An exciting new GCSE in Natural History will officially be introduced by September 2025, an announcement from Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi confirmed today. The new GCSE is the result of a long term campaign, spear-headed by naturalist Mary Colwell, to address the gap in natural history content in education.
With a background in education, and a passion for Natural History, I’m personally delighted to hear the announcement made official today. I first wrote about the campaign and shared a petition 5 year ago — which can be read here.
The new Natural History qualification will enable young people to explore the world by learning about organisms and environments, environmental and sustainability issues, and gain a deeper knowledge of the natural world around them.
It also offers young people the opportunity to develop skills such as observation, description, recording and analysis, through sustained and structured field study — all much-needed skills for carving a future career in the natural world.
Secondary school students will be able to gain the qualification for studying the natural world through the OCR Exam Board.
It forms part of new plans announced by the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi today (Thursday 21 April), detailing how the UK education sector is to become ‘a world leader in climate change by 2030’, as part of the launch of the government’s flagship Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy.
The Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the GCSE would “offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how we can come together to conserve it.”
Environmentalist Mary Colwell said the new qualification “could be a game-changer for the nature of Britain”.
More about my work in Environmental Education..
- Enter a world of unseen forests and play the role of a real life scientist
- Norwich Science Festival – Making a Mini Magazine with Budding Young Environmental Journalists
Want to know what happened when I met Dr Jane Goodall on behalf of Nat Geo Kids?
- Read about the time I got to present a Roots and Shoots photography Award
- Read about our discussion about the Roots and Shoots programme
- Listen to our conversation about Jane’s career as a primatologist
Want to know more about Nat Geo Kids inspiring natural history learning?
- Read about one six-year old’s efforts raise awareness of the rhino horn trade
- Discover the Secrets of the Spotted Eagle Ray
- Take the ‘Calculating Extinction’ challenge
- Discover how Nat Geo Kids inspired my study of jaguars
Discover my work in conservation education with Discovery