Green Flag in the PYP
By Grainne Butler
Green flag certification has been a whole school journey over the past two years. In order to keep certification, we pick three development areas to work on over the course of a school term.
The first term we made a huge push to develop the school garden and bring some plant and animal diversity to the schoolyard. One of our biggest successes has been the plant area outside the entrance to building b.
In the upper PYP, they have integrated many of the goals into the school’s routines such as creating recycling teams, having a representative on the student council and integrating some of the global goals in sustainability into the whole school eg changing the cleaning chemicals in the school to more environmentally friendly and sustainable sources.
Lower PYP Green Flag has developed into outdoor nature activities, recycling, upcycling and botany.
PYP1 and PYP2 green flag have developed into an after school nature club. When the weather is good we go to the park and explore it thoroughly. This autumn we made mandalas and patterns with leaves and sticks. We collected and dried edible chestnuts nuts and horse chestnuts to make soap. We even managed to find some walnuts.
When we moved indoors we investigated plants. One day we dissected an aloe vera to see what it’s like inside. It was a full sensory experience.
Last year we spent a few days looking at all the different seeds. We looked at tiny ones under the microscope. They were fascinated by the different shapes and sizes. Many children sketched what they saw.
Green Flag is being continually developed to become a part of the school and hopefully, students bring the ideals with them as they grow up.