June 05, 2022

Varndean College students celebrate completion of the Carbon Literacy Qualification

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Varndean College students are celebrating the successful completion of the Carbon Literacy Qualification, a course which has been offered as a pilot scheme across Sussex colleges, with Varndean being one of the first in the country to offer this course.

Year 1 students across all subject areas undertook a 10-hour self-study programme on carbon literacy, which required them to learn about the science of climate change and exploring carbon footprints. They also learned more about how they can take action to reduce their own carbon footprint; aim to be carbon neutral at the very least, and at the best aim towards being zero carbon, considering ways to be more sustainable.

Over 100 students were awarded the formal Carbon Literacy Qualification, to certify that they had met all the requirements of the Carbon Literacy Standard and thus for the purposes of workplace, education and community, they are regarded as Carbon Literate. A number of staff members have also successfully completed the course and qualified.

Yaso Shan, Coordinator for the rollout of the course (pictured here handing out certificates from the Carbon Literacy Project, the accrediting body for the Award), said “this is a fantastic achievement for students who are genuinely interested and passionate about the environment, especially the future impact of our actions on the planet. They have made some robust and detailed pledges which indicate their full understanding of the climate issues facing us and are ready to commit to making a difference. They have signalled a call for change to the way we live, being more sympathetic to nature, living in harmony with it rather than destroying it and campaigning for more sustainable solutions so we can all enjoy earth’s natural resources for a long time. It is hard not to be inspired by their enthusiasm and the principles which they uphold.”

Principal of Varndean College, Donna-Marie Janson, said “This is a wonderful testament to the commitment and passion the Varndean College community has to making a positive impact on one of the biggest challenges of our time, climate change. As one of the first colleges to pilot this course last year and now embedded within our curriculum, we are on the path to becoming a leading college in sustainability. These are exceptional times, so Varndean College, in partnership with every college in Sussex, have come together to work collectively to embed this outstanding qualification as trailblazers for the whole of the UK.”

Year 1 student, Isabella Buckwell, said: "I thought the course was really informative and inspiring. I don't study Geography or Environmental Science, yet I found the course to be so interesting and very useful."

Climate change is widely recognised as one of the greatest, and most urgent, challenges facing humankind. This challenge has been recognised not only locally, but also nationally and globally. We are really proud of all those who completed this course and have already started to make important changes to the way they live.