The Eco-Schools programme is based on a 7-Step methodology, which allows for project-based, experiential learning, focused on positive sustainable actions.
The 7-Step methodology is a series of carefully engineered measures to help schools maximise the success of their Eco-School ambitions. The method involves a wide diversity of individuals from the school community - with students playing a primary role in the process. One of the most important aspects of the Eco-Schools program is the uniqueness of each school's journey. The Seven Steps fits around each school in their individual context, creating a different experience for every school that particpates. Some key points about the individual steps are below.
- Step 1: Forming an Eco Committee. The Eco-Schools Committee is the driving force behind the Eco-Schools process and represents the ideas of the whole school.
- 2: Environmental Review. This helps the school to identify its current environmental impact and highlights areas for improvement.
- 3: Action Plan. Results from the environmental review are used to design the Action Plan, forming the core of student action.
- 4: Monitor & Evaluate. This is carried out find out if the targets set by the action plan are being achieved.
- 5: Curriculum Work. Eco-Schools activities are linked to the curriculum, ensuring Eco-Schools is truly integrated within the school community.
- 6: Inform & Involve. This involves getting everyone on board! Actions are not solely confined to the school community but are encouraged to engage community members and parents, for example.
- 7: Eco Code. Students collaborate to devise a statement that represents the school's commitment to the environment.
The Green Flag
After two years of implementing the programme and establishing a high level of commitment to the Seven Steps, schools can apply for Green Flag status through a process that includes a series of visits and assessments.
Tertiary education is also included within the Eco-Schools movement. Driven by students, university faculty staff are encouraged to particpate in the FEE EcoCampus. Established in Russia in 2003, and the first whole institution Green Flag was awarded in Ireland in 2010. Eco-Schools therefore extends from K-12 Education to Further and Higher Education.
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