Phew what a scorcher

Phew, what a scorcher

That’s the old headline, for those of you who remember the tabloids in their terrible heyday, of the seventies and eighties. We don’t seem to read the newspapers these days, we take our news via alternative means. Those tabloids may not have had the highest journalistic standards but at least they (broadly) told the truth.

We could make light of the fact that we are due to have a terrifically hot couple of days, early next week, but that would be foolish and would be to ignore the impact, more widely, of such high temperatures. It clearly isn’t normal and isn’t typical. There will be some that say we have had exceptional weather forever but it seems to me that the trend is now set. The highest ever temperature recorded in the UK was only three years ago. It looks like that record will be beaten again in the next couple of days and somewhere in the UK we may find temperatures topping 40°C. That is truly remarkable.

If we are not measured in our approach or proportionate in personal responses we, as individuals, can become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the global issues we face. Global climate warming seems to be one of those enormous issues. Just a few years ago the narrative was that it wouldn’t be something we would necessarily experience but we would need to make sure that we’d leave a decent world for our children and grandchildren.

It seems to me that those days have passed and it’s now happening right now and it’s all very real.

Whatever you’re doing over the next couple of days, I wonder whether you might take some time to prepare for that terrifically hot period and think about your strategies for supporting other people, who may not be as able to manage such extremes.

The schools have taken reasonable and proportionate measures to ensure that the children and adults are safe in the buildings and will take care to ensure that a reasonable approach is taken out of the buildings. We do all that we can do to ensure that our children, young people and staff body are protected, however coupled with this is our responsibility, as educators, to ensure that the children and young people understand. Not just what are the immediate consequences of such extremes but why these extremes in the weather do occur. We have a moral, ethical and societal responsibility to educate our children. They need to know the truth. Sadly, most news is received these days not from those ‘red tops’ but via the internet. I say sadly because there is significant ‘false news’ out there, which children may take, can take as the truth. There are the deniers.

We, therefore, need to work with our children and young people, not solely to ‘receive facts’ but to ensure they can challenge, evaluate, criticise, review and counter. Not to do so would be to abdicate our responsibilities. There are plenty who’d have it that way. They might say that ‘we should teach the set curriculum; the facts as they are stated in the handbook / textbook’. That’s not what we do. That’s not what we will do. Our children and young people will get that rounded education. In doing so we create some issues for ourselves: the challenge, the questioning, the debate. In doing so we give our society, our country, half a chance to affect real change.

‘If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?’ Steven Wright

This coming week; it’s not worrying about what’s in The Sun, it’s worrying about the sun.