Enrol on this free CPD course

We've partnered with WWF – the world’s leading independent conservation organisation – to create a new free CPD course for primary leaders and teachers who want to put education for sustainable development (ESD) at the heart of their school and inspire a new generation of sustainability champions.

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is about developing an understanding of the world we live in and being able to explore the issues that affect us, both locally and globally. It’s about fostering children’s natural curiosity and encouraging them to make connections and recognise relationships, trends and patterns in our increasingly complex world. 

Using text and videos and providing links to additional teaching resources and materials, this free, online professional development course will help you, your leadership team and your teachers to further your understanding of ESD and look at how you can make ESD a cornerstone of your teaching and school ethos.

A whole school approach to ESD

The course provides practical steps and strategies to help you explore how a whole school approach to ESD can be embedded in your school’s ethos, teaching and learning and links with the wider community. It also looks at how your pupils’ experience of sustainability can be enhanced through the development of the school building and grounds, by identifying actions that you can take to make your school more sustainable.

You’ll also explore how your school and its grounds reflect your ESD approach and your pupils’ experience of sustainability, with questions to help you review what’s already happening in your school and to identify actions you can take, with staff and pupils, to make your school and its grounds more sustainable.

Who should enrol on this course?

This short, free professional development course is intended for primary school leaders and teachers who want to inspire and support their students to embrace environmental sustainability and develop a whole school approach to ESD.

Learning outcomes

This course will help you, your leaders and your teachers to:

  • Further develop your understanding of ESD and explore why – with today's challenges such as climate change and loss of biodiversity – it’s increasingly important that sustainability becomes an integral part of teaching and learning.
  • Discover a wide range of strategies, activities and ideas that you can use to develop ESD in your school to drive school improvement, and to build confidence in teaching ESD.
  • Explore how to teach ESD through the curriculum.
  • Examine examples of successful ESD practice from around the UK.
  • Gain understanding of what is possible when it comes to ESD, and get clear, simple and straightforward guidance on how to make this a reality.
  • Get a detailed insight into the WWF’s resource collection.

Our planet is precious and vital for our survival, but the scale and pace of environmental degradation driven by human activity represents a major challenge and needs urgent action.

Sustainability needs lifelong learners who are resilient, open, resourceful and creative to deal with the challenges we can’t yet see or create the solutions we can’t yet visualise. ESD is therefore vital to engage with young people as a new generation of environmental citizens and sustainability champions. This course is designed to give you and your staff the tools you need to think about and plan how you can make ESD a central feature of your school, your classrooms and the lives of your pupils. 

How is the course delivered?

Using case studies of existing WWF schools, interviews at WWF HQ and a wide range of example strategies, techniques and resources, Mike Gershon will help you and your staff to explore how you can make ESD a reality in your school.

As a self-directed course, you’re encouraged to complete it in a linear manner. Each unit contains two videos, three pieces of text, plus resources, links and ideas.


  • Introduction to ESD and the course
  • A whole school approach to ESD
  • Reflecting on current practice
  • An approach to teaching and learning
  • ESD through the curriculum: rainforests
  • ESD through the curriculum: food and waste
  • The school and its grounds
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Start your free Education for sustainable development CPD course today

  1. Click Enrol Now
  2. Go to Education for sustainable development
  3. Click join this course
  4. Start your Education for sustainable development CPD course

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