Teachers, Leaders, and Youth Training Workshop

December 3, 2009 at 11:54 AM Leave a comment

November 19, 2009

A training workshop on how to run an Environmental Action Project was held in Co. Fermanagh at Collegiate Grammar School.  The other schools and groups participating were:  Rossnowlagh Surf Club and St. Eunan’s National School.

Some of the feedback comments of the day were: 

‘Very easy to follow.  Well structured, good balance of entertainment and theory.’

‘The content was realistic and it was extremely clear for young people.’

‘The YEA is a fantastic worthwhile project that gives great confidence and life long learning to children.’

November 11, 2009

We also held a training workshop in Limerick at the Limerick      Youth Justice Centre.  The participating schools and groups were:  Youth workers working in the Limerick Youth Services Centre, Presentation Secondary School, and Laurel Hill Secondary School.

Some of the feedback comments of the day were:

‘Very entertaining, really opened my eyes on the little steps anyone can perform to help the environment- think local and become more aware.’

‘Information was very relevant and light but it made you think about how you live your life and small changes that one could make.’

‘Very good, user friendly, very interactive group, good participation.’

October 16,  2009

In October, we ran a training workshop for PGCE Teacher Trainers at Queen’s University, Belfast City.

Some of the feedback comments of the day were: 

‘ I learned a lot more about the global issues.’

–  ‘I learned how to be even more environmentally friendly, and change behaviour through education.’

–  ‘The links between the curriculum and sustainable development were good. It was practical and interactive.’

In addition, a principal and one of the teachers were kind enough to write up some feed back of how they viewed education in sustainable development.  Here are some excerpts of their comments:

Lack of education is one of the largest obstacles to development. If people do not know what things are harmful to the environment, how can they respect it? Schools play an important role in the formation of positive attitudes towards the environment in young children.

We want to educate our pupils about environmental issues, and bring them up to consider their own impact on the environment. We want them to learn to behave in a responsible fashion, making decisions based not only on their own needs and wants but also considering the impact on the natural world around them.

But raising consciousness about environmental issues isn’t just about a lesson plan or two. Instead, it’s about implementing a way of thinking in a youngster’s life.

Principal – Banbridge High School October 2009

‘I waited several years before I even thought about environmental work – of course I was teaching it but as it became more and more important we knew that there was a growing interest in the pupils.

We started with something very simple – recycling – something that can be done in-house and is a good one to start with.  

It gave pupils the chance to use:
Maths – surveys
Science -recycling processes
French, English – doing posters/poems/speeches etc based on the topic.
RE – our responsibility for looking after the Earth;
Technology and Art made a mural out of recycled pieces of wood.

The possibilities are endless – use the skills of other teachers – we have produced a play, made a DVD, done surveys and research, poster campaigns, made representation to the Council and other groups – even other schools.  Pupils creating posters and cartoons with Manga Art, those who grow in confidence infront of judges.

Each year we try and enter the Eco-Unesco competition it is a great opportunity for children with all sorts of skills to get together.  Every other year we build on the work from our Eco-Unesco competition for the Eco-School’s Green Flag.  This is a lot of work but a real reward also – acknowledging the work of the children.

For me – I get to know pupils who I otherwise never would have known.  I cannot recommend Education for Sustainable Development enough and it challenges me to move out of my comfort zone of the classroom, and with it there are no limits and no boundaries to the pupils’ abilities, ideas and concerns.’

Best wishes Jennifer McClelland, Banbridge High School


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