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What Matters Statement 3

Our natural world is diverse and dynamic, influenced by processes and human actions.

Experiencing the wonder of the natural world can contribute to learners’ spiritual development and well-being, and can help to cultivate in them a sense of place and sense of belonging, as embodied in the Welsh word cynefin.

Nurturing curiosity can help learners understand and appreciate how and why places, landscapes and environments in their locality and elsewhere in Wales, as well as in the wider world, are changing. This in turn will enable learners to identify what makes places and spaces distinct, and to develop an awareness of the interconnections between humans and their environment in both contemporary and historical contexts, including in respect of the climate and nature emergency. Consequently, learners will be in a better position to make connections between the past and present, and to consider possible futures.

Developing an understanding of how human actions in the past and present can affect interrelationships between the natural world and people will heighten learners’ awareness of how the future sustainability of our world and climate change is influenced by the impact of those actions. It will also encourage learners to understand, as producers and consumers, their own impact on the natural world. In addition, an exploration of a range of beliefs, philosophies and worldviews about the natural world can help learners realise how these influence people’s interactions with the world.

This aspect of the Area encourages learners to explore concepts, including the interrelationships between humans and the natural world, cause and effect, change and continuity, significance, place, space and physical processes.