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In 2016 Pinelands High joined the Eco-Schools programme for the first time. Eco-Schools is a school based environmental programme implemented in over 52 countries worldwide. Internationally it is run under the auspices of Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), while in South Africa it is managed by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). The main aim of the programme is to improve environmental management and learning at schools.
Eco-Schools uses a seven step programme, centered around action projects. Action projects are chosen by each school, and are based on themes. The themes incorporate topics such as: resource use, local and global issues, nature and biodiversity, healthy living, and community and heritage.
After conducting an environmental review in the first term, the Eco-School Committee decided to link the action project for this year to the ‘Local and Global issues’ theme. In particular, we wanted to improve recycling at the school.
In order to educate staff and students about why we need to recycle, we shared a tutor resources folder, which contains relevant videos and pictures, and created posters which were put up all over the school.
To make it easier for the school community to recycle, we have implemented Friday Recycle Day (to make recycling at home easier), and most recently, colour coded bins in the classrooms and quads (to make recycling at school easier). If you don’t already recycle at home, bags filled with clean recyclable materials can be dropped off at the various school entrances on Friday morning.
One of the steps of the programme is to link the action projects to the school curriculum. This year the curriculum links have been through some English exams and Natural Science activities. We have also tried to improve environmental awareness through the Science Fair and Grade 8 cross curricular week.
To encourage schools to improve and add more action projects, schools are evaluated each year, and given internationally recognised awards. This year we are hoping to receive a bronze award.
Thank you to the Eco-Schools committee as well as Mr Siebrits, Mrs Spaans, Mr Kati, Mr Prevost, Mr Daly and Mr Campbell for your encouragement, enthusiasm and excellent ideas.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”
Robert Swan OBE