Nature – KS4

Nature for KS4

NatureWhat is the value of nature? How do we relate to nature? How could or should we relate?


We’ll start by watching three talks. Then there are some suggested questions to help you think about the talks, and discuss them in class and with your family and friends.


Watch the talks…

“Soil, Soul and Society”
Satish Kumar

“What has Nature ever done for us?”
Tony Juniper

“Theme and variation in nature and culture”
Peter Randall-Page


Think and discuss…

These are suggested questions about what you heard and saw in the three videos, to help your discussion in class.

  1. Explain each talk’s key message. What does each say about why and how we value nature?
  2. Nature is creative and has solved lots of problems through its forms, processes and interdependent relationships. What examples can you give from Tony Juniper’s and Peter Randall-Page’s talks? How can we mimic nature?
  3. Satish Kumar said “We humans have thought that somehow we are a very special species and we rule the earth and we control nature and we can use nature as we like” and argued against all four views. What do you think?


Keep thinking and talking…

How do you feel when you are outside?

Nature inspires many feelings. For example, Satish Kumar showed great joy when describing his orchard, and Tony Juniper spoke of storms and tsunamis which are rightly to be feared.

Compare how you feel when you are outside with how you feel when you are inside. What difference does it make if you can see green plants or are near water?

Some people have suggested that one of the ways to happiness is to notice the world around you.

Peter Randall-Page spoke about the patterns he has observed in nature. Use all your senses to notice what is around you now. What can you see, touch, taste, smell or hear that was not made by humans?

When you are next outside, in a break or on your way home from school, put your technology away, go for a short walk, and spend time noticing nature around you. Some of us naturally notice the details. Others get the vibe of the big picture. Even in the city, there is plenty of nature in the cracks. Feel the sun and wind on your face.

How can we care for the rest of nature?

Take one or more examples from Tony Juniper’s talk of what nature has done for us, and research them further.

For example, pollination is vital to two-thirds of our food crops. How does pollination work? Find more evidence for the value of pollinators to humans, their other interdependent relationships in nature, and their intrinsic value. What impacts have human activities had on pollinators? These might be direct, eg use of pesticides, or more indirect, eg via climate change. What about the impact of your own activities? What are the obstacles to addressing negative impacts? What could be helpful? Think about government policy and regulations, business interests, the general public’s opinions and feelings, using the sciences and the arts. What difference could you personally make?

Now think more generally. How can we cultivate a greater interest in caring for nature and better understanding of how we go about it? What are the obstacles and what could be helpful?