Linking to the curriculum
Pupil-led projects designed to improve the school’s environmental performance are a great example of action-learning, but learning about the environment can happen in a variety of ways at school. Teachers will be able to highlight, within the existing curriculum, opportunities to promote environmental awareness and understanding. For example, within English persuasive letter writing could be used to address MPs on local environmental issues. Everyone within the school will benefit from the Eco-Schools programme – real-life projects can help bring every subject to life.
Enriching the school curriculum
Your Eco-Schools projects are an opportunity to enrich the school curriculum with real-world, practical learning and life-skills.
In carrying out Eco-Schools programme, you will be able to see lots of simple opportunities to bring the curriculum to life through real-world activities and projects.
The Environmental Review and monitoring and evaluation steps are great ways to develop numeracy and scientific inquiry skills, but also communication skills through activities such as interviews and questionnaires.
The Eco-Schools programme gives you the chance to take learning out of the classroom. For example, a project within the biodiversity topic could include establishing a wildlife area within your school grounds. Science lessons could then move outdoors to carry out bug surveys or wildlife counts.
As part of the informing and involving step, your Eco-Committee will be able to use and develop their factual writing skills, eg when writing newsletter articles, taking minutes of meetings or writing the Action Plan.
National Curriculum links
Some environment topics are included in the National Curriculum.
The bigger picture
Environmental education is a building block.
Beyond the curriculum, Eco-Schools can help pupils develop social skills and emotional intelligence. An awareness of environmental issues will lead children to start thinking in a more holistic way about the world around them and the effects of their actions on others and on the planet.
Eco-Schools can trigger lifelong behaviour change.
National Curriculum and the Eco-Schools criteria
Environmental issues are covered as part of curriculum work in most year groups across a range of subjects
The school can indicate that a range of environmental issues have been covered within the curriculum in most year groups
Sustainability has been covered in at least three curriculum areas by most year groups; this is clearly evident in schemes of work