5 reasons to try… The Crown Estate sustainability resources

The Crown Estate

Inspire pupils to learn about sustainability in a new Minecraft Education world and develop the green skills they need to take action on climate change

30 Second Briefing

The Crown Estate has teamed up with Microsoft to develop a new sustainability education initiative featuring a Minecraft Education world based on the iconic Windsor Great Park.

The world comes with curriculum-linked lesson plans and teaching materials co-created with teachers. The initiative inspires pupils to build their knowledge of biodiversity and renewable energy and develop the green skills to take real world action.

1. Net-zero future

Do you want to tackle climate change in the classroom? As we learn more about its potentially catastrophic consequences, it becomes more important than ever that the UK meets its sustainability targets.

The Crown Estate sees first-hand the implications of biodiversity across all its urban and rural holdings, from the iconic Windsor Great Park, to the UK seabed and coastline.

It has launched this initiative to help young people develop the green skills and sustainability knowledge they need to thrive in a net-zero future.

2. A positive approach

There is growing eco-anxiety amongst young people, with 95 per cent of pupils in the UK saying they’re worried about climate change. Schools, of course, want to help, but 70 per cent of teachers haven’t been equipped or feel confident to cover it in lessons.

That’s where this initiative comes in. By framing climate change through the lens of biodiversity, it provides a positive, solutions-focused way to engage pupils, and the resources include all the information teachers need to feel confident with the topics without adding to your workload.

3. The power of virtual worlds

The Crown Estate has partnered with Microsoft to create a new world for Minecraft Education – Conservation Quest at Windsor Great Park, for 7–11-year-olds.

Pupils take the role of a conservation apprentice to bring sustainability themes to life from the comfort of the classroom. They can explore complex, real-world topics, taking a hands-on role managing meadows and protecting woodlands to understand how different decisions impact biodiversity.

Through a series of quests, they learn about the water cycle, environmental management and more, even shrinking to the size of an insect to understand a pond’s unique ecosystem!

“Pupils take the role of a conservation apprentice to bring sustainability themes to life from the comfort of the classroom.”

4. Curriculum-linked lessons

To accompany the world, The Crown Estate has created a series of free, fun, curriculum-linked lesson plans to help you and your pupils get the most out of this immersive experience, and develop skills such as problem-solving.

Building on the challenges pupils complete in Conservation Quest, the lesson plans provide everything you need to get started – including a teacher guide, lesson slides, worksheets and guidance videos.

Created with teachers to align with the national curriculum, the lessons cover topics from science, geography and even engineering to help you include sustainability and green careers across your curriculum.

5. Inspire real-world action

Studies show that young people’s fears about climate change are associated with a lack of agency – where they’re not sure how to make a positive difference. That’s why these lessons culminate in taking real-world action, supported by the Taking Action Toolkit.

The Toolkit supports pupils to take the skills and knowledge they learned in the virtual world and apply them in their community. By showing young people they can take meaningful action for nature recovery, you can grow their confidence and empower them to be changemakers.

Key points
  • You can access the lesson plans and Minecraft Education worlds from The Crown Estate website (Minecraft Education licence required for worlds)
  • The resource pack comes with free guidance films, which tell you more and give top tips for using the lessons and Minecraft Education world with your class
  • The lessons were co-created with science and geography teachers alongside biodiversity experts at The Crown Estate
  • The flexible Taking Action Toolkit can be completed in a few hours, or over the course of a term, so you can use it in whatever way best suits you and your pupils

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