This is an example of a Whole-School GCE Event – this particular school focused on Climate Justice & Action
The school undertook a whole-school community climate action day called ‘Let’s Look Up’. This involved all staff and all students and facilitators from outside of the school. They suspended the school timetable for the day and began with ‘Let’s Learn’, a plenary session with the whole-school community in attendance.
The first session of the day set the scene, motivating and inspiring the school community to Look Up! when it comes to Climate Justice. They then moved to ‘Let’s Explore’ [students and team members chose 2 workshops from choice of 7 facilitated by NGOs]. Through a series of workshops facilitated by a variety of Irish Non-Governmental Organisations, participants explored issues related to Climate Justice in greater depth and detail to inform the school community’s opportunities for action.
Students and teachers participated in two workshops of their choice, in inter-age groups across the four years groups in their school. They then moved to ‘Let’s Reflect‘ [Class Groups reflect with Tutors & NGO Workshop Leaders]. Having attended two workshops of their choice, students and teachers shared their ideas, opinions and reflections and began to deliberate upon possible actions for consideration by the entire school community. They then moved to ‘Let’s Act’ [Planning Class Group Actions with Whole School Agreement].
Their school manifesto on Climate Justice is still being discussed with focus groups from each class, before being enacted for the start of next academic year.
Key learning: Students and teachers felt inspired and enabled to take action, after engaging in above activities. Students felt they really got to understand the intersectionality of all of these issues on the Let’s Look Up Day. This shows an important change in perspective for them, and is paramount to a good understanding of GCE.
A key learning is the value that can be taken from doing an all school all day event. The learning was richer and students more motivated than the more usual activities embedded in the school year. The number one success was having the wide array of outside facilitators come to their school on their Let’s Look Up Day. They felt that having an ‘outsider’ come in gave the students a fresh energy and perspective on these issues was very valuable. The quality of the workshops was excellent and the option of seven workshops (ran twice) also gave the students autonomy over their day and the angle they were most interested in.