Education and Climate Action - Which International Schools are Making a Difference?

Education and Climate Action - Which International Schools are Making a Difference?

As a very memorable Climate Week drew to a close we saw millions of young people from more than 185 countries unite in protest to demand that governments take action to safeguard their futures.  This year the youth movement, inspired by 16 year old Greta Thunberg from Sweden, joined together to take part in the biggest climate protest in history. 

The Importance of Environmental Education

At the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, education was recognised as an essential element to generate awareness and cultivate understanding on issues prevalent to our Earth.

Many well known environmental experts also believe that Environmental Education is very important for young people today.

Jane Goodall often talks about the importance of young people in relation to the improvement of our environment and famously said “Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realise that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world”.

Sir David Attenborough is also a great believer in Environmental Education and is known for saying “The great heroes and heroines of our society are of course the teachers.  Once a child has been shown what the natural world is, it will live with them forever”.

We choose to build a better world through a more relevant school. For our kids, with our kids. Not because it's easy, but because it's hard.

The Founders of REAL School Budapest

The Benefits of Environmental Education

Environmental education has, however, been proven to have many other benefits in addition to improving students’ environmental knowledge.  Stanford University, in conjunction with the North American Association for Environmental Education, provide an interesting summary of their research findings showing that improving environmental knowledge is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the benefits to students.

The Green Schools Alliance say that research shows when compared with conventional schools, green schools have 87% less absenteeism, find it 74% easier to attract and retain teachers and have a 72% better image within their community.

There are other direct benefits too, such as improvements to the overall school environment and to the health and wellbeing of the teachers and the children.  Greenacre International School in Thailand explain that as our society continues to advance technologically, children are staying indoors more instead of engaging with the natural environment.  Their environmental programme includes the use of school gardens as outdoor classrooms to help students to reconnect with the natural world and to help with the teaching of concepts and skills across a range of subjects including maths, science, art and health.  As more and more young people around the world take an active interest in environmental issues we are seeing more schools recognising the importance of environmental education for their students.

International Green Schools

Perhaps the best known, and one of the most impressive of all the sustainable education projects is The Green School, Bali.  The incredible architecture of the Green School rises majestically out of the Indonesian jungle and is built entirely using bamboo and other sustainable materials.  Green School students proudly generate their own power, recycle their waste, learn about sustainable farming and have a school bus that runs on used cooking oil.  Two further Green Schools are due to open their doors to students in New Zealand (2020) and South Africa (2021).

There are many other schools around the world that have been developed with Environmental Education at the heart of their philosophy.  Life School in Guatemala, Cuixmala in Mexico and Cloud Forest in Costa Rica all have their roots firmly embedded in environmentalism and sustainability on a local, national and international scale.  Like Green School, they believe strongly in offering scholarships or heavily discounted rates to local children and building excellent relationships and partnerships with the local community. 

Many of these schools are a little off the beaten track for most families on the international schools circuit to be able consider.  There are, however, other options when you are searching for a school with a sustainable ethos. In total we have catalogued more than 60 schools in cities all over the world that have made a strong commitment to Environmental Education.

REAL School Budapest  is an impressive new school, inspired by Green School, Bali, that has developed the ideas of Green School in an urban and European cultural setting.  The project came out of the personal frustration of the founding family who moved to Bali for a different school experience.  Their experience at in Bali completely and unexpectedly changed their lives, so over four years, with the help of a professional crew from Green School and beyond, they carefully worked out the details of the Green School they felt they must set up back in their homeland.  The founders of REAL School summed this up when they said "We choose to build a better world through a more relevant school. For our kids, with our kids. Not because it's easy, but because it's hard."

Eco-Schools International Schools Programme

The Eco-Schools Programme is a project set up by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), the organisation behind the prestigious Blue Flag awards for clean beaches, is the largest global sustainable schools programme in the world.  Following sign up, schools need to demonstrate that they have put in place various steps from the framework in order to attain the coveted awards and the prestigious Green Flag.  There are currently 42 International schools from 24 different countries registered with the Eco-Schools Programme.  

Nicole Andreou, International Eco-Schools Coordinator explains “Eco-Schools is Education for Sustainable Development in action. It provides every child with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to live sustainably and be able to influence others. Students, teachers, parents and management come together to realise real-life positive actions that come about as a result of a deep learning process, and that provide climate change solutions”.

Sustainability Pledges

Many of the more mainstream but holistically minded international schools or groups of schools such as the ten Dulwich College International group schools, share a sustainability ethos and actively implement initiatives on campus. They also take this into accuont in terms of design and development and reducing resource use for example, and in their local communities by becoming involved in local environmental activities, sharing environmental knowledge with local schools and engaging with the environment on their Eco Explorer Camps.

The Schools

Below are the schools around the world that we have found who share a commitment to sustainability. If you think your school should be in this list, please add your school to our site if it isn't on here. If your school is already listed on our site, make sure you claim it and contact us via your dashboard or via our contact us page

Over the coming months and years we plan to add more individual detail to the report and dig into how far each school takes its commitments. We recognise that some schools are almost entirely eco focused while others have sustainability as a significant part of a wider curriculum, something we will aim to show next to each school.

Please share and help encourage more schools to get involved!

