We’re pleased to have Eco-Schools on board for the latest issue of Little Learners. They recently announced their new Early Years Pathway, designed to guide nurseries and other early years’ settings to become more environmentally friendly. Their bespoke criteria, free resources and examples of best practice provide everything needed to achieve their internationally recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag award within 12 months of registering.
Begin your eco-journey today with the Early Years Pathway!
Step 1: Eco-Committee
The first step of your Eco-Schools journey is to appoint a committee responsible for all things Eco. Your committee should represent all ages from your setting – if a child is too little to represent themselves find a helpful adult to be their spokesperson (parent, teacher, room leader etc). In fact, you should invite adults to be on your Eco-Committee anyway - an important part of the Eco-Schools programme is getting everyone involved! When you have
an amazing Eco-Committee: meet regularly, this will help you achieve Green Flag success within a year.
Hint: A great way to get younger children involved and engaged in your Eco-Committee is to give them a bit of responsibility – ask them to water plants, compost fruit or check lights are turned off when not in use.
Step 2: Environmental Review
The Eco-Schools Environmental Review, like all Eco-Schools resources, is free and available on the Eco-Schools website. It has been designed by teachers to be fun for young children to complete. The questions are deliberately simple e.g. ‘Do you run, jump or dance every day?’ This means it is accessible, fun and shouldn’t take too long to complete. Don’t worry about what you find out on your Environmental Review – its purpose is to get little minds thinking about all the environmental actions they might complete as part of their Eco-Schools work!
Hint: Have fun: explore, chat and learn – don’t worry if your completed Review looks a little bit messy – the Eco-Schools team especially love seeing children’s work.
Step 3: Action Plan
The fun increases as you begin planning your eco-actions. Use our free Action Plan template and make the plan child-friendly and fun. Your actions can be as big or small as you like, but remember: if you’re working to achieve your first Green Flag you need to work on three of the ten Eco-Schools topics. If you are renewing your Green Flag you will need to work on five topics.
Hint: Early Years children may be too little to write an Action Plan, but with adult support their ideas can be made realistic, fun and practical.
When you have decided on an Action Plan you can apply for a self-assessed Eco-Schools Bronze award and your journey has begun!
Currently celebrating our 25th anniversary, Eco-Schools is the largest educational programme on the planet. Designed to improve awareness, change behavioural habits and initiate environmental actions, in England, Eco-Schools has been operated by Keep Britain Tidy since 1994.
If you’re located in Scotland, there is an Eco-Schools programme running that also accepts nurseries.
A programme specifically for nurseries is currently under development in Wales, please contact Keep Wales Tidy for more information.
Please take a look at the latest issue of Little Learners.