Eco-Schools Newsletter December 2015

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Dear all,  

Welcome to the Eco-Schools International newsletter for December 2015.   

First of all, we would like to thank Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful for hosting a wonderful NOM, the biggest since Eco-Schools began in 1994! Below you can also find a link to some pictures they kindly sent to us.

A lively project workshop about the Great Plant Hunt was held at the NOM for the countries that are currently participating. If you don't know what the Great Plant Hunt is, you can find out in the article below.

This month we interview Sukhprit from India, and Rheinallt from Wales. 
We welcome Moaz Sawaf, new National Operator in UAE, and we say goodbye to Ajita Nayer whom we will miss.

Congratulations to the first awarded Eco-Schools in  Singapore, which  received the Green Flag at their annual Eco-Schools Conference!

An important article this month is the information about the opportunity for school leaders to apply for grants to courses and
conferences, offered within the framework of Erasmus+. 

If you haven't already done so, follow FEE and Eco-Schools International on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr, and share your stories through these channels - see buttons below.

Any feedback or ideas on how to improve the newsletter are welcome. Feel free to share it with anyone who may be  interested.

Enjoy reading and enjoy this sunny, cloudy or snowy December.
Lead on Eco-Schools!
Bríd, Liesbeth, Anna
New people on board!
                   HELLO                                                  ... and GOODBYE
          MOAZ SAWAF                                    AJITA NAYER
                         Eco-Schools United Arab Emirates

The Eco-Schools National Operators 

The Eco-Schools programme keeps on growing. As we only meet once a year, Eco-Schools International will showcase two National Operators in each newsletter. In this way we get to know a bit more about the Eco-Schools programme in the different countries and the people behind it. 
In this newsletter we feature:
- Sukhprit Kaur from India (our newest National Operator)
- Rheinallt Williams from Wales 


Name: Sukhprit Kaur                                                                                  
Country: India     
Organisation name: 
Centre for Environment Education
City: We are a national organisation with
about 40 offices across the country
No. staff organisation: 300         
No. staff Eco-Schools:

Eight quick questions

Cats or dogs?                    Dogs
Sea or Mountains?            Mountain
Chocolate or chips?         Chocolate
Film or book?                    Book
City or countryside?        Countryside

Favourite word?   Awesome.

If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be? 

Lakdi ki kati (it’s a Hindi song for children).

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? 
It always amuses me how children react to different sounds…. Especially how scared they are of the cooker whistle and of the way some people sneeze. Their reaction always makes me laugh.

The Eco-Schools Programme

What is the high point of the programme for you? What are your hopes/dreams/visions for the programme?
Networking, capacity building and hands-on experiential learning will be crucial to the Eco-Schools programme. India is a vast country and making the programme a success here would be wonderful.

What kind of activities do you run during the year? (teacher training, clean-ups, student workshops etc.)

1. Developing content for the Eco-Schools website
2. Meetings with schools so they can get information about the Eco-Schools programme and join it

3. Schools which register for the programme get access to the Eco-Schools materials which include, among other things, curriculum linked activities and environmental review formats
Annual workshops in different locations across the country to orient teachers to the methodologies of the Eco-Schools programme
Working with school teachers to firm up their school action plan
Monitoring and Follow-up visits to the schools
Interaction with the children
Guiding schools to implement the Litter Less Campaign. As part of LLC in India, schools submitted a proposal of the work they intended to do
The activities as part of Eco-Schools include teacher training programmes, action plan development, providing a strong curricular linkage to activities connected to the programme, interactions with school children, and campaigns - to name a few.
Popularising the programme on social media, eg Facebook

Please include one inspiring case story of a school in your country
The first school to join the programme was the Sanctuary School affiliated to the Krishnamurthy Foundation India and worked with tribal children. Students from the school worked on the Themes of Biodiversity, Waste and Energy. For the Biodiversity Theme they drew the flora and fauna  they observed in their village and tabulated the names of the
different species of animals and plants. They also drew a biodiversity map of their village.
As part of the Waste Management Theme, they initiated a waste drive in their school and village. A twin bin system in the form of two different cartons/sacks was introduced in the school and village. Recyclable waste was sold and the money earned was used to buy material for the school.
Under the Energy Theme they conducted energy surveys to understand the problems faced by their mothers. Being a rural area, firewood stoves are used at home. They also monitored the amount of  wood consumption fuel for cooking meals at their school.


Name: Rheinallt Williams   
Country: Wales
Organisation name: Keep Wales Tidy
City: Cardiff
No. staff organisation: over 50
No. staff Eco-Schools:
9.4 Full Time Equivalent Staff
(it's a big team involving most of KWT staff in one way
or another)

Eight quick questions                                                           

Cats or dogs?                   Dogs, but I have both. As a farm lad animals have always played a big 
                                           part in my life, but my dog is never very far away.

