Planet BSB: Helping to Develop Environmentally Aware Pupils
At the British School of Bucharest, the main target of the school’s Eco-Committee is to create awareness of environmental issues with our pupils. Every activity we organise to help develop environmental awareness within our pupils comes under the banner Planet BSB.
Whole-school environmental awareness
Our dedicated teachers and staff organise many school-wide initiatives, which include the annual Eco Christmas Tree Decorating Contest, whereby students decorate trees on campus with environmentally friendly decorations to illustrate the point of excessive waste over the holiday season and identify ways to counter it.
We have also held our own Earth Hour (https://www.earthhour.org/). We turned off lights and electronic equipment throughout the school for one hour to highlight ways we can all save energy. Many classes enjoyed an outdoor lesson to mark this important event.
On ‘Green Day’, everyone dressed in green and teachers integrated an eco-theme into their lessons throughout the day. The proceeds of the donations to dress up in green and not wear uniform fund awards for competitions, and will hopefully enable the school to start to venture from our ‘awareness’ phase to a ‘taking action’ phase where, amongst other things, we are trying to establish relationships with environmental organisations such as MaiMultVerde, which has the strategic objective of creating an active community of volunteers to produce sustainable change in the Romanian environment.
Secondary School environmental awareness
We address environmental awareness in various ways within the Key Stages of the British Curriculum. In Secondary, this includes hosting environmental poetry competitions where students’ eco-poems are published in an international book and running an ongoing competition where students can sign up to the British School of Bucharest community on the Tree People website. This website encourages students to take on environmental challenges, such as taking a shower instead of a bath to save water and removing phone and tablet chargers from the wall to save energy. The Tree People website even offers advice on how to set up compost heaps and challenges students to not watch TV for weeks. Each time they complete a challenge, their tree grows accordingly. This website is a great way for Secondary students to engage with the important topic of saving environmental resources.
Primary School environmental awareness
In the Primary School, we promote environmental awareness to pupils through eco-points, where points are awarded for behaviours such as turning off lights, using reusable lunch containers, picking up rubbish and conserving the amount of materials that might be needed for a task.
Additionally, in Key Stage 2 of the British Curriculum, each class receives a pot, soil and flower seeds so that they can grow and care for their own class plant. Another way for primary children to understand the importance of the environment is through a competition where each class makes a sculpture out of reusable materials, demonstrating that one way to reuse materials is to turn it into art work.