Harmony in Education conference puts sustainability at the heart of the curriculum

With the new focus in the Ofsted inspection framework on curriculum ‘intent, implementation and impact’, many schools are now considering in more detail not just what they teach, but how and why they teach it. This presents educators with a real opportunity to re-frame teaching and learning around the environmental and social issues that are most relevant to our time – and to our children’s futures.

In response to this, the first Harmony in Education Conference, a collaboration between The Harmony Project and the University of Winchester, will take place on Friday 1st May 2020 at the University’s campus. This day-long conference will provide an opportunity for educators, school leaders and others with an interest in transforming the curriculum we offer our young people, to explore how this might be achieved.

“Currently, the education system in this country is not fit for purpose in enabling our children to learn about and respond to the issues of our time,” said The Harmony Project’s Richard Dunne. “We need to consider how we can best ensure that issues of sustainability run through all learning and how we can equip our young people with the necessary skills to take a lead role in responding to them.” In his 30-year career in education, most recently as the headteacher of an Ofsted-graded ‘Outstanding’ school, Richard Dunne has developed an approach to curriculum learning that is based upon issues of sustainability and informed by Nature’s principles of Harmony. This is now being taken up by schools across the UK.

The programme of talks and workshops at the conference will provide practical examples of how this approach can be planned and delivered. Session themes will include ‘Creating a Harmony curriculum’, ‘Researching Harmony in action’ and ‘Developing new leaders in sustainability.’

Richard Dunne will be opening the conference alongside Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL. Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, will also be giving a keynote address.

Professor Joy Carter said: “As the university for sustainability and social justice, I am very proud that Winchester is hosting the first-ever Harmony in Education Conference in May.

“Winchester is already leading the way in climate change education, which is embedded across all our courses, inspiring students and staff to learn about the wide range of issues generated by this pressing global issue. In particular, as a sought-after provider of teacher education, the environment and sustainability are really important parts of how we train future primary and secondary teachers. By educating children about these crucial issues, we will enable them to be responsible citizens of the future and this conference is an exciting step towards achieving this aim.”

In line with the ethos of The Harmony Project, fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal and organic produce will be served at the conference and attendees will be given a copy of the Harmony Teachers’ Guide, included in the ticket price of £50.



[In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Harmony in Education event will be postponed until the autumn. We will be in touch with everyone who has already purchased tickets as soon as a new date is confirmed.

If you have any questions please do get in touch by email: info@theharmonyproject.org.uk




Additional Notes

[1] The work of The Harmony Project is premised on the belief that by re-framing learning around themes and projects that are purposeful, contextualised and environmentally focused, young people will be better able to effect positive change in the world.

[2] The Harmony Project is led by the Sustainable Food Trust, a charity whose mission is to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food and farming systems that nourish the health of both people and planet. To achieve this, we work catalytically and collaboratively, with an emphasis on communication, education and thought leadership.

[3] The Harmony in Education Conference will take place between 09:00 and 16:00 on Friday 1st May 2020 at the University of Winchester, King Alfred Quarter, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR.

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