Sea or Mountains?           Mountains, was born in the mountains and have spent most of my life
                                           near them or on them. Flat ground confuses me.

Chocolate or chips?        Chips, but don't leave your chocolate lying around either!
Film or book?                   Book - can't remember when I went to the cinema last.
City or countryside?        Countryside

Favourite word?   

Here's a bit of an explanation, not my words but the words of many others from across the internet who do the job much better than I ever could.
Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation; an approximation would be the longing, or yearning for home. Hiraeth is the sense of being so much a part of a place - and the place, a part of you - that you feel forever incomplete when separated from it. Finding one's true spiritual home, you'll know the meaning of hiraeth, it describes the feeling that true 'home' feels like, wherever. Hiraeth can mean a longing for many things, not just a homeland. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness or a nostalgia for times past, as opposed to place.
Hiraeth bears considerable similarities with the Portuguese concept of 'saudade', Brazilian Portuguese 'banzo' (more related to homesickness), Turkish 'gurbet', Galician 'morriña', Romanian 'dor'.

If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be? 
Imagine - John Lennon.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? 

That's pretty easy and explained by a number - 46
Thanks to David Meade for that one, messing with my head completely and for teaching me how really difficult it is to count backwards from 100 in front of an audience!

The Eco-Schools Programme

What is the high point of the programme for you? What are your hopes/dreams/visions for the programme? 
This is an almost impossible question to answer, there have been so many!
In a personal way, I am a better person with stronger values, more experienced and much more capable thanks to the Eco-Schools programme. My behaviour has been changed significantly, thanks to the inspiration, dedication and actions of the many thousands of children and teachers I've met through the programme and thanks in no small part to the team in Wales and the 'Eco-Schools' family, whose dedication, commitment and fantastic achievements always astound me.
My hopes and dreams for the programme? That as many young people as possible, worldwide, get the opportunity to participate and shape the world and future they want, not what we think might be best for them.

What kind of activities do you run during the year? (teacher training, clean-ups, student workshops etc.)
All of the above and more.
One of my favourites have been the meetings of the Welsh National Eco-Committees where young people of all ages, from Eco-Schools across Wales, come together to share ideas, launch collaborative projects and have their voices heard.
This initiative started quite small, but has grown to such an extent that meetings are now held in three regions simultaneously. These meetings have become so successful that the Welsh Government now participate fully in the meetings and use them not only to communicate their messages and work, but also as a consultative platform to hear young people's voices, opinions and aspirations for Wales.

National Operator Meeting in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Many thanks to Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful for hosting a wonderful National Operator Meeting in Belfast!

With 100 delegates from 54 countries, it was the biggest Eco-Schools NOM ever held and it was a great opportunity for all to discuss all aspects of  the Eco-Schools programme in the different countries and share experiences and best practices.

Thank you everyone for participating. We hope to see you all again next year in South Africa!


Check out the pictures of the NOM!

Launch of the Great Plant Hunt
The Great Plant Hunt Campaign is a joint initiative of Toyota Motor Europe and FEE.

It focuses on biodiversity with a particular emphasis on plants and their associated species. The campaign was launched in November 2015 and is currently running in ten European countries. It includes educational aspects, based on the FEE Educational Principles, and practical activities based on resources developed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The Great Plant Hunt Workshop

At the NOM, National Operators from the countries participating in the Great Plant Hunt took part in a lively project workshop. The workshop included presentations held by Rachel Boyle, Project Manager, Guillermo Denaux from Toyota Motor Europe and the Irish and Slovenian National Operators Meabh Boylan and Gregor Cerar, who shared their experiences and many practical tips. Some practical activities that could be applied in the schools were also included. You can read more about them in the Exposure page of the campaign linked below. 
Read more

WWF Eco-Schools Conference in Singapore

The first Eco-Schools Green Flags for Singapore were awarded at the annual WWF Eco-Schools Conference to Ang Mo Kio Secondary School and Nan Hua High School. Congratulations!
Local, regional and global experts elaborated on the conference theme "YOU can be the CHANGE", urging students and educators to be the change our world needs. #bethechange

Read more

Erasmus+ 2016 - Grants to courses and conferences    

The Learning Teacher Newsletter features two very interesting articles about the possibility of applying for grants to courses and conferences. It is an opportunity offered within the framework of Erasmus+ KA1 (Learning Mobility of Individuals) and the deadline for applications is at noon on 2 February 2016.

Applying for European grants is not easy, so in addition to the official Programme Guide it is possible to find 'A practical guide for school leaders' that can help develop a successful Erasmus+ application.


Learn more
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