Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship [ESDGC]
Rogerstone Primary is continuously working towards becoming a more sustainable school for all; Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship [ESDGC] is always at the forefront of our work. In September 2006, our new school premises opened. The building was the first of its kind in Wales; a sustainable school. When designing the new building the School Council and most importantly, the Eco-Committee played a vital role in the developing and planning of the new school. The work they put in, as well as the advice from other specialists means our school has a variety of sustainable features. Two of the main features are: a sedum roof to collect rainwater which is used to flush our school toilets, and solar panels. The energy we save each year is sold back to the energy companies.
The work completed previous to the new build and the new building itself have led to the school achieving Green Flag status with Eco-Schools. Of course, we are very lucky to have these 21st Century facilities, however, it is not just down to our building which has lead us to being at the forefront of sustainable development and global citizenship within our school.
Both the School Council and Eco-Schools Committee meet weekly and discuss issues which need to be addressed within school. The Eco-Committee recently wrote and performed an assembly to the rest of the school about the importance of recycling paper and plastic bottles. They even incorporated Edward de Bono Thinking Hats into the assembly – Red hats for feelings, white hats for facts, yellow hats for positives and black hats for the consequences/ negatives. Assemblies like this are completed on a regular basis.
As well as assemblies and the usual in class activities which are completed by all children, the school runs focus weeks each term. In October 2008, we held a Multi-Cultural Week. Each class focused on a different country and studied it in detail. We looked at the culture, such as, traditional music, dress, food and sports. This is a very important way of enhancing and developing children’s Global Citizenship, as it provides children with opportunities to learn about the variety of cultures and children around the world; where they live, how they go to school and understanding the importance of Rights and Responsibilies (as outlined in the UN Convention). Our school is an equal opportunities school, where all children are valued and welcomed. We challenge stereotyping, racism and prejudice. This was commented upon in our ESTYN [Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales] inspection report (April 2008).
The week commencing May 18th, we will be continuing our work on developing and promoting ESDGC within our school by holding an ESDGC week. During this period, the children will be visited by Waste Savers in Newport, visiting the local Wetlands area (conservation), visiting the Welsh Water Education Centre and increasing our understanding of Rights and Responibilities of a child. As well as this, each class has been allocated an allottment within our school garden. Each class are set the challenge of planting shrubs, flowers or vegetables and are responible for maintaining this for the remainder of the school year.
The above is just a sample of the activities completed within Rogerstone Primary School, there are many more which I could mention and will do so at a later date. Our school is extremely proud of the steps we have made in becoming a sustainable school and will continue to work together to improve and enhance this further, working towards a better future for all.