Climate & Nature Education – Environmental Influencer Programme

Climate & Nature Education – Environmental Influencer Programme


Taking climate and ecological action reduces climate anxiety.  Schools can create meaningful opportunities to help students find their own agency in addressing the climate and ecological crisis.  In Ardscoil na Mara Patrick Kirwan developed an eight week Environmental Influencer Programme which was delivered through 3rd year wellbeing classes, in 40min sessions.  Since the beginning of this academic year the module has taught the module 6 times and is constantly being refined.

This CPD will be delivered in two separated sessions that are linked i.e. teachers will not find the second session useful if they have not attended the first session.  Be prepared to chat and engage.  This CPD is interactive and will involve having chats in breakout rooms.

In the first CPD session Patrick will go through the resources for:

Lesson 1: How do we feel about the Climate and Ecological crisis?

Lesson 2: Active listening 1 

Lesson 3: Active listening 2

Lesson 4: Taking Action 1, Use your listening skills

In the second CPD session Patrick will go through the resources for:

Lesson 5: Power 

Lesson 6: Taking Action 2 - A letter writing campaign

Lesson 7: Taking Action 2 - A letter writing campaign

Lesson 8: Planning your own action project

Government leaders agreed, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) last November, that we should keep global warming to 1.5oC.  This will increase our chances of avoiding catastrophic and irreversible climate change.  Scientists have published data showing that on our current trajectory we could reach 1.5oC as early as 2033, 11 years away and 2oC as early as 2060.  Some of our students know this and are feeling overwhelmed.  A recent study in the Lancet surveyed 10 000 children and young people (aged 16-25 years) around the world.  They found that 75% said they think the future is frightening. 


Patrick Kirwan BSc PhD PGCE

After a career in science as an epidemiologist, Patrick trained as secondary science teacher with TeachFirst in London.  While working in disadvantaged London schools Patrick developed a bespoke award-winning model for a whole school nature curriculum.  This fundamentally changed his perception on education.  While continuing to teach, Patrick set up the nature aspect of a community social enterprise to share his model with other primary and secondary schools.  In school and community settings, he uses nature as a conduit to foster wellbeing, leadership skills, confidence, resilience, environmental awareness and climate action.  In March 2021 Patrick founded The Irish Schools Sustainability Network (ISSN).  The network brings together teachers and students from different schools to foster climate and nature conversations.   These schools work together as a community on joint initiatives, they share best practice, and they work towards pushing sustainability to the top of the educational agenda.  The ISSN ran the Climate and Nature Summit during COP26.  Over 2K schools took part. Patrick believes that we need to build networks within and across sectors, working as one, to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

Course Properties

Course date 14-09-2022 7:00 pm
End Date 21-09-2022 8:30 pm
Fee Free
Speaker Patrick Kirwan BSc PhD PGCE
Select Hours 3
Location Online


Sligo Education Centre

Contact details

centre photo

Address: IT Campus, Ballinode, Sligo 
Eir Code: F91 WFW9 
Phone: +353 71 9138700 
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