The GreenAction Programme is designed to help schools and the wider community act on key areas of environmental stewardship and sustainability. The programme is responding to the growing interest on behalf of schools to help prepare their students for the complex world in which they live in. There is a realisation that the young people in our schools will inherit a very different world from the one many of their teachers will have known and there is a strong desire for schools to set an example and offer their students opportunities to actively engage with these changing times. Several years of working with schools keen to become “greener” has shown that within each school there is always a group of staff and students who are personally touched or active in environmental work but who often do not or can not develop this interest at school.
The GreenAction Programme provides a platform and a support network to schools and enables teachers and students to join the exciting journey of becoming an environmentally conscious and active establishment. The Programme provides a trained environmental education consultant throughout the year who provides support for specific actions, delivers teacher training workshops and sets up and contributes to the Green Team. The Green Team is made up of representatives of the school community (parents, staff, teachers, students and technical staff) and acts as an internal body of support for the members of the school throughout the year. The staff workshops ensure that the entire staff body is supported and informed of GreenAction’s progress. These also provide opportunities for professional development to explore concepts such as sustainability in the curriculum and the growth of the green school movement.
Throughout the year the school commits to implementing actions centered around a shared theme, such as Let it Grow or Zero Waste School. This theme is chosen as an overarching concept for that school year and can be interpreted and subscribed to in any way seen fit by the school community. An example of this could mean the creation of a school garden or revisiting the school food waste system. Teachers and students may choose to participate in a manner which correlates and complements the demands of their curriculum at any time in the school year. Suggestions of school themes.
In addition to the school theme each class is invited to choose a specific action for their class which will be unique to them and which will reflect relevant goals. This action will be monitored and evaluated by success criteria established by the students themselves in order to guarantee a visible and profound impact. Class themes are broad and cover many topics such as collaborating with a local farm for seasonal fruit or participating in a river clean up. Suggestions of class actions.
End of year event
The end of the GreenAction year takes place during the week of environment day (June 5th) as each class presents the actions they undertook to the rest of school. The local municipality and the school families are also invited to come together to celebrate the steps the school has taken towards becoming a greener school and to launch the school wide theme for the following year.
Through the GreenAction Programme, OneAction is thus providing a clear and accessible method to engage students, reduce the school’s carbon footprint, increase the participants’ well-being and promote values and behaviours contributing to a sustainable lifestyle.
The first school to take part in the Green Action Programme is La Côte International School, located in Aubonne, Switzerland.
Gilly Webster, environmental education consultant: email@example.com