Why should we be interested in school grounds?
Education for sustainable development enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things individually and collectively, both locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now, without damaging the planet for the future.
In a specialised Ofsted report into Schools and Sustainability the inspectors reported that schools tended to confine sustainability to special events rather than integrating it into the curriculum and that generally, primary schools had a better grasp of the concepts than secondary schools/colleges.
The recommendations included integrating sustainable development into school development plans; providing resources and training to support it; identifying a key person to manage and co-ordinate this; giving all pupils the opportunity to learn and take an active part in sustainability issues both within and beyond the school; promoting sustainability in the local community and showing the global context.
An Ofsted report Education for Sustainable Development (Dec 09) monitored 14 schools over 3 years to evaluate the impact on improving the life of the school while Understanding the Impact of Sustainable Schools (March 10) provides 15 top tips.
This section links through to information local and national to help you achieve these aims.
Education for Sustainable Development
One of the main aims of the National Curriculum is to "develop pupils' awareness, understanding of, and respect for, the environments in which they live and secure their commitment to sustainable development at a personal, local, national and global level." This is a core value that has been embedded into various subjects from Geography, Science and Citizenship to English, Maths and Design &Technology; from Key Stage One through to GCSE coursework.
As explained on the Teachernet website a sustainable school "explores sustainable development through its teaching provision and learning (curriculum); in its values and ways of thinking (campus); and in its engagement of local people and partners (community)". It is also a caring environment, not only for the children within the school but also for those across the world and in future generations, through its concern and care for the environment.
Hampshire Sustainable Schools website. provides links to local advisers who can support you with this learning.
The Hampshire Centre for Global Awareness exists to help schools develop a global perspective. One of their major interests was a Sustainable Schools project with several pilot schools. The results being fed through to other schools.
Teachernet website has curriculum information on Sustainable Schools
Hampshire case studies:
Sustainable Schools from Infant through to College
The government would like every school to be a Sustainable School by 2020. It has suggested this be approached through eight doorways:
Food and Drink: the curriculum address healthy eating and this is promoted through the school's communications, services and what the food it offers.
Energy: in the curriculum and through school management practices, energy conservation is addressed and promoted in the community.
Travel and traffic: issues are raised within the curriculum and with stakeholders, walking and cycling are promoted.
School buildings and grounds: the impact of building on the natural environment is addressed in the curriculum, improvements are made to the internal and external environments and the importance of good design is highlighted to partners.
Purchasing and waste: sustainable consumption is addressed within the curriculum, through improved practice and by promoting awareness to the wider community
Inclusion and participation: pupils are supported in playing an active part in all school activities on the campus and beyond in order to promote a culture of mutual respect, care and enjoyment.
Local wellbeing: the whole school community is a model of good citizenship and plays an active part in improving the well being of the pupils, staff and wider community.
The Global Dimension: the school addresses the need for all pupils to be globally aware citizens through the curriculum, through campus choices and promotes respect for other cultures and communities to all stakeholders.
Each doorway is to be considered in terms of the curriculum, the campus and the school community to create a pervasive, whole school approach. This aims to be a long term, joined up method for addressing children's needs both now and in the future and to educate through "doing."
Hampshire County Council provides valuable links to local initiatives and advisers who can support you with developing sustainability via the eight doorways. View their Sustainable Schools website.
There is also a South-East Sustainable Schools Network which runs training days. Contact
Beverley. Anderson@gose.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 01483 882341
Supporting Sustainable Schools in the South-east: Schools Case Studies guide produced by the Government Office for the South-east which includes several Hampshire schools.
Who can help?
Sustainable School Grounds
The following groups and organisations can help you develop your grounds more sustainably:
Within Hampshire County Council
Develop a strategic approach: Schools Landscape Programme
New landscape design: Landscape Group within PB&R Design Services New Landscape Design
Enrich biodiversity and care for nature: Ecology Group in Environment Department.
Maintain and manage: Grounds Management Services in PB&R department.
Extend use for learning: Trailblazers in Outdoor Education
Other sources of help and support:SEEd (Sustainability and Environmental Education) - is a registered UK charity enables the education sector to engage with Education for Sustainable Development and environmental education
Hampshire County Council is not responsible for the content of any external websites.