14th October 2022

Why do schools need to care about sustainability?

With the growing climate crisis, young people can often feel anxious or worried about the future of the planet. They need hope for a greener future, but it can be a lot of pressure to put on educators.

Sustainability can feel like a complex topic to deal with in the classroom, and when educators are already pressed for time, it may not feel like a priority.

Build the Change Tuesday is a brand-new initiative from The Day, created in partnership with The LEGO Group, to give young people a voice.

Schools have the power to create agents of change, they are often just lacking the support and tools to do so.

With this partnership, sustainability can now be brought into the classroom in a quick and effective way, with no preparation needed from teachers. Through LEGO bricks or other creative materials, students can create solutions to the issues affecting our planet in a practical and hands-on way.

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Sustainability slips into school life

Environmental issues are everywhere. In the news. On social media. In the conversations had before students even walk into the classroom.

Forty-five percent  of educators surveyed think sustainability issues are important*. But students are also affected by sustainability issues every single day of their lives. They talk about the heatwaves that make their school uniforms stifling and the meat that goes into their school lunches.

The natural debates that arise from these conversations can be used to anchor an opportunity for learning.

If sustainability issues are regularly discussed, it means students can start to form opinions and come up with their own solutions. 

Weave sustainability into the school day with Build the Change Tuesday

Build the Change Tuesday is a brand-new initiative from The Day, in partnership with The LEGO Group.

The LEGO Group started Build the Change as a hands-on way to give young people a voice. 

Now, this partnership means sustainability news can be brought into the classroom, getting students to debate and think critically about important issues every week. This is paired with a Build the Change challenge where they create a sustainable solution using LEGO bricks or other creative materials, from whale sanctuaries to an eco-friendly building.

With a 20-minute burst of cross-curricular activity, sustainability education can be slotted into the school day wherever it suits the school schedule. As it’s only once a week, educators might choose to use it during registration or after lunch. 

Not only does this make sustainability education really accessible, but it’s also a fun hands-on way of thinking about solutions. 

Support for schools

Educators need the tools to confidently bring sustainability into their lessons. Forty-six percent of teachers surveyed* think sustainability issues should be more broadly embedded across the curriculum. With Build the Change Tuesday, we can make sustainability education part of a routine, with no preparation or fuss needed. 

There are so many tools schools can utilise to inspire students to become agents of change. Green Schools Project runs the Zero Carbon Schools programme which explores the causes and effects of the climate crisis, investigates schools’ carbon footprints, and enables pupils to design projects to reduce carbon emissions and inspire the wider community to take climate action. 

The programme starts after October half term and runs until the end of the school year. If it’s too late to organise for this year, register your interest and you’ll be first in line for next year’s programme.

Why we’ve partnered with LEGO

We’ve partnered with the LEGO group to make this topic as hands-on and interactive as possible. LEGO is a brand most students are familiar with, and introducing a more complex subject like sustainability means they will engage more and find it less daunting.

Forty-three percent  of educators surveyed* think pupils need more knowledge and skills to become agents of change. We are passionate about giving students a voice as the future of the planet. Build the Change means students can show their creative ideas and come up with ideas for real change, influencing world leaders. 

It puts students in the driving seat to these core issues that will affect their future, and means they can develop their own opinions, devise creative solutions and finally be heard.  

*A survey conducted by The Day in 2022 with 1,115 total respondents comprising of a mixture of primary and secondary teachers as well as other educational professionals. 

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