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Linking to the Curriculum

The Eco-Schools programme should link into curriculum work of the school when and where possible. Most schools are already incorporating a variety of environmental issues into the curriculum; as an Eco-School, these topics being studied should also influence the way the whole school operates.  

Ideally, what you decide to study will complement the environmental actions (i.e. your Action Plan) being undertaken by your school. These connections will motivate students and make activities more meaningful.  

The Eco-Schools programme has achieved local and international recognition as one of the recognised delivery tools for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). As an ESD programme, it is supported by the Education Authority and is listed as a suggestion for delivering Curriculum Objectives in the Revised Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum. It is also a Key Element at Post Primary level.  

Eco-Schools is also an integral part of the Sustainable Development Strategy for NI and is one of the ministerial targets in that strategy – therefore it is at the heart of the education process for the future of students within the province.  

In summary, the Eco-Schools programme should:

  • Be integrated with the curriculum through as many subjects and levels as possible.
  • Be used to inform the whole school of environmental issues and instigate action in the school community.

Case studies that illustrate how it links to the curriculum are available in the Case Studies section of Resources.

  • Environmental issues are covered as part of curriculum work in most year groups across a range of subjects.
  • Some aspects of Eco-Schools activities are integrated into the school curriculum for most year groups.
  • The school has a named individual responsible for environmental education/sustainable development education.
  • The school has a curriculum plan integrating a range of environmental issues into the curriculum across some year groups or classes in a range of subjects.
  • Aspects of Eco-Schools activities are integrated into a range of subjects across the curriculum for the majority of classes or year groups.
  • Issues surrounding sustainable development are explored through curriculum activities in many year groups.