New natural history gcse is great news for wildlife

21 April 2022


It’s an exciting day for education and wildlife. Born Free’s Education Officer Charlie Baker welcomes the launch of a new GCSE devoted to protecting the planet.

Today, we welcome the exciting announcement from the Department of Education that a brand new GCSE subject has been given the green light – Natural History. As of 2025, students aged 14-16 years have the opportunity to develop a rich understanding of the natural world, studying topics including local wildlife and ecosystems, in much greater depth than ever before, as well as learning more about critical global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity and sustainability.

“A love for the natural world and the development of nature-based skills and knowledge is something we want to instil and inspire in young minds,” said Eve Pawsey, Born Free’s Youth Engagement Assistant, following the announcement. “A GCSE in Natural History will fill a hugely important gap in the curriculum to ensure the next generation are equipped and empowered for the future they face in creating a vibrant and healthy planet. Through reconnecting young people with nature, we could see benefits not just for the natural world and the education of the students, but also for their mental health and wellbeing. I would have jumped at this opportunity when deciding my GCSEs and I’m delighted that this is forming part of the National Curriculum.” 

And it’s not just adults who are enthusiastic about today’s announcement. Born Free supporter Orlanda, aged 11 will be one of the first students eligible to sign up the new GCSE: “The new GSCE sounds really fun, I love learning about animals and it’s really important to care for the planet.” 

Born Free knows the value of wildlife and conservation education, and how a deeper understanding can foster a lifelong love of nature. Our dedicated education team provides bespoke education across the UK, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, empowering students to make conscious decisions in their daily lives to protect wildlife and the wider environment. 

“Born Free knows the value of wildlife and conservation education, and how a deeper understanding can foster a lifelong love of nature.”

We look forward to the vital skills, opportunities, and of course mental health benefits this new qualification will provide to the next generation. We hope it is the first step in many from the Department of Education to fully embed both the natural world and animal welfare into the National Curriculum. 

Born Free’s Education Programme