The team at Eco-Schools England hopes that you found our advice useful and enjoyed beginning your journey to achieving the Eco-Schools Green Flag, featured in our Little Learners magazine, issue 9. If you followed our advice, you should now have achieved your Eco-Schools Bronze award: Congratulations!
If you haven’t yet started your Eco-Schools journey, don’t worry, it’s never too late to begin and even the smallest environmental actions make a difference. Our previous blog outlines the first stages of your eco-journey, and reaching your bronze award with the help of the Early Years Pathway! But for those that have already achieved the Bronze Award, here is some advice for the next steps in achieving the Eco-Schools Silver Award:
Step 4: Early Years Curriculum Links
To achieve our internationally recognised Green Flag award, you will need to provide evidence of three pieces of learning that link to environmental issues (the evidence doesn’t have to relate to the topics you chose to work on in your Action Plan for Step 2). Fortunately, incorporating environmental issues into your learning is a great way to enrich your early years curriculum. From creating bug hotels to reading environmentally themed picture books, we have seen plenty of fun learning activities used as evidence towards the Green Flag award. If you’re struggling for inspiration make sure to head over to the Eco-Schools website, where you will find plenty of free resources to provide you with some ideas!
Hint: a great way to make sure the whole nursery is involved is by hosting an eco-day or week, when all learning is focused on environmental issues.
Step 5: Informing and Involving
One of the (many) best things about the Eco-Schools programme is that it aims to spread the Eco-Schools message beyond your walls and into your wider community: think parents, grandparents, businesses, charities, council members – the world is your oyster! You can keep everyone up-to-date and informed through your Eco-Board, newsletters, website, social media or even local and national press. You should also aim to involve as many people as possible, organising community events such as litter picks in your local park is fantastic for maximising your impact. We have even seen changes achieved through young children visiting and recording messages for companies encouraging them to be more eco!
Hint: Don’t worry if people from outside your school or nursery can’t attend every eco-meeting or event, as long as you keep them up-to-date you’re doing a great job!
When you’ve found three pieces of eco-learning evidence and let everyone know about your Eco-Schools work it is time to apply for your self-assessed, Eco-Schools Silver award. Only two more steps to Green Flag success!
Don’t forget to check out the Little Learners magazine for fun, inspiring activities and ideas focused on understanding our impact on the environment.
Or to visit our previous blog 'how early years can become eco-schools too' to begin your green flag journey!