Green dreams, sustainable futures: Inspiring the eco-conscious generation

How BSB cultivates environmental responsibility

As we move further into a future where sustainability and environmental consciousness have become paramount, October’s series of BSB Futures careers talks have aimed at nurturing the passions and aspirations of our environmentally conscious students by bringing together a remarkable lineup of experts from both industry and academia.

These sessions have been an invaluable source of inspiration, shedding light on the diverse array of job opportunities and career paths within the realm of sustainability and the environment. Over the past month, experts from the sectors have encouraged our students to explore, engage, and envision a future where they can make a profound impact on the world while pursuing careers that align with their passion for preserving our planet.

Over the past five years, there has been a notable surge in students at BSB pursuing degrees that align with sustainability and environmental studies. This shift is remarkable considering that a decade ago, there were limited options in the field of Sustainable Development.

Our students have demonstrated a commendable commitment to addressing pressing sustainability and environmental challenges by actively seeking higher education opportunities. Notable choices include programs like Sustainable Development at the London School of Economics (LSE), the University of St Andrews, and the University of Edinburgh, plus Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick.

Additionally, they have diversified their interests with programmes such as Urban Planning at the University of Gloucester, Sustainable Product Design at Falmouth University, Agriculture and Environmental Art and Science at McGill University, Coastal Marine Management at Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden, Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation at the University Centre Bishop Burton, and Wildlife Conservation at the University of Kent.

Developing eco-awareness from a young age

This increasing awareness and interest in environmental issues begins at an early age here at BSB. Our primary school is deeply committed to fostering a culture of sustainability, incorporating a wide range of activities and initiatives that empower our students to become environmentally conscious global citizens. From recycling and waste reduction programs to eco-friendly gardening and composting, we actively engage our young learners in hands-on experiences that emphasise the importance of conserving our natural resources and reducing our carbon footprint.

One of our key programs is “Learning without Walls,” where every primary student has the opportunity to participate in two outdoor lessons per term. These experiences serve as the foundation for their connection with the natural world, fostering a deeper appreciation for our environment.

Our thriving BSBees eco-club, boasting 75 dedicated student members, encourages student agency in sustainability. They actively engage in activities such as tending to our school garden, undertaking wildlife and biodiversity projects, creating habitats for local wildlife, organizing fundraisers, and raising awareness about ecological issues.

Our Year 10 students contribute to our sustainability efforts through a Biodiversity Database project, furthering our understanding of local ecosystems. Additionally, we come together as a whole school on “Just One Tree Day” every 13 October, emphasising the collective commitment to environmental preservation. These initiatives, among others, provide our students with valuable opportunities to explore the natural world, learn about sustainability, and actively practice eco-conscious behaviours.

Our dedicated teachers also integrate sustainability into the curriculum, ensuring that concepts like renewable energy, biodiversity, and climate change are woven into classroom discussions and projects. Through these initiatives, we strive to instil a powerful sense of environmental stewardship in our students, equipping them with the knowledge and passion needed to contribute to a more sustainable future.

These efforts have also been internationally recognised. In May 2022, BSB’s young environmentalists celebrated a remarkable achievement as the school was granted the esteemed Eco-School status, the only school in Belgium at the time to hold that accolade, as well as the Green Flag accreditation for its environmental commitment.

This international recognition came after completing a rigorous program of activities and target accomplishments. The Eco-Schools program empowers young individuals to actively protect their environment and have a say in their school’s environmental policies. By fulfilling seven criteria outlined by the Eco-School committee, students and staff at BSB dedicated themselves to addressing sustainability issues, including waste management, energy conservation, climate change, and global citizenship.

As well as a being a recognition of its environmental commitments, the Eco-School status also connects BSB with an international community of participating institutions, facilitating the exchange of environmental information and cultural experiences with other Eco-Schools worldwide.

At Secondary level, the Global Issues Network (GIN) group, driven by a powerful mission, is actively nurturing the environmental conscience of our older students, instilling in them the belief that they can be the change-makers of today and tomorrow.

Student agency inspires the next generation

The GIN group’s mission empowers students to create sustainable solutions for global challenges, aligning with our school’s values of fostering confident, caring, and courageous students. Students from diverse age groups identify issues they are passionate about and decide on campaigns for the year. This year, campaigns include raising awareness about homelessness, supporting zoos and red panda conservation, and improving cafeteria nutrition.

Additionally, the Year 12/13 GIN group supports various initiatives. Participating in these projects exposes students to global issues and teaches essential life skills, fostering connections with the school and local community. The group’s work also connects students with professionals, shaping their sustainability-focused career aspirations.

Students appreciate the agency the group provides. It allows them to showcase their talents, lead campaigns, and bridges the gap between students of different ages, fostering unity. The group is a springboard for the next generation of eco-conscious leaders and professionals committed to positive change through passion, dedication, and collaboration.

But this is more than just an extracurricular activity; it is a springboard for the next generation of eco-conscious leaders and professionals. Through their passion, dedication, and collaboration, they are embodying the change they wish to see in the world.

BSB sets a commendable precedent by instilling environmental awareness and responsibility from an early age and fosters a culture of empowerment and agency, inspiring young minds to take meaningful actions towards a sustainable future.

Many of our students, as they graduate, are not just equipped with knowledge but also an unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship. They leave BSB not just as graduates but as passionate advocates for a more sustainable world, many of whom are determined to pursue careers dedicated to preserving our planet after receiving encouragement and inspiration throughout their BSB journey, from Primary to Secondary, and through the guidance of BSB Futures,

Their transformative journey at BSB serves as a testament to the profound impact that early education on sustainability and the cultivation of environmental responsibility can have on shaping future leaders and global citizens.

Read more about our award-winning careers programme, BSB Futures.

Discover more about learning at BSB here.

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