The following 7 steps and actions will be taken by Ajman Academy International School to achieve a Green Flag status as an Eco-School:
1. Form an Eco Committee
- It is student - led - one student from each grade level on the committee.
- Eco- Coordinator – Mr. Basil Curlewis
- The Eco Committee ensuring that the entire school know about Eco-Schools and receive regular updates
- Composition will be: Students/Teachers/The Principal/Non-Teaching Staff, Secretary, Caretaker, Cleaner, security, Parents, Members of the Board of Management, interested and relevant members of the wider community
- The Eco Committee meets regularly to discuss environmental actions for the school – minutes taken of each meeting and communicating information to the whole school
2. Carry out an Environmental Review
- Eco Committee to carry out the Review – involving as many pupils possible in this process.
- Results of the Environmental Review transform into the Action Plan
- Use the Environmental Review to identify the priority areas in our school. To keep it manageable we focusing on not more than three Themes at a time.
- Carry out surveys, monitor behaviors, use questionnaires, create graphs, take photographs and video and present the results to the school via announcements, information boards, social media and electronic communications.
3. Action Plan
- Create an Action Plan to resolve and/or improve those problems. It will include: the necessary tasks, the people responsible and time frame for actions in order to achieve the goals/targets.
- As with every aspect of the Eco-Schools process, students will be involved in the drawing up of the Action Plan - Eco-Action plan made available for the whole school to see.
- Investigate the environmental issues in our school/community.
4. Monitor and Evaluate
- Students have the responsibility for carrying out monitoring activities
- Results of monitoring regularly (if possible weekly) updated and displayed for the whole school to see - Measuring change and analyzing what’s working.
- Evaluation follows on from monitoring. Evaluating the success of the activities will allow making changes to the Action Plan if required.
- Students are engaged in monitoring and evaluation - design questionnaires, surveys and data analysis techniques. Students learn how to use a camera to collect accurate before and after images. Data is used in some curriculum work.
- Before and after photos | analysis of electricity and water bills | biodiversity surveys | knowledge and attitude questionnaires | transportation surveys | post-audits | meter readings | litter counts
- Progress and challenges are communicated to whole school and wider community.
5. Curriculum Work
- Integrating the programme into the curriculum directly through science, civics and environmental classes or indirectly in other subject areas through innovative teaching
- Pupils from throughout the school should gain an understanding of how real life environmental issues are dealt with in a real life setting
- Eco program becomes an integrated part of the overall curriculum
- Teachers to take advantage of the Eco-Schools work too; real-life projects can bring just about any subject to life (cross-curriculum school and community).
- Help students to develop their public speaking skills as well as their professional media and communication skills.
- Educating the whole child, mind, body, and spirit and sustainability to develop student’s skills, values, and knowledge.
- School staff are provided with professional development and training on best practices, knowledge and skills for environmental education.
- Incorporate environment-based topics as a part of the pedagogy rather than separate from it.
6. Inform and Involve
- It is essential that the whole school is involved in, and the wider community aware of, the schools’ Eco-Schools programme.
- Means of information provision and public relations to tell about our work to include: having a prominent and eye-catching display, school assemblies, school notice boards, school newsletters and websites, school plays, dramas and fashion shows based on environmental issues, organizing some fun events, students’ artistic side by designing posters, letters to businesses and corporations, local and national press, radio and television, etc.
- The school develops a day of action or other event that engages the greater community in learning about and helping with Eco-Schools projects
- Students write about Eco-Schools projects for local papers and magazines
- Global Action Days, National biodiversity month, International day for the preservation of the ozone layer, World soil day, Earth Day, World Wetlands day, International recycling day, Endangered species day, World turtle day, Schools clean up day, World water day, International composting awareness week, World Environment Day, World Ocean day, etc.
7. Produce an Eco Code
- The students play a key role in the development of the Eco Code, as this will give them a greater sense of responsibility towards the values the Eco Code represents
- The Eco-Code to be reflective of the Eco-Action Plan, curriculum and student experiences.
- Get the school community involved, through Eco-Code development contests
- The Eco- Club creates a song, statement, poem, rap, acronym, acrostic, limerick, or something even more creative!
- The Eco-Code will be prominently displayed throughout the school
- The Eco-Code is reviewed every year to ensure relevancy
The Green Flag
Usually after two years of implementing the programme and reaching a high level of performance in complying with the seven steps (sometimes national mandatory criteria also applies), schools can then apply for and be awarded the Green Flag.
For more information, please visit http://www.echoschool.ae
AJAC hosts Beyond COP 21 / Symposium
On Thursday, 8th February, in collaboration with Target4Green, Ajman Academy hosted a Beyond Cop 21/ Symposium. Over 100 students from schools across the UAE along with 15 exhibitors attended this exciting and innovative event. The event consisted of themed high impact presentations from, and discussions with, guest speakers on the Agenda 2030 and climate negotiations in and beyond Paris; individual & community action; pledge making and practical activities/workshops.