I have had letters arriving on my desk all week from children outlining why they would be a valuable member of the BISC-LP Eco Council. It has been a privilege to read each application and if ever there was inspiration needed to continue the Eco Council’s work this year, hearing the care and passion for our environment that these children have is all the motivation we as adults need. With our first meeting of the year set to happen when we return from the half-term break, the Eco Council is ready to ‘Be Ambitious’ in 2018/19.
There are few issues that require us to draw on all 8 members of our Goal Squad quite as much as climate change. This great challenge of our time was once again making headlines last week with the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. According to the consensus delivered by the world’s top climate scientists, we have 12 years to cap warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, rather than the devastating 3 degree rise that we are currently on course for by 2030.
To put this in perspective, in 2030 many of our current Year 6 students will just be finishing college; our Darling Ducklings will have only recently graduated from BISC-LP! I can’t think of a worse graduation gift than handing these children a world contending with the consequences that 3 degrees of warming will bring. As educators, it is our responsibility to help develop the children in our care to become happy, healthy and successful members of society. To ignore this recent warning on the state of our planet would be a dereliction of our duty to these young people and the world they will have to make their way in.
The BISC-LP Eco Council is entering its third year with a growing parent and staff membership and a record number of applications from children all wanting to represent their year group on the committee. While continuing the good work done last year in relation to the waste we generate at school, the group will be turning its attention to address the school’s carbon footprint. The International Primary Curriculum (IPC), combined with the creative planning of our teachers, means we already provide an excellent variety of opportunities for children to engage with this issue through our academic subjects at school. Beyond this, we will be looking at our day-to-day operations and working closely with Victor Cerero, our facilities manager, to see how our building and services can become more environmentally friendly. Finally, we will be thinking about the changes we can enact through the individual choices we make. This final strand is by far the most challenging, at times uncomfortable, but ultimately exciting aspect of the group’s work. As teachers, we strive to be reflective in our practice in order to continually improve the experience we offer the children. This honest reflection is also crucial if we are to each play our part as members of not just our school community, but the global citizenry.
I look forward to sharing the group’s successes and achievements with you all as the year progresses. We are always looking for new perspectives, skills and input, so please get in touch if you would like to be involved in any way.
-Alex Hinde, Science Teacher and Health and Safety Leader