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WESSA / WWF-SA ECO-SCHOOLS PROGRAMME
What is an Eco-School? A school that has made a commitment to continuously improve its environmental performance. Working towards: • better environmental learning • better environmental management
The Kirstenbosch Fynbos Eco-Schools node: Eco-Schools in South Africa need to choose one theme each year: • Was established in 2006 Resource Curriculum Use Healthy Living • Is funded by the TMF through WWF Audit & Act Community& Local and • Is coordinated and administered. Heritage by the Global issues Environmental Education Kirstenbosch Evaluate & Gold Fields EE Centre Programme at thereview Nature & Biodiversity
7 steps to become an Eco-School 1. Establish an Ecocommittee 2. Eco-audit (checklists) 3. Choose your theme/s 4. Develop an Eco. Code 5. Develop lesson plans 6. Take action 7. Report and share The Eco-committee should have learners involved Learners should lead the process!
In 2006, we worked with five Primary Schools in the Mitchell’s Plain area: West End PS Wespoort PS Northwood PS Meadowridge PS Montagu Drive PS
Four of the five schools achieved their Green Flag status at the end of 2006.
In 2007, we added five primary schools in Hanover Park, Lavender Hill and Lotus River. Hillwood PS Blomvlei PS Morgenson PS Stephen Road PS Prince George Drive PS
In 2008, we added more schools from Belhar and Mfuleni. Gardenia PS Nyameko PS Balvenie PS Meadowridge PS
Programme structure pre 2008 • Previously, schools worked on three themes for a year. • They will then receive a Green Flag if they submitted successful portfolios. • This process was repeated until they received an International Green Flag in their fifth year.
Programme structure post 2008 • The experience over the past years informed the simplification of themes and the award system. • The new system was implemented in 2008 and is in accordance with the international framework. • The new system allow the schools to move through the process of transformation to better environmental management and learning at a more realistic pace.
Year in which Report is presented Requirements Award Year 1 Project and lessons on 1 Theme Bronze Certificate Year 2 Project and lessons on 2 themes (including theme from Year 1) Silver Certificate Year 3 Project and lessons on 3 Themes (including themes from Years 1 - 2) Green Flag Year 4 Project and lessons on 4 Themes (including themes from Years 1 - 3) Gold Certificate Year 5 Project and lessons on 5 Themes (including themes from Years 1 - 4) International Flag After Year 5 Project and lessons on special Themes Eg Climate Change, Wetlands, Eco-footprinting etc. . Special Merit
Nature and Biodiversity
Healthy living – feeding scheme and veggie gardens
Local and Global Issues: removal of invasive alien plants from an open area
Community and Heritage
Institutionalizing Eco-Schools • At the end of the funded period in 2008, the decision was made to institutionalize the programme. • The Eco-Schools was then placed into my key performance areas (KPA’s) after discussing it with my supervisor. • The idea of a “Cluster model” was introduced to educators at the first node meeting on the 30 th January 2009. • The concept and educators concerns about the model were thoroughly discussed and eventually unanimously accepted.
“Cluster Model” • Schools were divided into two clusters (Mitchell’s Plain area) and (Hanover Park Lavender Hill and Lotus River area). • This was done to create communities of environmental education practice. • The idea was to establish a self-sustaining programme with minimal mentoring required. • The more experienced educators could provide support and guidance. • I would then assume a more co-ordinating and monitoring role within each cluster.
Cluster meeting at Hillwood Educators from Hillwood, Morgenson, Prince George and Stephen Road Primary Schools.
Successes of the cluster model • Educators are sharing common successes and challenges at their schools. • Learning from one another through this. • Are able to support one another and share resources and experience. • They appear to becoming communities of practice. • Every school receives equal support from SANBI and equal access to resources.
Kirstenbosch Fynbos Node • Teachers received a variety of resources. • A “Biodiversity and resources” workshop was facilitated by Michelle Sholto -Douglas of Footprints • Prince George Primary presented their work at the Tunza African Children’s Environmental Conference in Durban. • Morgenson Primary School presented their work at the Fynbos Forum conference.
Challenges of the cluster model • Not all schools are attending the meetings. • Some schools did not start the 2009 programme on their own; they seemed to initially require pressure and full support. • A few schools may need additional support and pressure (outside of the cluster model). • Some schools are not proactive in asking for support and resources.
Vision “Building Capacity for Biodiversity” Mission To inspire and enable people from all walks of life to take responsibility for their environment.