported by review and assessment activities. The resources also progressively develop key geographical skills such as data, mapwork, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), fieldwork and critical thinking skills.

There are 20 topics/chapters with three suggested paths through the subjects, depending on the teaching time available:

  • Basic weather path: Weather in our lives, weather measurements, weather and climate, global atmospheric circulation, global climate zones, air masses, pressure and wind and water in the atmosphere
  • Climate path: Weather and climate, global atmospheric circulation, global climate zones, past climate change, polar climate, hot deserts, changing global climate, UK climate, changing UK climate, the climate crisis
  • Extending weather path: Anticyclones, depressions, microclimates, urban weather, tropical cyclones.

Many of the online teaching resources are available with standard or easier versions, as well as extension or alternative activities. All the online resources will be updated and revised regularly.

Alison Smith, a Teacher in Oldham said:

“Weather and Climate: A Teachers’ Guide will be really useful to me across all key stages and across multiple topics. An excellent reference tool so that I could check up on my subject knowledge by looking in one place rather than trawling the internet. There is more than enough information within each section for me to plan engaging and challenging lessons. I really like the common misconceptions boxes and the clear learning objectives.”

The book was compiled and reviewed with the input from teachers and subject experts and made possible thanks to a generous legacy from a member of the Royal Meteorological Society.