Sustainability in schools is increasingly being recognised as an essential element to generate awareness within our young people so that students can become catalysts for the future evolution of our planet.
In order for schools to facilitate this, they must provide students with an educational programme and a culture which encourages and supports the development of environmentally conscious global citizens. Teachers should be a source of inspiration for students, in order for them to begin to develop a sense of awareness and responsibility for the world around them.
At Hartland International School we encourage environmental responsibility across the school. All students in Key stages 1-3 are members of our environment group throughout the year and have been responsible in initiating the installation of paper recycling boxes; the sale of recyclable pencils; creating jewellery out of recycled paper; as well as making posters to encourage children not to waste water and to save electricity. Our Year 4 students are investigating the possibility for a bio waste recycling station being installed, to enable us to turn our school dinner waste into compost which could then help plant trees and increase oxygen. Additionally the school is investigating the installation of solar panels on the roof area to generate our own electricity.
The installation of recycling boxes across the school has been a really positive initiative, we receive a monthly report and are able to track how much water and oil has been saved; our carbon footprint; as well as how many trees are saved by recycling our waste paper. The students have a vested interest in these initiatives, as they campaigned for them and have seen their efforts rewarded with their suggestions being turned into a reality.
The school also takes an active part in spreading the word throughout Dubai and in fact the world. One of our teachers is the UAE ambassador for the for the UK charity ‘Trust for Sustainable Living’ and has been involved in international debates around sustainability with like-minded educators globally. We are also very proud that one of our students is travelling to the Seychelles in the summer, as a finalist in an international essay writing competition entitled “Save our Seas”. Hartland International School recently hosted our inaugural sustainability debate competition where Dubai schools met to debate such motions as ‘Plastic Products should be banned’ and ‘Plastic is not the problem, people are’
The aim of the teaching staff at Hartland International School is to strengthen our pupil’s action, so that they can meet life with a belief that current and future sustainability challenges can be conquered.
Gifted & Talented Coordinator (2016-17)
Hartland International School