Awareness of the need for environmental sustainability is now commonplace. It is critical for the next generation to be well equipped with the tools to better understand the environment and how best to respond to the challenges of climate change.
Simply put by the Headmaster at Kingsley, Mr Peter Last:
Kingsley School is surrounded by marine and terrestrial habitats of significant importance - part of the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere. Farming is a key part of the local economy.
At the Earth Centre everything our students do and study is focused on environmental sustainability and climate change. Students are immersed in the challenges of understanding climate change and how to manage land, plant and soil ecology. They will grow crops based on ecological principles and use techniques that absorb carbon dioxide to build reserves of carbon in the soil.
Students learn about the role and ecological complexity of oceans and freshwater. They also study the policies and economic instruments needed for environmental sustainability and to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Everyone that studies at the Kingsley Earth Centre achieves recognised BTEC, Cambridge Technical, and A level qualifications that lead to a wide range of careers and university options. Studying at the Earth Centre focuses on “learning by doing” with work experience, practical and field work at the core of each student’s studies.
Students spend considerable time on assignment at the Earth Centre’s unique Ecology Zone completing practical assignments and participating in the day-to-day operations of managing soils and growing crops using the latest ecological techniques and understanding.
The Ecology Zone is based on the school campus and operates as a commercial horticultural enterprise supplying fresh organic vegetables to the school and local community. It provides an almost infinite number of opportunities for students to learn practical skills in both scientific investigation and in running a successful horticultural enterprises. The Ecology Zone is where many students will complete the project and practical work required for their BTEC qualifications and the EPQ
In addition to the Ecology Zone, there are numerous opportunities to complete marine science project work based on the North Devon coastal ecology and at the nearby Lundy Island.
Running the Ecology Zone as a commercial horticultural enterprise allows students to develop and practice their business skills to participate in the marketing, sales and commercial strategies for the crops grown - the perfect environment for completing the project work required for the BTEC in Business.
Joining the Earth Centre is a two year journey. At the end of the journey students will have gained valuable and recognised academic qualifications, completed significant work experience, and have considerable practical and scientific knowledge and skills. They will be at the forefront of knowledge and practice embracing ecology and environmental sustainability. They will have a clear career direction and a high level of “employability”.
Mr Christopher Upton, Steering Committee
1st October 2019