BPDS is a UNESCO School
On June 2, 2008, Bruce Peninsula District School and St Edmund's Public School in Tobermory became the first schools in Ontario to receive the ASPnet (Associate School Project network) UNESCO designation. This designation came as a result of years of effort by students, school staff, parents and community members who have worked together to reach a common goal.
Canadian schools that join the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) make a commitment to support the ideals of UNESCO, through four pillars of learning and four themes of study, in order to contribute to a local, national and global culture of peace.
UNESCO at BPDS today
BPDS continues to incorporate the themes of study in our regular classroom activities as well as special events. The combination of being an UNESCO designated school and an EcoSchool has allowed us to introduce a wide range of topics that allow our students to have an awareness of the environment, human rights and other global issues on a large scale. Our newest venture includes becoming involved in a pilot project relating to Climate Change, which we presented at the UNESCO Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba in April 2018. The organizers of the conference were so impressed with our project that they forwarded our information to the UN Conference in Paris, France! Now, schools from around the world are asking us how we managed to put together such a great project. Our answer, of course, is because we have such a great group of students and staff at BPDS, who care a lot about our planet, and who know that even a small school on a tiny peninsula can make a difference.
This year, BPDS has moved on to a new project - examining the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. For more information about our current project, be sure to check out the project pages on this website.
What the heck is an EcoSchool, and how did we become one?
In 2013-14, the students and staff of BPDS made a commitment to become an EcoSchool. Two teachers attended a training session to set the wheels in motion. Assemblies were held throughout the year to communicate projects, get student ideas, and celebrate our successes. Students joined the newly formed “Eco team” and assisted with waste and energy audits. The Kindergarten/ Grade 1 class continued to run the compost program by collecting compost daily and cleaning the buckets. The grade 4/5 class took on the recycling program. Secondary students monitored the re-vamped waste diversion system. Students suggested reversing the containers so that the garbage containers were the smallest and the recycling ones were the largest. Some garbage cans were given lids to make students pause before throwing everything into them. Recycling increased throughout the school! New signage was made and posted throughout the school. There was an exciting air of change at BPDS. Interestingly, before we began this process, the staff and students felt that they were already doing a great job. Careful monitoring and reflection helped us to find areas to improve and stay abreast of current ideas.
We reached our first year goal of becoming an EcoSchool and have continued to meet our annual goals, reaching gold level status in 2015. This “Simply Living Simply” eco-challenge grows out the EcoSchool experience. Read the goals below and you will see how important it is to the students at BPDS to have your participation as part of our greater school community.
Join in with us and feel the excitement mount as we take on fun but important changes!
What is EcoSchools?
Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program for grades K-12 that helps school communities develop both ecological literacy and environmental practices to become environmentally responsible citizens and reduce the ecological footprint of schools.
The key areas of achievement are: Teamwork & Leadership, Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, School Ground Greening, Curriculum and Environmental Stewardship.
Schools may apply to be certified as an EcoSchool through an annual certification process which assesses and recognizes accomplishments awarding points in each of the six key areas.
Why become an EcoSchool?
Become an EcoSchool and your school community will:
• inspire, engage and empower today's youth to make a difference while developing active citizenship skills and ecological literacy by responding to the
increasingly urgent issue of climate change
• build a caring whole school community engaged in environmental learning and actions
• provide leadership opportunities for students
• be recognized for your school's achievements through EcoSchools certification
• be aligned with the Ministry of Education's framework for environmental education in Ontario as well as other Ministry policies
• green your school grounds with rich areas for outdoor learning that enhance local biodiversity
• join a community of EcoSchools across the province for free!