Friday 10 December 2021

Breaking boundaries: Teaching children the importance of living in a sustainable world

Primary

Delivering the best opportunities

Heritage International School is an institution where educational programmes get beautifully intertwined to deliver the best of opportunities to our disciples. We aim to develop the whole child here that will become a responsible citizen of the world, have a global view on things and will thrive in a diverse, colourful, and sustainable world. Heritage is the first and only school in Moldova that is part of Fieldwork Education, offering the International Primary Curriculum for our younger students. The curriculum offers educators the possibility to involve students in many global collaborative projects that would not only benefit the student, but also the environment.

How we began tackling Climate change

This year has been marked by important events for the future of our planet. The COP26 conference in Glasgow is one such example. Climate change is a topic discussed and acted upon in many spheres of our lives, and no single person can affirm that it is being tackled enough.

As the Climate Action Project country ambassador for Moldova, I spent the summer of 2020 promoting this important environmental project in the news media, on radio channels, getting official support of the Ministry of Education, as it was launched that summer in Moldova.

In our first year, there were around 120 Moldovan educators, and approximately 300 teachers that joined this global initiative in 2021. We contacted the Minister of Environment and President Maia announced a nationwide tree-planting campaign, inviting schools, students, and educators to be part of the movement.

Using the International Primary Curriculum to create awareness

As a school community, Heritage International School found it instrumental to have the right academic paths to integrate the Climate Action Project into everyday lessons, be it in primary, through the IPC or English lessons, Science, English, Biology, Civic Education, or other subjects in secondary.

Our students learned about the causes and consequences of climate change, they did research and shared with classrooms around the world, as well as with educators in global webinars, such as one for COBIS about sustainability projects at our school. The IPC curriculum offered a hands-on approach that allowed students to be creative when exploring the world around them, their outcomes are tangible, beautiful, and impactful.

They created courses of action, planted trees, designed flyers, shared with the community, wrote articles in the Heritage Globe newspaper, and our teachers shared the project during international conferences.

How our Climate Action Project soared

I was selected with a group of Heritage students to speak live in front of tens of thousands of attendees at the Climate Action Day 2020, one team from each continent. Six Heritage students represented Europe at the big event, speaking about their findings in the project and the climate situation in Moldova.

This year, our students wrote messages to world leaders, asking for climate education in schools and for actions to be taken globally. These messages were exhibited on a huge wall in the Blue Zone at COP26 conference in Glasgow, with the help of the World’s Largest Lesson. How proud we all were! They also interviewed family and friends, did research, and then shared findings with classrooms worldwide.

In tackling climate change, our students learned that sustainability starts with small steps, that’s why we implemented some changes in the school. We organised 'Stop Plastics' flash mobs, 'Fridays for Future' silent strikes, we banned the use of plastic cups in the school, only offering fresh water and invited students to bring in their reusable bottles.

Furthermore, we made a school survey and introduced meat-free Mondays, so we show more care for the planet. Also, we introduced the Earth Project app for the school which calculates our carbon footprint and avoided the use of plastic every week. Heritage students understand that it must be an overall commitment with everyone involved to make visible change.

Winning the Climate Action Project School of Excellence award

After two years of hard work in the Climate Action Project, we were thrilled to be selected among the 250 schools in the entire world to receive the title of Climate Action Project School of Excellence. With 2.7 million students and teachers in the project, our hard work paid off - after thorough evaluation, our school received this prestigious award, announced by Cartoon Network during the Climate Action Day 2021 webinar.

Heritage International School shares its commitment to make the world a better place for everyone now, but also for the future generations, and this award received in November 2021 only showcases our actions taken daily at our school.

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Meet the Head of Global Education and the Hybrid Learning Coordinator

Tatiana Popa is the Head of Global Education and the Hybrid Learning Coordinator

Tatiana is a teacher trainer and Ambassador at eTwinning Moldova, as well as Country Ambassador for Climate Action Project in Moldova and Global Teacher Award 2021 winner.

Tatiana Popa profile image