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Countryside: Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL6305, tabled on 30 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require all schools to ensure that children know the Countryside Code and the need to adhere to it.

Answered on

14 July 2020

Maintained schools are required to teach the national curriculum as part of their wider school curriculum. Details of the national curriculum subjects and content of programmes of study for each can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum.

Academies are not required to follow the national curriculum, though they are expected to teach a curriculum that is similar in breadth and ambition, and are required by their funding agreements to teach English, mathematics, science and religious education.

All schools are required to teach a balanced and broadly based curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

While it is not a prescribed topic in the national curriculum, all state-funded schools have the flexibility within their school curriculum to teach about the Countryside Code if they choose to do so, through for example:

  • Citizenship teaches young people about their responsibilities as adults also includes opportunities for active citizenship, for example, forms of volunteering to support a cause or their local community.
  • As part of the science curriculum, children are taught about the scientific concepts that relate to the environment. In primary science, pupils are taught about habitats of plants and animals and about how environments can change. This can include positive and negative impact of human actions, such as nature reserves or littering. This is further developed in secondary science, where pupils are taught about ecosystems and biodiversity.