 

Location

Curriculum

Rating

Indonesia

 

 

 

Green School Bali

Ubud

English

4.80

ACG School Jakarta

Jakarta

English

4.00

Binus School Simprug

Jakarta

English

4.50

Mentari Intercultural School Bintaro

South Tangerang

English

5.00

Hungary

 

 

 

REAL School Budapest

Budapest

English

5.00

Budapest British International School

Budapest

English

5.00

Spain

 

 

 

Marbella Montessori School

Marbella

English

5.00

Benjamin Franklin International School

Barcelona

English

5.00

LAUDE El Altillo School

Cadiz

English, Spanish, French

4.25

Thailand

 

 

 

Panyaden International School

Chiang Mai 

English, Thai

4.20

Krabi International School

Ao Luk

English

4.00

Greenacre International School

Koh Samui

English

5.00

Malaysia

 

 

 

The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)

Kuala Lumpur

English

5.00

Idrissi International School

Kuala Lumpur

English, Islamic

5.00

Costa Rica

 

 

 

The Cloud Forest School

San Jose

English, Spanish

5.00

Taiwan

 

 

 

Taipei European School

Taipei

English

5.00

Mexico

 

 

 

The Cuixmala School

Bucerias

English, Spanish

n/a

Costa Verde International School

Bucerias

English, Spanish

4.00

Tulum International School

Cancun

English

n/a

Argentina

 

 

 

Asociación Escuelas Lincoln

Buenos Aires

English

2.00

Dover High School

Buenos Aires

English

3.80

Brunei

 

 

 

Jerudong International School

Bandar Seri Begawan

English

5.00

International School of Brunei (ISB)

Bandar Seri Begawan

English

4.60

Hornbill School

Seria

English

5.00

Chile

 

 

 

Antofagasta International School

Antofagasta

English

4.25

Myanmar

 

 

 

The British School Yangon

Yangon

English

4.20

Network International School

Yangon

English

4.80

Dulwich College Yangon

Yangon

English

5.00

International School Yangon (ISY)

Yangon

English

4.20

China

 

 

 

Dulwich College Beijing

Beijing

English

4.25

Dehong Chinese International School

Shanghai

English, Chinese

n/a

Dulwich College Suzhou

Suzhou

English

3.60

Dulwich International High School Suzhou

Suzhou

English

n/a

Dulwich College Zhuhai

Zhuhai

English

n/a

Kazakhstan

 

 

 

Haileybury Astana

Astana

English

5.00

Haileybury Almaty

Almaty

English

3.40

Colombia

 

 

 

Colegio Anglo Colombiano

Bogota

English

5.00

Colegio Nuevo Cambridge Cali

Cali

English

5.00

Egypt

 

 

 

Metropolitan School

Cairo

English

3.75

Georgia

 

 

 

British International School of Tbilisi

Tbilisi

English

4.8

Bahrain

 

 

 

British School of Bahrain

Hamala

English

4.00

St. Christopher’s School

Manama

English

3.80

Nepal

 

 

 

The British School Kathmandu

Kathmandu

English

4.20

Sanskriti International School

Kathmandu

English

4.60

Panama

 

 

 

King's College The British School of Panama

Panama City

English

4.50

International School of Panama

Panama City

English

5.00

Cambodia

 

 

 

International School Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

English

5.00

Lycée Français René Descartes

Phnom Penh

French

4.80

Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

British International School Riyadh

Riyadh

English

4.00

Al Oruba International School

Riyadh

English

4.33

American International School of Jeddah

Jeddah

English

4.60

Vietnam

 

 

 

British International School Hanoi

Hanoi

English

5.00

Green Shoots International School

Quang Nam

English

5.00

Kuwait

 

 

 

The English Primary School Salmiya

Safat 

English

4.40

The English Primary School Salwa

Salwa

English

4.25

Tajikistan

 

 

 

QSI Dushanbe

Dushanbe

English

4.00

Uruguay

 

 

 

Escuela y Liceo Elbio Fernández

Montevideo

English

5.00

Oman

 

 

 

The Sultan's School

Muscat

English

5.00

India

 

 

 

Sanskriti School

New Delhi

English

5.00

Guatemala

 

 

 

LIFE School

Panajachel

English

5.00

Namibia

 

 

 

Private School Swakopmund

Swakopmund

English

4.00

Canada

 

 

 

Cousteau, The French International School of Vancouver

Vancouver

French

4.00

Austria

 

 

 

Vienna International School

Vienna

English

4.75

Laos

 

 

 

International School of Laos

Vientiane

English

5.00


The Top 10 Best International Schools Amsterdam

The Top 10 Best International Schools Amsterdam

Which are the best international schools, Amsterdam? We rank the top 10 schools based on reviews fr...

The Top 20 Best International Schools Paris

The Top 20 Best International Schools Paris

Which are the best international schools Paris? We rank the top 20 schools based on reviews from pa...

The 15 Best International Schools Berlin

The 15 Best International Schools Berlin

Which are the best international schools, Berlin? We rank the top 15 schools based on reviews from ...

Share:
Author image

Juliet Ryder

My family and I are originally from the UK but have also lived in Australia and Spain. We have always wanted to make sure that our 3 boys have the best possible experience living abroad and that our travels have a positive impact on their education.


Share


Sign Up

Enter your email address to receive updates.


Tags


My Shortlist