1. Think ahead - it’s about the future and how we are going to get there
2. Embed sustainable education into every part of your strategic vision, goals and strategy
3. Value the importance - it’s a moral obligation to educate and involve students in the journey of sustainability
4. Bring in the wider community - share goals, aims and aid each other
Want to know more?
The University of Plymouth shares their current pedagogical research into educational sustainability: Developing innovative approaches for sustainable development
How do other countries do it?
Australia promotes their sustainable educational vision as leading across the world. Here’s a snippet of their research, strategies and resources:
Want to know more?
Teacher Talk: Promoting Sustainability in Schools
Empowering the Next Generation using Digital Skills, with Emma Darcy
Welcome to our educational blog. Here we explore all things pertinent to education, discuss current topics and provide tips, from research and educational experts, to aid practice.
The importance of sustainability in schools cannot be understated. As educators, we have a responsibility to instil in our students an understanding of environmental issues and equip them with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact Over the past two years, my role as the Director of Technology for Learning at Denbigh High School in Luton and the Chiltern Learning Trust has led me to reflect on the significance of sustainability in education and how we can integrate it into our digital policies and practices.
Where we are at Denbigh High School
At Denbigh High School and within the Chiltern Learning Trust, we have recognised the need to address our carbon footprint and prioritise sustainability in all aspects of our work. Our Development Plan encompasses environmental and resource sustainability, technology for learning, pupil resilience, and preparation for a changing world. While initially, the amalgamation of our digital strategy and sustainability strategy seemed unconventional, it has proven to be a vital and timely decision.
As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030 through initiatives like the LetsGoZero campaign. With 11,000 students and 1,200 staff members, our energy consumption is substantial, equivalent to 1,100 UK households in electricity and 700 households in gas each year. Additionally, our heating oil usage matches that of 90 households. On average, each of our students generates a carbon footprint equivalent to 250 bags of sugar annually.
However, our mission extends beyond reducing our own carbon footprint. As educators, we believe in our moral obligation to educate the next generation about the environment and empower them to take action. We recognise that schools play a pivotal role in shaping students' values and behaviours, and we strive to embed sustainability principles into all aspects of school life. From our buildings' design and energy usage to community engagement and curriculum content, we aim to foster a culture that reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship.
What is our strategic plan to achieve our aim?
Rather than waiting for mandated deadlines, we have taken proactive measures to integrate sustainability education into our curriculum. We have appointed Sustainability Leads in each school and are developing Climate Action Plans to capture and enhance the existing green initiatives in our schools. By doing so, we hope to inspire our students to adopt sustainable practices and contribute to a greener future.
To amplify our efforts, this year we introduced the Apps For Good "Innovate for Climate Change" course across all our primary and secondary schools. This course empowers students to leverage technology to address real-world environmental challenges while developing essential digital skills. We have witnessed remarkable enthusiasm among our staff, who have adapted the course for students ranging from Year 3 to Year 10. The course not only equips students with the tools to tackle environmental issues but also addresses their climate anxiety, offering them a sense of empowerment in the face of global challenges.
Reaching our wider community
In celebration of our students' achievements and to foster collaboration and innovation, we organised the Climate Change and Digital Innovation Summit (#CCADIS) in Luton. This event provided a platform for young people to showcase their app ideas and digital skills to industry experts. Technology companies such as BNY Mellon, DeepMind, EPAM Systems, GoCardless, Google, Innovation X, OVO, Sage, Raspberry Pi, Siemens, and TPXImpact generously supported the event. We were also humbled by the participation of other schools and Multi Academy Trusts, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability education.
The #CCADIS event was designed as a conference-like experience, featuring inspiring keynote speeches, a Stands Showcase, and a panel session. The panel session was unique as it allowed the young participants to directly engage with technology experts, who answered their questions and provided valuable insights.
Moving forward, we are already planning next year's Climate Change and Digital Innovation Summit, and we welcome collaboration from individuals and organisations who share our vision. Our aim is to unite schools, Trust teams, and industry partners around the common goal of making a difference in the fight against climate change. We firmly believe that everyone, regardless of age, has the power to contribute to a sustainable future.
CTSH 'Together Towards Excellence'