Dunoon Grammar shines at COP26 event

Pupils and staff from Dunoon Grammar School took to the global stage once again this week when they made a passionate contribution to a high-profile COP26 event.

Hosted by Accenture and T4 Education, the organisers of World Education Week, the school were invited to showcase their innovative approaches to Climate Education to a world-wide online audience which included leaders from the business, education and policy sectors.

Accenture are one of the world’s biggest companies, offering professional services to a diverse range of businesses – including to 91 of the top 100 businesses in the world. The 90-minute-long event was hosted in a purpose built studio in Glasgow and young people from Dunoon Grammar opened the show with a rousing entertainment medley which included musicians and highland dancers from the school.

After a studio panel discussion, Dunoon Grammar’s Head Teacher David Mitchell, delivered a presentation on climate education at the school, which included illustrations of the innovative approaches adopted by many departments across the school.

Mr Mitchell also interviewed one of the school’s S1 pupils, Rowan King, on a pioneering new S1 Game Changers course, which has the school’s youngest pupils exploring the causes of the Climate Crisis which will allow them to code technological solutions – including Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning products. Rowan expertly explained his learning on this project and why climate education was important to him personally.

Mr Mitchell ended with a call to action to the thousands of people tuning in from across the world, including viewers from the USA, Ukraine and Bangladesh. He urged businesses to get in touch with local schools to get young people involved in their climate initiatives.

Jessie Miller, an S5 learner at the school, then took the floor to give her perspective on climate education, and why it is now essential. Jessie made it clear that we need to ensure we start making connections between our everyday decisions and the impact these have on the climate.

The school’s contribution was extremely well received, with positive feedback by the organisers and many people viewing from across the globe.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “I am speechless, I truly am. Dunoon Grammar is a prime example of a school with sheer grit and determination, a school dedicated to making a difference to our world, and I have no doubt that they will succeed in doing so.

“Once again they have risen to the occasion and their contribution to this prestigious event will help shape future climate education across the world. They are continually putting Argyll and Bute on the map and I am tremendously proud.”

David Mitchell, Head Teacher agreed: “The talent, passion and creativity of our young people never ceases to amaze me. They have once again wowed a world audience at a live global event and delivered performances and presentations that will live long in the memory of those in attendance. Staff and pupils can be very proud of their climate education efforts.”

Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education added: “Once again the community of Dunoon, and indeed Scotland, should be very proud of the young people of Dunoon Grammar School. Their contribution to this significant event was insightful and a real eye-opener to many in our global audience. It is amazing and comforting to see how the young people are receptive to climate education and indeed their desire to take action and make a positive difference. This lesson has resonated across the globe.”

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