Eco-Schools is a proven schools-based sustainability education framework operating in 60+ countries globally and developed by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) based in Denmark. Eco-Schools is a curriculum linked, democratic and participatory program that provides an excellent opportunity for students to experience active citizenship in their schools. Both schools and the wider community benefit from this program.
1. Form an Eco-Committee
2. Complete an Environmental Review
3. Write an Action Plan
4. Monitor & Evaluate
5. Curriculum Work
6. Inform and Involve
Eco-Schools follow the 7 Steps above to investigate and take action on one or more of the Eco-Schools themes:
Litter & Waste: The Lifecycle of Stuff
Biodiversity: Habitats and Homes
Energy & Climate: Super Smart Power
Water: Drink, Think, Save the Sink
Fair Go: Global Citizens for Social Justice
Eco-Schools Framework VIDEO Thank you to WWF Eco-Schools Malaysia for supplying this great animated overview of Eco-Schools.
Schools which complete their action plan addressing all 7 Steps can achieve a Bronze, Silver or Green Flag Award!
Schools register online at any time of year, then take manageable steps towards establishing the tried-and-tested Eco-Schools framework.
For only $100 + gst per annum school can take part in this program.
More information about the 7 Steps
The Eco-Schools framework is 7-Steps for schools to follow when carrying out projects they have identified to help school and community become environmentally sustainable.
Step 1 is forming an Eco-Committee of students. These guys are in charge of driving the rest of the program.
What project would your school do? Try one of these activities for planning an Eco-Schools project.
The 7-Steps promote continual improvement in the environmental management of the school, complemented by curriculum development and whole school community involvement.
Step 1: Eco-Schools Committee: Establishing a student-led committee that represents the whole school community. They take the lead in establishing the Eco-Schools framework and achieving the Eco-Schools action plan.
Step 2: Environmental Review: A survey to explore the environmental impacts of the school and identify areas for improvement.
Step 3: Action Plan: Outlining the action projects the school aims to carry out. Schools can choose projects based on issues raised in the environmental review, the outcomes of previous projects and student interests.
Step 4: Monitor and Evaluate: Recording and analysing information about Eco-Schools projects. This enables Eco-Schools to understand project results and continually improve.
Step 5: Curriculum Links: Integrating the Eco-Schools program activities with the school’s curriculum. Enabling students to explore the environmental issues facing the school community and the wider world.
Step 6: Inform & Involve: Engaging the whole school and wider community in the Eco-Schools program. Eco-Schools aim to improve awareness of key sustainability messages, and encourage positive environmental behaviours in the community.
Step 7: Eco-Code: A statement, policy, song, poem or mantra which reflects the school’s commitment to being an Eco-School.
Registered Eco-Schools gain access to more detailed guidance & tools for implementing the 7 Steps.
Eco-Schools Awards: Bronze… Silver… Green Flag!
The Eco-Schools program also incorporates awards, which are assessed by the Foundation for Environmental Education, National Operator in Australia – Keep Australia Beautiful.
Eco-Schools awards are a great opportunity for staff and students to gain that all-important recognition and appreciation for their efforts.
Achievement of the Eco-Schools Bronze, Eco-Schools Silver & the international Eco-Schools Green Flag is based on a school successfully establishing the 7-step framework and achieving their own unique Eco-Schools Action Plan.
Registered Eco-Schools become eligible to apply for Eco-Schools Awards.
Award applications involve the Eco-Committee writing in their own words about the school’s achievements. The application form requires 400 words for each of the 7 steps, and electronic submission (document upload) of the school’s Eco-Schools portfolio. This is the school’s own collection of photos and evidence of completed work. Registered Eco-Schools receive a simple checklist of recommended items to collect in their portfolio.
Education for Sustainability – The Eco-Schools program and curriculum development
Perhaps the most important step in the Eco-Schools framework is Step 5: Curriculum Links.
By integrating the Eco-Schools program into the school curriculum, educators can use the program to achieve required outcomes in a wide range of competencies and key learning areas. Eco-Schools around the world have seen great benefits in this approach, finding that students are more engaged in academic tasks set in the context of a real-life project in the school grounds, the local community or tackling a global environmental issue.
The Eco-Schools Australia 2014/15 pilot project will investigate this with particular attention to Australian curriculum priorities.