Besides increasing the status of the program, linking Eco-Schools activities to the curriculum ensures that Eco-Schools is truly integrated within the school community.

Guidelines from Foundation for Environmental Education:

The general strategy suggested is that of infusing environmental education concepts into the already existing subjects and not that of presenting a new subject. In addition to increasing an awareness of the environment, the weaving of an environmental education dimension in a particular subject enriches the subject concerned and thus makes it more relevant and interesting.

This infusion need not be a laborious task. The amount of linking is dependent on how the curriculum is structured and on the teachers’ willingness to engage in this initiative. Teachers might introduce environmental education principles through incidental teaching or even through planned systematic teaching aimed at covering a particular aspect of the curriculum.

Integration into the curriculum does not have to be onerous. It can vary from a short reference when a curriculum topic warrants it, to full-scale linking so that Eco-Schools activities fully cover particular curricular requirements.

When linking the Eco-Schools program to the formal curriculum, schools will identify areas of the curriculum which will enable young people to:

  • achieve required learning outcomes
  • enhance their learning experience
  • develop informed attitudes
  • develop core skills
  • transfer skills across curricular areas
  • develop international connections

In the cases in which environment and sustainable education are not a part of the national/regional curriculum, recommendations are made as to how this could be incorporated.

Efforts should be made to incorporate environmental education throughout the curriculum, in addition of the inclusion in the more evident areas of study such as science and geography. Schools often come up with their own innovative educational approaches that enrich the learning experience.

Please find below some examples on how the Eco-Schools Program activities can be linked to the school curriculum:

Languages

  • discussing the various aspects of specific environmental issues
  • report writing and keeping minutes during meetings
  • writing letters to: politicians, education authorities, councillors, community leaders, newspaper editors, business persons, industrialists, etc.
  • work on designing projects/doing research with international connections

Mathematics

  • designing and conducting surveys
  • collating results and presenting them as graphs
  • carrying out mathematical calculations
  • managing finances
  • work on designing projects/doing research with international connections

Religion

  • learning to consider the environment as a gift from God to be enjoyed by all humanity
  • considering different ways that children can become stewards of creation
  • understanding how a person’s irresponsible actions may have a negative impact on others
  • work on designing projects/doing research with international connections

Social Sciences

  • reading/producing maps of the school and the locality and using keys to highlight important sites
  • understanding how humans interact with their environment
  • using photographs, documents, oral accounts and other sources of  information to learn how certain places and lifestyles have changed throughout the years
  • work on designing projects/doing research with international connections

Natural Sciences

  • making observations and gathering data about an environmental problem
  • exploring various habitats and the adaptations of plants and animals living in them
  • investigating different materials and how they are used
  • looking at energy use, loss and conservation
  • work on designing projects/doing research with international connections

Computer Science

  • using spreadsheet software to organise and present research results
  • using publishing software to publish reports
  • using presentation software to prepare presentations about specific projects
  • work on designing projects/doing research with international connections

Technology

  • designing and building a waste separation point based on the various properties of the different waste fractions
  • designing and making a waste compacter
  • work on designing projects/doing research with international connections

Art & Design

  • drawing murals and producing sculptures to embellish the school
  • producing posters, leaflets, stickers and badges to support campaigns
  • organising art festivals and exhibitions celebrating the school’s progress in becoming an Eco-School
  • work on designing projects/doing research with international connections