FAQ

GENERAL

1. What type of schools can participate in the Eco-Schools programme in Switzerland?

Eco-Schools is an education for sustainable development (ESD) programme available to all nursery, primary, middle and high schools (public, private, international) located in Switzerland.

2. In which languages is the Eco-Schools programme available?

The Eco-Schools programme is currently available in English, French and German.

3. How can a school register for the Eco-Schools programme?

To become a member of the Eco-Schools Switzerland network please contact us via email es@jmp-ch.org or call us. We will be happy to visit your school and give a detailed presentation of the programme to the school management and people interested in the project. Once the registration form is filled in and signed, the school can start the project at the beginning of the new school year in August.

4. I am a teacher, can my class participate in the Eco-Schools programme?

Registration for the Eco-Schools programme constitutes a commitment of the school and not of any one or more individual(s). The programme can therefore not be run with one class only.

5. Our school is divided into different campuses/levels. How can we take part in the Eco-Schools programme?

Participation in the Eco-Schools programme is by school location. Each location of the school is considered a “participating entity”.

Schools including several educational levels in the same location can request to participate in the Eco-Schools programme by level (for example, the primary school level). Each level is considered a participating entity. The final decision regarding such participation rests with the Association J’aime ma Planète, following review of the school’s particular situation.

THE 7 STEPS OF THE ECO-SCHOOLS METHODOLOGY

1. Can we choose a theme for our Eco-Schools project not already proposed by Eco-Schools Switzerland ?

No, schools need to choose from themes that are provided by Eco-Schools Switzerland. However, new themes are regularly introduced and we are always open to ideas and suggestions. If there is a theme that schools are particularly passionate about, we will do our best to introduce it in the programme as quickly as possible.

2. Is it possible to work on two themes at the same time?

As a general rule, schools need to address one theme per project cycle. In special circumstances, however, schools may have the option of working on two themes simultaneously, in agreement with the Eco-Schools Switzerland team.

3. Can we change our theme during the project?

No, choosing the theme is an important part of the Eco-Schools process. It is a carefully thought-out decision that must be maintained throughout the project.

4. How much time do we have to implement the Seven Steps within our school?

A project cycle lasts between one and two school years.

5. How much additional work does the Eco-Schools programme represent for the Eco-Schools coordinator and the Eco-Committee?

The Eco-Schools programme is intended to be flexible enough to accommodate any school context and provides a range of curriculum links to avoid additional workload for the Eco-Committee. The latter is also responsible for sharing tasks and involving as many people as possible to ensure that Eco-Schools is not the job of one single person. In this sense, the time spent on the programme will mostly depend on how the Eco-Committee is organised.

6. What are the resources available to help us implement the Seven Steps methodology in our school?

The Eco-Schools Switzerland team provides schools with personalised support in the implementation of their Eco-Schools projects. Among other things, the support comprises an initial training for the Eco-Schools coordinator, meetings with coordinators from other schools, and the Eco-Schools handbook. The latter includes a range of educational tools and resources that facilitate the implementation of the Eco-Schools programme. For more information, please visit the section “Support“.

THE ECO-SCHOOLS AWARD

1. Why an Eco-Schools Award?

Even if the Eco-Schools Award marks an important step in the continuous improvement process of a school, obtaining it should not be considered as an end in itself. It is a starting point that symbolises the commitment of the school to (education for) sustainable development. Obtaining the Award adds value for those involved people, brings visibility and legitimacy to the project, and is one of the key elements to encourage more people to take part in it. The Eco-Schools Award is internationally recognised; obtaining it enhances your school’s credibility.

2. What are the criteria for obtaining the Eco-Schools Award?

Being first and foremost an educational programme, obtaining the Eco-Schools Award is not subject to specific performance criteria. Rather it consists of an overall assessment of the project and looks at how the school has completed the Seven Steps of the Eco-Schools methodology with as much student participation as possible!

The project should be as cross-disciplinary as possible and should involve the whole school community while ensuring a balance between practical improvements and awareness-raising activities.

3. Who are the Eco-Schools jury members?

The Eco-Schools jury is composed of several experts outside J’aime ma Planète who have experience in the fields of education and sustainable development. The jury members, who review the Eco-Schools portfolio and visit the school, provide an outside eye and give suggestions for improvement.

4. We have been awarded with the Eco-Schools Award. What happens next?

Eco-Schools is a programme of continuous improvement in the field of (education for) sustainable development. if granted, the Award is valid for two years, during which the school expands its actions by taking on a new theme or by continuing working on the existing theme. The school can apply to have the Award renewed, at the earliest one year and at the latest two years after it was last granted.

5. What happens if the jury decides not to grant the Eco-Schools Award?

The school will be asked to rework some aspects of their project and to submit a new Eco-Schools portfolio during the next Award session.

6. What happens if we want to leave the Eco-Schools programme?

If the school decides to leave the Eco-Schools programme, all Award communication material (including the logo and the Green Flag) must be returned at the end of the validity period.