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Sustainable Schools Award Scheme

organisation
West Wales ECO Centre
(INFORSE member)
westwales@ecocentre.org.uk
age group
Primary and secondary schools
outcome

The aim of the Award Scheme is to encourage the integration of education for sustainable development (ESD) and global citizenship into all aspects of school life. The partnership approach aims to help schools to develop a co-ordinated and long-term approach to their use of expert external support for ESD; and to enhance information exchange among education providers within the partnership.

The Sustainable Schools Award Scheme has been set up by Pembrokeshire County Council Environmental Services and Education Services in partnership with the:
* Eco Schools Project in West Wales
* Global Connections World Studies Resource and Training Centre
* Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
* Pembrokeshire Health Promoting Schools Project
* Schools in Communities Agenda 21 Network (SCAN)
* Tir a Môr Project
* West Wales Eco Centre

Topics that need to be covered:
* Healthy living
* Waste and litter reduction
* Biodiversity
* Transport
* Energy
* Community citizenship
* Water
* Global citizenship

The Award Scheme is joint-funded by the Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) Education Services, PCC Environmental Co-ordinator and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) via Global Connections.

Sustainable schools award website

resources

The West Wales Eco Centre contributes the following to help schools achieve this award:

  • 'What is Energy?' PowerPoint presentation
  • Energy in relation to transport / water / local and global issues / waste
  • Quizzes and workshops
  • Home / school energy checks
  • Visits with the mobile unit
task

The initial visit is designed to introduce the basics of what energy is, where we get it from, and how we use it. The presentation is designed to involve the children throughout by asking them what they think the answers are to different questions posed, before giving any answers. Follow up to the presentation was left flexible to allow room for individual teacher’s plans, timetable and expectations. Giving the children a quiz was a successful way of summarising topics covered. Each child was given a Home Energy Trail questionnaire.

The Exhibition Unit provided a very useful focus for reinforcing topics covered during the initial visit, while providing the children with first hand experience, usually for the first time, of renewable energy technologies working close up. The mobile unit demonstrates two alternatives of electricity generation to fossil fuel based generation, and two alternatives for space heating.

evaluation

Ten primary schools have been visited under this scheme and one secondary schools council conference.

Classes who had a teacher that showed enthusiasm and interest in the topics covered during the presentation seemed to remember the presentation much better at the follow up visit. Generally years 5 & 6 (age 9 - 11) had already examined energy, although understanding of the subject varied between pupils and schools. The implications of our current energy consumption, climate change and global warming however were usually new topics for all ages.
Some teachers added their own stories, some asked the children what they had found the most interesting or important new piece of information, or told what they had learnt during the day. Summarising what had been talked about in the puil's own words seemed to add weight to what they had learnt.