ISP Students Worldwide Mark Environmental Awareness Days as part of the ISP Futures Programme

The ISP Futures Programme was launched in 2020 to mark the commitment of ISP to developing a whole-organisation approach to environmental sustainability. Throughout 2021, ISP staff, students and wider communities have worked hard to raise awareness and work towards environmental change.

At ISP, we’re working hard to build a path to a more sustainable future, and are committed to leaving behind a better world for both our current and future students.

That is why, in 2020, we launched the ISP Futures programme, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues, and engaging our communities in making a difference. With 52 schools across 13 different countries, climates, and cultures, collectively we are a group of global citizens with a responsibility for our one Earth.

The Programme

Through our ISP Futures programme, we have identified six core commitments for our schools and communities:

  1. Reducing the environmental impact of ISP through carbon offsetting by reforestation through our partnership with Tree-Nation
  2. Reducing the environmental impact of ISP by supporting our schools and offices to become more sustainable
  3. Raising awareness of environmental issues amongst ISP staff, students and wider school communities
  4. Supporting students to develop their knowledge and understanding of environmental issues including biodiversity, deforestation, the carbon cycle, and climate change
  5. Supporting students to develop valuable transferable skills, such as event organisation, project management,and teamwork
  6. Providing opportunities for staff and students to connect on environmental issues and solutions, and learn from each other

At ISP, we believe that both learning and education have a critical role to play in our future. In an era of climate change, it’s crucial that we are able to give the next generation all the skills and knowledge required to combat the environmental challenges that our society faces.

Throughout 2021, we invited our students, families, and staff across the ISP global community to participate in an ISP Challenge, centred around three international awareness days; Earth Day, Litter Less Day, and World Environment Day.

For each awareness day, our communities were presented with activities designed to give them an opportunity to learn more about environmental sustainability, and to undertake their own work to create change within their own communities.

22nd April, Earth Day

22nd April 1970 marked the first Earth Day, and was established to pay tribute to our planet, and help to educate and activate the environmental movement across the globe.

It was on this day in 2016 that the Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China and 120 other partners, committing them to a global framework designed to prevent dangerous climate change.

This year, we challenged our ISP family to raise awareness and increase climate literacy within their schools and wider communities.

Climate and environmental literacy is a critical part of enabling our communities to learn about and understand the complex and rapidly developing topics of climate science and energy. It has an essential role in enabling our communities to engage with our governments in a meaningful way to solve our climate emergency.

 

And our ISP communities rose to the challenge!

  • At our Reach British School, families engaged in the fun activities and got competitive with a Bingo card of environmental friendly tasks, such as ‘Carry a reusable water bottle’ and ‘Prepare a plant-based meal’. Families had to tick five in a row off the card to win.

  • Students at Baton Rouge International School put their impressive STEM knowledge to the test by creating their very own solar-powered ovens to make nachos

  • Third grade students at Colegio Internacional Aravaca in Madrid learned about vegetation and plants by planting their own flora in the school garden

  • And over at Willows Preparatory School, 10th grade student Colin and his team spent their Spring Break building a greenhouse on the school grounds

15th May, Litter Less Day

Litter Less Day is a joint initiative between Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and Mars Wrigley Foundation, and aims to educate children on the issue of litter and waste.

In the past 8 years, over 3 million students from more than 5000 schools across the world have taken part. This year, we invited our students to create their own artwork and host an exhibition to raise awareness among other students, staff, and parents.

At ISP, we know that art can be a powerful communication tool. It allows us to express different perspectives and emotions, and to challenge preconceived notions.

Across our global family, our students used their art to do just that, and created some fantastic pieces. See below.

  • ISP students in IV medio at Colegio Pedro de Valdivia Peñalolén created poignant posters, displaying them in a virtual exhibition focused around the theme of climate change. You can view the exhibition here.
  • Two of our schools, Kehoe France and Liceo Panamericano, held a contest inviting their students to make art out of rubbish, and produced some creative results!
  • Kehoe France students used recycled newspapers and old crayons that had been melted down to create models of the Earth. Students also joined a FaceTime call with an environmental specialist based in the Pacific Ocean to learn about how we can reduce our environmental impact by removing single use plastics.
  • And, at The Aquila School Dubai, Year 2 students were tasked with designing their own innovative alternatives to plastic carrier bags; students researched the materials they would use themselves, making sure their new bags would be both durable and sustainable.

5th June, World Environment Day

Established in 1974 by the United Nations, World Environment Day engages government, businesses, celebrities, and citizens on the topic of environmental change and encourages action.

This year, the theme of the day was Ecosystem Restoration; the healthier our ecosystems, the healthier the planet – and its people. Importantly, restoration work can come in all shapes and sizes, from growing trees and greening cities, to changing diets and rewilding gardens. Everyone can make a difference.

As part of the ISP Futures challenge, we set ISP staff and students the task of reacquainting themselves with nature. Not only does it provide everything we need to survive, but it’s also vital to our overall physical and mental well-being.

So, we tasked everyone with appreciating the nature around them, whether they live in a big city, or rural countryside:

  • Students at Colegio Internacional Aravaca took to the challenge with rigor, taking pictures of themselves enjoying their time in nature and displaying their work in an exhibition

  • At Laude Fontenebro School, students took a trip to Hoyo de Manzanares, where they took the opportunity to learn about bees and their role in the environment, before making wax candles

  • And, at Instituto Thomas Jefferson Palomar, students at the Upper School created superb works of art under the theme ‘Appreciating Nature’ – not only creating awareness of the importance of nature in our environment, but also focusing on key life and health issues

Our Work Continues

We have been overwhelmed by the wonderful work our students, staff, and families have produced throughout this year. As we look to the years ahead, we will continue to work together to make a difference; to the lives of our students, and to the future of the Earth we all call home.

Working together, ISP schools around the world are making positive changes, reducing our environmental impact, and creating a community of environmentally aware citizens.

“I firmly believe that we, as a global group of schools, have to act now to make a better future for the world. Our ISP Futures programme focuses on how our students, staff and families can learn about helping the environment today to make it better for our collective future.”

Steve Brown, Group Chief Executive Officer of the International Schools Partnership

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