E.ON Energy Experience e-newsletter | November_2008 2007
Teaching Ideas Current Energy issues E.On Energy Experience curriculum Support Amazing facts
Bringing the world of energy into teaching

Welcome to the Autumn E.ON Energy Experience e-newsletter for primary teachers across England, Scotland and Wales. The newsletter aims to keep you up to date with the latest energy issues and relate these to your curriculum needs.

Teaching ideas


Pupils should know the main sources of energy that we use, and also that non-renewable resources are running out. Introduce the concept of renewable and non-renewable. Use a ‘small steps approach’ giving examples of things which run out which the children can actually relate to. For example what happens when the food in the fridge runs out? Is anything left? Can it be ‘renewed’? It is important pupils understand that non-renewable means something will ‘run out forever’ and that renewable means it ‘can be got again’. How will we get our energy when theses sources run out?

Do pupils have any ideas on what could be used to provide energy? They should understand that whatever is used, needs to be powerful and strong in some way. You could help them understand the ‘power’ of the wind, rain and seas through movement, dance and drama activities, paintings, stories, poetry and songs.

Help pupils understand what it would be like if our energy sources actually ran out by using:

Consolidate pupils’ understanding that some energy sources will run out and some will not by using:

Help more able pupils to understand that an energy source must be powerful in some way and to compare a renewable and non-renewable source by using:


Ensure pupils understand that our main sources of energy are running out and are non-renewable whilst encouraging them to consider how we can move forward in energy production. Remind them that non-renewable sources of energy are damaging the environment. Can pupils identify the sources of energy which would enable us to live in a safer, healthier environment and cut down the damage we are doing to the planet? Can they accurately explain why renewable sources of energy would help us achieve this?

What are the best ways forward? What difficulties can they foresee in developing a whole new approach to the provision of energy? Ask them to consider, cost, planning difficulties and human needs?

Work within pupils’ own experience and understanding by keeping the discussion to their home location/country at this stage. Older or more able pupils can be later challenged by considering this question on a worldwide basis.

Examine planning and cost issues by using:

Consider a way of generating electricity that is in harmony with both the needs of a community and the environment by using:

Current energy issues

Ongoing commitment to climate change

The latest round of United Nations climate change negotiations took place in Accra, Ghana in August of this year. The talks took forward work on a strengthened and effective international climate change deal under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as work on emission reduction rules and tools under the Kyoto Protocol. This is part of a negotiating process that will be concluded in Copenhagen at the end of 2009. Over 1600 participants attended the Accra meeting, which was the third major UNFCCC gathering this year.

Children should be agents not victims of climate change

Lord (David) Puttnam, president of Unicef UK and chairman of the Climate Change Bill's joint Parliamentary Committee has stressed the importance of including children in the climate change debate in order to give them a voice in their future. The impact of climate change on young people was not on the agenda 10 years ago in Kyoto and he has urged that the government should work to ensure that the implications of climate change for children are firmly on the agenda at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 and that children's voices are heard and listened to.

Impact of the wet summer on UK farmers

At home our famers are struggling to harvest their crops after an exceptionally wet summer. This year’s harvest is the worst in 40 years. Famers face additional costs to dry out wet crops and over ripe produce is having to be sold at lower prices. In some areas livestock has been lost due to severe flooding. In the long term, famers are trying to find new ways to combat the effects of the changing climate.

Sources: The United Nations Framework Convention on climate Change www.unfccc.int, The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk, UNICEF www.unicef.org.uk

Current energy issues

The Town of Total Darkness

This year saw a second successful run of The Town of Total Darkness tour. Primary Schools were offered the opportunity to see two time-travelling detectives work out why all the lights have gone out in 2030, and what we can do in 2008 to stop this from happening.

This year’s tour built on the success of the 2007 tour reaching 11.000 pupils in 78 schools over two years. Look out for updates on the Energy Experience website for news of free upcoming live events for primary schools.

Town of Total Darkness theatre tour

Curriculum support


The new secondary curriculum launched this September is designed to enable schools to raise the aspiration and achievements of their pupils by making learning ‘engaging, relevant and irresistible’. Opportunities for learning will include learning though both subject disciplines and thematic approaches on personal, national and global levels. Experiential learning and problem solving will be reflected across the curriculum establishing high expectations and extending horizons for all pupils. The QCA consider the new curriculum to be a milestone for education in this country building on a primary education which encourages confident and independent learners who will benefit from every learning opportunity available.


The new Curriculum for Excellence aims to provide children and young people with the opportunities to achieve a full range of skills and abilities, making them confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens able to live in today’s world. There is a strong focus on understanding the interaction between the natural world and the intervention of man, resources and change, environmental issues and sustainability. Pupils will be encouraged to develop informed attitudes and be active citizens in both local and global contexts.


The ‘roll out’ of the new Foundation Phase begins this academic year continuing through to 2011 when all children aged from 3-7 will benefit from this ground-breaking ‘learning through play’ curriculum. The Foundation Phase is replacing the Early Years Curriculum and Key Stage One. The curriculum will focus on experiential learning and active involvement aiming to promote confident learners able to use a range of abilities to think creatively, solve problems and respond to their experiences. There will be a focus on real life problems, and opportunities to learn about conservation and sustainability.

Sources: http://curriculum.qca.org.uk, www.ltscotland.org.uk, http://new.wales.gov.uk

Amazing facts

Some facts about climate change, the oceans and energy...

Did you know that...?

  • At the end of August this year the North Pole became an ‘island’ for the first time ever because of the melting Arctic icecap.
  • Scientific evidence shows that hurricanes tend to become more destructive as ocean temperatures rise.

But we’re learning to...

  • Use the power of waves and tides to provide us with a renewable and climate friendly source of energy.

Sources: The Independent on Sunday 31.8.08, http://www.realclimate.org/


© E.ON UK plc 2008