Posted on - 11th February, 2021 Posted by - Yallaschools
The Climate Change Leaders of TWS, Dubai
The Westminster School, Dubai - EduCCate Global Silver Award, 2020
An e-mail from Mr. Sunny Varkey, Chairman, GEMS education, sent to all the Principals in January 2020, inspired the TWS family to work on sustainability and climate change. The Chairman’s challenge for the year was for all schools to become climate change experts and to ensure that our students are ‘fully informed and best placed to deal with the challenging world they will inherit’.
From the beginning of 2020, The Westminster School, Dubai, commenced a special mission to be a sustainable carbon neutral school. To achieve this goal, we have partnered with EduCCate Global and have already achieved the Bronze and Silver Awards quicker than any other school in the world. The Westminster School, Dubai is now the first and only ‘Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Climate Change Learning’ in the Middle East and is also the biggest school in the world to have achieved this status.
EduCCate Global is a Not-For Profit Organisation that is a joint partner of UNITAR, which was launched in the United Kingdom.
The school achieved the Bronze Award in February, 2020. This was quickly followed by the Silver Award (June 2020) and we are now in a position to complete the Gold Award. Through its climate change work, the school estimates that it has already saved over 200 trees and over 40,000 AED a year by reducing paper usage alone. These awards are a huge achievement for the school especially since the work took place remotely during the pandemic. At TWS, Climate Change literacy and its impact was still important to us during the COVID-19 lockdown period, and so teachers independently took the initiative to complete the Climate literacy course. The whole school team consisting of 292 teachers and leaders have successfully completed online eduCCate Global courses. Currently, each and every class in TWS has one Climate Literacy teacher who equips the school with the knowledge needed to transform learning to action and empower our learners, among whom there are 8 Student Ambassadors and 115 student volunteers.
‘I am very proud that the Westminster School, Dubai is the first school in the Middle East to achieve Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Climate Change Learning in the Middle East and is also the largest school in the world to have achieved this status. The Climate Change work led by our Head of School, Ms Viji, has made a real difference to our school and I hope will ultimately make a real difference to our planet’, said Mr.Carl Roberts, Executive Principal/CEO, The Westminster School, Dubai.
During these months, the focus remained on two fronts – skill development for social good and collective action for sustainable change. The target areas were: High Impact - Promote Paperless Operations, Moderate Impact - Eradication of Plastics and Awareness Impact - to Promote Sustainable Fashion.
As part of the moderate impact, all TWS staff have been gifted with a jute bag as a New Year gift.
For the awareness impact – to promote sustainable fashion, TWS hosted a virtual conference, ‘Green Vogue’ on 11th Feb 2021. The speakers for the conference are:
‘The Green Pot’ project is just one of many initiatives that students have undertaken to ensure our school becomes a more sustainable school. Others include Green Pursuit Journal, Community Development Program and Teach-in Workshops for Reducing Textile Waste. The best thing about our climate change and sustainability work is that it is now driven by students. Moreover, all our teachers are all fully trained Climate Change Educators.
A special note of gratitude to Mr. Carl Roberts, Executive Principal/CEO for all his support to fulfill the TWS eco-school vision- TWS for Climate action, where sustainability is practiced, expressed Ms.Vijaya Kumari Sathyan, Head of School, The Westminster School, Dubai.
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