What is Green-Schools?
Green-Schools, known internationally as Eco-Schools, is an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment.
Unlike a once-off project, it is a long-term programme that introduces participants (students, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the concept of an environmental management system. However, Green-Schools is far more than just an environmental management system. It fosters a strong sense of citizenship and leadership among participants that spreads far outside the school into the wider community. It also promotes a strong sense of teamwork among teachers, students and the wider community to reach a common high level goal. It flattens and democratises school management structures. It brings children into the decision-making process and makes them responsible for their decision and actions. In fact it could be best described as being ‘more than the sum of its parts’.
The aim of Green-Schools is to increase students’ and participant awareness of environmental issues through classroom studies and to transfer this knowledge into positive environmental action in the school and also in the wider community. Schools that have successfully completed all the elements of the programme are awarded the ‘Green-Flag’. This award has now become a well-recognised Eco-Label. The award has to be renewed every two years.
One of the key success factors of the Green-Schools programme is that it is a themed programme. That is, schools undertaking the programme work through the seven steps one theme at a time. The themes in sequence are:
- Litter and Waste
- Global Citizenship
The Green-Schools programme is based on seven steps. The most important aspect for schools to remember is that every school is different and it is therefore critical that a school fits the seven steps around its circumstances and situation and NOT try and fit the school into the seven steps.
- Green Schools Committee
- Environmental Review
- Action Plan
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Curriculum Work
- Informing and Involving
- Green Code
For more information please go to: Green Schools Ireland