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Informing and Involving

Eco-Schools is an inclusive programme which aims to encompass the whole school and wider community in its environmental activities.

Through ongoing publicity and ‘Days of Action’, Eco-Schools gives everyone the opportunity - pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, local councils and other groups - to get together to work towards achieving some of the targets set out in your Action Plan.

There are so many ideas for ‘Days of Action’ and it’s important that pupils are able to put their ideas into practice.

You could organise a litter pick, have a healthy eating day, walk to school week, no dishwasher day at home. You could even hold some of your lessons in the school grounds. The list is endless!

As you progress through the Eco-Schools programme you will increasingly have the opportunity to link your activities to the wider community. Involving parents, neighbours, local businesses and the local council can be excellent sources of advice, practical assistance and even funding. Schools are the focal point of the whole community and as such can inspire and demonstrate how sustainability can be adopted into homes and at the heart of the local community.

Whilst the Eco-Committee will take the lead on planning and developing the Action Plan, it is very important that as many pupils and teachers participate in the projects as possible, to really engage with Eco-Schools and feel proud of their achievements.

The following shows some areas where you can enhance your Eco-Schools commitment to involving the whole community.

When the Eco-Committee is formed you should:

  • Make sure your Eco-Committee is elected by the pupils and is pupil led.
  • Ensure that decision making is done through consultation.
  • Take advantage of the Eco-Schools support network by seeking advice on themes from local councils, other partner organisations or local businesses.

At Environmental Review stage you might:

  • Carry out surveys in school and the wider community, using data to create statistics
  • Write letters to local businesses to find potential waste operators
  • Write letters to parents identifying skills the school is looking to secure

When preparing your Action Plan you could:

  • Regularly feedback decisions, developments and progress from committee meetings to pupils and staff through assemblies or tutor time
  • Arrange speakers from outside organisations and businesses
  • Extend your Action Plan to include activities for pupils to do at home, raising awareness in the family home

Share your great work on Social Media and your school's Website:

Remember to tag @eco-schoolsni on Facebook, @eco.ni on Instagram and @Eco_SchoolsNI on Twitter

It is a good idea to organise a launch event when you embark on your Eco-Schools journey. This will give your Eco-Committee an opportunity to explain the aim and reasons for the project and issue a call to action for pupils and parents.

Publicise the events you organise by advertising them on your Eco-Schools notice board. This should be in a prominent position within the school for pupils, parents and visitors to see. You may want to publicise the programme in the school newsletter, or if possible, create a specific Eco-Schools newsletter. Once registered with us, you will receive a monthly newsletter from Eco-Schools. The local press and radio may also be interested in covering events that have been organised.

Assemblies are a great way to announce success in achieving targets or for children to present their research and results.

You may want to organise exhibitions of project work, within the school and in the wider community e.g. local library, community hall.

In all cases, you can approach your local council Environmental Education Officer for advice. You can also contact an Eco-Schools Officer for help and advice. We love to hear of the fantastic work going on in Eco-Schools all over the province, so please Contact Us and let us know what’s happening in your school.

TOP TIP: Contact your local newspaper and ask them to publicise details of the success of your Eco-Schools programme.

  • The Eco-Committee has a school notice board which gives details of environmental activities being carried out.
  • The school lets parents know of action being undertaken in some way.
  • The wider school community learns of the environmental activity going on in the school.
  • An Eco-Schools notice board is kept in a prominent position within the school.
  • The whole school is kept informed and involved in activities through assembly presentations or newsletters.
  • The whole school engages in a number of Eco-Schools activities such as recycling and litter picking.
  • Parents are involved in Eco-Schools activities.
  • Eco-Schools activities are reported through various media i.e. radio, local press, website.
  • Eco-Schools activities are displayed in a prominent position on a notice board within the school.
  • Displays of Eco-Schools Activities are put up for the local community for example in the library, local shop, church or community hall.
  • Eco-Schools activities are integral to the school and the whole school engages in a Day of Action (or similar activities).
  • The wider community is involved in the activities going on in the school, for example local council officers and members of local businesses, environmental organisations.
  • Pupils write reports of activities for the local press.