Excelling Learning Experiences
June 14, 2020, 6:36 am
Fairgreen, the international school centered around sustainability, engages students with earth-focused, hands-on projects during eLearning
In spite of the current global pandemic, Fairgreen International School is keeping students engaged with exciting remote learning experiences with a focus on the environment. As the first sustainability-focused school in Dubai, situated in The Sustainable City, Fairgreen offers a progressive International Baccalaureate curriculum that incorporates sustainability in all its forms, where teaching and learning is inquiry-based and hands-on. Students are encouraged to let their curious minds lead in exploration and discovery, and teachers guide students’ natural curiosity and help develop their intellectual, emotional, personal and social skills.
Just like other schools in Dubai and across the globe, Fairgreen has had to adapt their IB curriculum to fit a new eLearning module. With a focus on sustainability embedded into its curriculum, Fairgreen is still able to provide virtual fun-filled ways for their students to design, create and build, whilst supporting the wellbeing of the planet and educating them to be leaders of their, and future generations.
Fairgreen’s Middle Years Programme (MYP) students have been focusing attention on topics that address a variety of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are looking at the importance of maintaining biodiversity; studying human defense systems to infection and the development of drugs and vaccinations as responses; and learning about the process of biomagnification and how toxins in contaminated air, water, or food affect a variety of living organisms as these contaminants move up the food chain in progressively greater concentrations.
Students have designed their own projects in response to their learning. Students have chosen to highlight one of the issues they are learning about that affects SDGs by creating posters, starting online campaigns to friends and family, or recording video arguments. Their project is their way of campaigning for an issue that really matters to them, such as the protection of animals, the need for the development of drug treatments and antibiotics, or why it is so important to reduce pollution in the environment.
“Students researched how to set up their home composting systems, began to utilize their systems, and even started planting and growing food”
Fairgreen’s Art Teacher, Sarah Clarke, has asked her students to create their own land art using whatever natural materials they can find in their gardens using stones, fallen leaves, flowers or twigs (nothing picked or cut from living things) or using natural materials, they may have within their homes, such as food grains, shells, flowers, plants. Inspired by the famous environmentalist and land artist, Andy Goldsworthy, students thought about textures and colours and considered patterns and balance in the composition of their designs.
“I enjoyed doing this artwork because it was a good way for me to connect to nature while in quarantine and because it was fun. To me, looking after the earth is important because if we don’t look after it then other children won’t have the future they deserve because of what people did to the earth,” reflects Grade 6 student, João Vasques Dale.
And even a Grade 1 student, Denis Ocwieja, is connecting his schoolwork to caring for our planet, ‘When there is no earth, there is no people. We need to take care of the planet and the trees.’
To address food waste and to encourage people to grow their own food, which is a focus of one of the 17 SDGs, ‘Responsible Consumption and Production,’ Fairgreen’s STEM Teacher Aimee Thomas tasked her students to come up with a project addressing food waste. Many have chosen to set up their own home composting systems to organically fertilize plants. Students researched how to set up their home composting systems, began to utilize their systems, and even started planting and growing food from the scraps and cuttings coming out of their composting systems.
Grade 6 Student, Mariia Bilyk, shared, “Our class is trying to help the environment by choosing one or two of the United Nations SDGs to focus on. We then created a garden composting system and we are trying to regrow, reuse and recycle food at home, which is fun and helpful to our planet.”
Recognizing the role insects play in our ecosystem, Fairgreen students created bug hotels as an environmental awareness project. They learned how bug hotels could help develop the ecosystem of a garden by helping to attract a wider range of insects and wildlife. Using recycled materials found in their homes, students made prototypes of their own bug hotels to feed insects and provide a safe home for these creatures. In the same spirit, students designed and built bird feeders using recycled materials and placed them in their yards or on their patios to improve the environment for local birds.
“It’s a perfect time to reflect upon how we’re living on Earth, and what we can all do better to preserve our natural resources and raise awareness of environmental issues, especially those at the heart of disease spread. We love that our students care deeply about sustainability-focused issues and that they feel accomplished producing work that contributes to improving our world.” said Mr. Graeme Scott, Director, Fairgreen International School.
As the regions first fully sustainable school, Fairgreen’s educational programme is driven by academic achievement and innovation, offering a curriculum that incorporates sustainability in all its forms. The school’s campus in Dubai’s Sustainable City provides the ultimate learning environment for future generations to play a leading role in building a sustainable future. Designed to have a minimal environmental impact, the school is powered by solar energy, recycles water for agricultural use, and utilizes the community’s biodome for health and wellness learning experiences. For further information on Fairgreen International School, visit www.fairgreen.ae