The International School of the Hague has educating for global citizenship as part of its educational philosophy. Among the many curricular and extra-curricular initiatives students and staff develop to further this, is the promotion of Sustainability – not only in what we teach, but just importantly in what we do at ISH.
From Reception to Primary to Secondary
As part of the school’s student-run Global Issues Network (GIN), a whole-school campaign was launched six years ago to ensure that Sustainability, care for our Environment, the need to employ alternative energy sources, etc. is not only preached but also practiced.
The first student-led initiative saw the realization of GreenSpace, a nature garden on campus, meant for educational purposes. This natural habit is used for classes doing fieldwork, and for after-school nature lessons and maintenance. GreenSpace is also home to the school’s bee colony.
Additional work on making the school a sustainable workplace has been the installation of extensive solar panelling, a wind turbine, the setting up of a recycling scheme, and cooperation with the school cafeteria to promote healthier food which has a smaller ecological footprint. These efforts were rewarded by full accreditation from the EcoSchools Organization’s highest accolade, the Green Flag in 2013. And, closer to home Fonds 1818 also awarded ISH the ‘Groene Schoolplein’ award, the first in The Hague.
Stimulated to do more
Since then, ISH has seen the start of the Globe Project, whereby students gather climate data for NASA and ESA as part of a global school watch on climate change; the introduction of iPads for students and the appointment of an artist-in-residence who will work, with students, on the creation of a large-scale ‘Green’ art work on campus. And, thanks to the new ‘follow me’ printing system, the amount of paper used by the school has been reduced by 70 000 sheets PER MONTH, equivalent to about 350 kg of paper!
An ISH GIN student team, The Silverback Engineers, will also join the Eco-Marathon project in Rotterdam for the third year running, where university and school teams compete to build and run a vehicle with the greatest possible fuel efficiency.
ISH will be re-accredited as a Green Flag Eco-School this year for its continued efforts to not just talk about making a difference, but finding ways of making that difference. This will no doubt renew the spirit, entrepreneurship and creativity of students to come.
by Rick van Vliet, Community School Director and Global Issues Network Coordinator and Johanna Ballerstein ISH Marketing