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More than 6.6 billion people live on planet earth, all sharing a finite pool of resources. There is now widespread recognition of the un-sustainability of our current ways of living and developing. World population is expected to reach 8 billion by 2030 placing even greater requirement on us to deliver a better quality of life using less resources:”living better, using less”.
‘Education for sustainable development & global citizenship (ESD & GC) enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things individually and collectively, both locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future’
(UK Panel for ESDGC, Welsh Assembly Government 1999)
ESDGC is now a key area of school life and needs to be integrated into leadership and management as well as the curriculum. Guidance for schools on ESDGC is contained in the Common Understanding for ESDGC.
There are 7 teaching and learning themes:
Schools in Merthyr Tydfil are engaged in a wide variety of activities to promote ESDGC.
Eco-schools is a national programme and framework enabling schools to become more sustainable. Schools achieving excellence in this area are recognised through an award scheme that can lead to them flying the prestigious green flag. If a school sustains its green flag status over a period of six years they can then be awarded the highest accolade of a platinum award.
All Merthyr Tydfil schools are engaged in this scheme and have achieved at least the initial bronze award. Nearly two thirds of schools have gained their green flag and three schools have been awarded platinum status.
To find out about the status of Merthyr Tydfil schools visit the eco-schools website (please see the external links section)and search for members.
A number of schools in Merthyr Tydfil promote, support and learn about fairtrade as part of their work on developing global citizenship. Three Merthyr schools have achieved national recognition by gaining Fairtrade school status:
Schools in Merthyr Tydfil are supported by an extremely active waste awareness team and a tidy towns team that have helped transform outdoor learning environments.