Curriculum Units

BTEC Sustainability Skills (includes PSHE and Citizenship units): entry 3, level 1 and level 2


KS3: BTEC Sustainability Skills (includes PSHE and Citizenship units): entry 3

KS4: BTEC Sustainability Skills (includes PSHE and Citizenship units): level 1 and level 2 (equivalent to one GCSE e.g. 120 hours guided learning hours).  Up to three vocational qualifications can count towards the new Progress 8 and Attainment 8 indicators being introduced for performance measures based on 2016 exam results.


BTEC level 3 National in Environmental Sustainability:


KS5: BTEC Sustainability Skills (includes PSHE and Citizenship units): level 3 (equivalent to 3 A’s at A level)

How does it work?





This curriculum is directly linked to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a UN Initiative. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of seventeen aspirational “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them.

sustainable development goals diagrams

Goal 1

End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

Goal 2

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 3

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Goal 4

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.

Goal 5

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Goal 6

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Goal 7

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

Goal 8

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

Goal 9

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

Goal 10

Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Goal 14

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

Goal 15

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.

Goal 16

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

10 Key Facts About the SDGs

1. The proposal by Colombia and Guatemala originated during the Rio+20 Summit in 2012 when Member States decided to launch a process to define a set of Sustainable Development Goals- the SDGS, as a new global framework to re-direct humanity towards a sustainable pathway.

2. The SDGs were meant to balance the three dimensions of sustainability- environmental, social and economic; build upon achievement and lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals; include and transcend the Agenda 21 (1992) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (2002).

3. The new goals are the result of a three-year process involving UN Member States, 83 national surveys engaging over 7 million people, and thousands of actors from the international community making it the biggest consultation in UN history.

4. Nations finally adopted the list of 17 goals and 169 targets in September 2015. The breadth and depth of the proposed SDGs is unprecedented. Adopting a rights-based approach, the new agenda aims to leave no-one behind and promote social inclusion for the most vulnerable groups. At the same time, it sets the environmental limits and critical natural thresholds for the use of natural resources. Some critics argue that 17 are too many. This may be true, but it ignores the fact that the goals have been heavily negotiated, having a broad legitimacy among all parties.

5. While the Millennium Development Goals were aimed at the Global South the new goals are designed to be universal. The goals are non legally-binding, with each country setting its own priorities and reporting to the High Level Forum on Sustainable Development.

6. The final document Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states in its Preamble: “This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity”, and affirms “the interlinkages and integrated nature of the SDGs are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realised.

7. The 2030 Agenda also includes the United Nations Addis Ababa Action Agenda adopted in July, which sets out the different means necessary to implement the Global Goals, including domestic resources, private finance and Official Development Assistance (ODA). While MDGs relied on voluntary aid and individual promises from countries, perpetuating a dependence on donor-recipient aid relationships, SDGs aims to promote a paradigm shift of financing beyond ‘development aid’, with multi-stakeholder partnerships, social investment and ethical trade.

8. A key challenge is how to engage the public in support of a complex agenda. The UN is currently rolling out a major advertising campaign led by film writer and director Richard Curtis.

9. As with all intergovernmental agreements the success or lack of it will be due to the political support governments give to implementation. Here a key role of stakeholders will be to continually remind governments of their commitments. These governments will change a number of times in the next 15 years in many countries and the succeeding governments must be educated and reminded of these commitments.

10. Which country is most likely to complete the goals first? According to a recent study the countries best positioned to achieve the new UN goals are the four Scandinavian nations Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, with Switzerland following in fifth place. The nations with the lowest ranking are the USA, Greece, Chile, Hungary, Turkey, and Mexico. Reference: Gaia Education



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