We are delighted to share that our Sustainable Schools programme is growing more prominent as our team continues to employ key interventions integral to guiding schools on their sustainability journey.
The year kicked off on a high note with our first Teacher Workshop. The event was held at the Two Oceans Aquarium and served to welcome new 2022 Sustainable Schools participants and recognise the success and hard work of the 2021 Sustainable Schools participants. The Nature Connect education team assisted at the workshop and ran some waste-related lessons with the teachers to show them how they can incorporate some fun, educational, and interactive environmentally-themed lessons in their classroom. The teachers loved getting ideas on how to integrate environmental education into their classrooms. The workshop also proved to be a successful networking opportunity for all teachers.
The program’s expansion across the country has been a welcomed highlight this year.
Our first Implementing Partner, Lapalala Wilderness School, has continued its dedication to rolling out the Sustainable Schools Programme in the Limpopo Province. The program’s success in the Limpopo area has been remarkable to see, with schools rushing to register and begin their sustainable journey. We currently have 74 schools registered in Limpopo and now have two dedicated School Coordinators in the area, working with Supporting Partners to help schools achieve their environmental goals.
Our second Implementing Partner, One Planet SA, signed on this year to deliver the programme and support schools in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Thus far, they have managed to register 22 schools on the programme.
Furthering the programme expansion to support interested schools in Gauteng, Nature Connect appointed a School Coordinator for Gauteng. The Gauteng Coordinator, Mapula Mokwele, has just begun working with schools to get them formally registered for the programme. Mapula will work closely with Supporting Partners and Lapalala Wilderness School to bring educational programmes to the schools in the area and take the schools on environmental educational camps in Limpopo.
Nature Connect hosted a second excellent teacher workshop at the picturesque Helderberg Nature Reserve as part of the Sustainable Schools Programme. The day’s overarching theme was Production, Consumption & Waste, which tied in perfectly with the workshop’s surroundings – the newly-built sustainable and eco-friendly multipurpose center in reserve. We had an incredible guest speaker from Waste-ED, Candice Mostert, who gave an informative talk on separating waste items and composting techniques that can be implemented in homes and schools. The teachers were also taken on a guided tour around the building by Candice to learn more about the sustainable building practices implemented in the construction of the multipurpose centre. The day’s highlight for most, if not all, teachers was the practical component of the day, which involved building modular structures out of Eco bricks and making a natural building material called cob.
The day was fun-filled, filled with information and practical techniques that teachers can take back to implement in their homes and schools. A teacher from Observatory Primary School expressed the following: “The facility is amazing, and Candice was amazing. The information and activities were awesome”, and further said that doing things physically gave her a better understanding/appreciation for the activities and gave her a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Another teacher from Hillwood Primary School also commented on the day: “I’m more interested in making our schools own compost by learning more about and doing more recycling.”
To join the Sustainable Schools programme or get the latest information on news and events, visit the new online hub at: www.sustainable schools.nature connect.earth!