Global environmental issues have become some of the most worrying problems in this decade. Theissue has worsened in recent years with a visible effect on our daily lives. Therefore, in order to mitigate the problem, the European Union, through the Environment Council, has adopted a ambitious environmental plan that protects natural habitats, keeps air and water clean, ensures proper waste disposal, improves knowledge about toxic chemicals and helps businesses move towards a sustainable economy. The School constitute a crucial group which can help to achieve the goals of this incentive. With this in mind, the idea for this project consist of creating a plan of action, which helps to raise awareness within the communities around our schools in order to preserve the environment in different ways:
1. Promote recycling at home and in students' communities.
2. Consume food products that require less energy to produce.
3. Use means of transport that don't need fossil fuels.
4. Make an appropriate use of electrical appliances and water.
5. Learn more about house insulation.
6. Do a resforestation project on campus or in a surrounding area.
We have chosen a series of varied activities to accomplish the objectives proposed. They will be developed in the schools, in the surrounding area and in our meetings abroad. Key activities include a reforestation in the school or in a surrounding area, the challenge to reduce the school's water and electricity bills, the organization of a “Day without cars" and a vertical vegetable garden made of recycled materials. Another highlight will be a car boot sale or a swap shop for unwanted ítems (clothes, books, etc) that will be open to the whole community.
The methodology to be used in carrying out the Project will be based on student investigation, inquiry-based learning and practical projects. The strategy during the activities will be to work in small groups to develop cooperative skills. The teacher will be a supportive figure who provides guidance and support for students throughout their learning process. For those students who requireextra help, we will designate a pupil's assitant.
The project have a broad range of results like adquiring essential skills for succeeding in tomorrow’s world, the production of leaflets in different languages to show the various actions we can undertake to reduce-reuse-recycle, the recovery of a natural environmet, the improvement of behavior on the road and the experience of getting to know a new culture. Additionally, we will produce tangible products like the compost bin, the vertical vegetable garden and the bike rack.
We think that participation in this project will have a positive impact and lasting effect on the whole school community. Our students will improve their academic achievement with engaging lessons about the natural world that can be applied to all subject areas and grades. They will get several skills essential for succeeding in tomorrow’s world, such as questioning, investigating, defining problems, analyzing, interpreting, reasoning, developing conclusions, and solving problems.
As for the teachers, they will have opportunities to integrate key competence goals into project and classroom content. will improve their teaching skills and reinforce their relationships with colleagues through team work. And they will improve language competences and reinforce ITC skills. Concerning the parents, they will improve their relationships with their children and with the teachers and too, will get new life skills. They will learn the importance of preserving the environement and use the knowledge gained to save electricity and water, and carry out proper waste management in their homes. Finally, everybody will acquire a feeling of belonging to the European identity.
longer term benefits
The schools involved have several potential longer term benefits such as continuing the reduce- reuse- recycle programme, the compost bin, the vertical orchard and the bike rack. The policy to save water and electricity as well as the trees from the reforestation project will also remain.
Základní škola, Uherský Brod, Na Výsluní 2047, okres Uherské Hradiště (Czech Republic). The school is fully organised from primary to lower secondary level. There are 220 pupils from 5-15 years old.
Zespol Szkol Ogolnoksztalcacych nr 4 im. H. C. Hoovera (Poland). Public school with 300 pupils aged 14-19. They offer the general education.
Varvakeio Model Gymnasium (Greece). Lower Secondary School. There are 288 students from 12 to15 years old. They provide a high standard education.
Hagalidskolan (Sweden). Secondary school. There are 450 pupils of age 13-16 years. They offer from 7th to 9th grade. They are very proud of their sports profile.
IESO Gabriel García Márquez (Spain). Small community of 164 students from 12 to 16 years old. It offers Compulsory Secondary Education and Basic Vocational Training.