‘Informed choices, inspired action and positive impact for people & the planet!’
These are the words that the Dulwich College International family of schools have chosen for the Live Worldwise vision, with the aspiration to inspire and equip children with the skills to become the next generation of global citizens.
From Friday, 21 May to Sunday, 23 May, Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi did just that by providing an opportunity for the Year 3 students to be take part in Eco-Explorer Camp 2021 (A.K.A. EcoCamp); a journey on finding out “How future polar explorers can protect against the loss of habitat in Antarctica”. The mission of this year’s EcoCamp was to raise awareness of the challenges Antarctica currently faces, and how it is important to tackle them now so we can ensure we preserve Antarctica and the many ecosystems this vital habitat supports.
Over the course of a weekend, students learnt about the devastating impact climate change is having on Antarctica, and formulated plans to tackle this impact. We believe that through education, our campus has a responsibility to deliver the strong message that we cannot sit by and watch irreversible damage to our planet. As educators, we play an important role in empowering our students to make lifelong decisions about their lifestyle, with an awareness of how their choices affect people and the environments across the globe. EcoCamp 2021 not only helped them grow as individuals, it also gave them fond memories of working as a team, and empowered them as globally aware citizen who can make a positive difference through teaspoons of change.
Special guests at this year’s EcoCamp included d'Arcy Lunn, Group Head of Sustainability and Global Citizenship at Dulwich College International who joined to inspire the children and support their activities, and Toby Nash, a recent graduate from Dulwich College Singapore who is aiming to travel to Antarctica to create a documentary about the challenges Antarctica is facing due to climate change, and how we can address the challenges.
EcoCamp was created by Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi in 2017 to act as a group-wide event attended by Dulwich College schools around the world, with the purpose of raising awareness and equipping students with the skills and knowledge required to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems.
Inspiring Positive Impact as a Way of Life
Another way that Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi creates teaspoons of change is by promoting what we call the Mustang Challenge. This challenge encourages our students make a positive difference in their daily lives across seven key areas;
- Leading or participating in community service events
- Eating more plant-based foods
- Recycling and upcycling e-waste
- Recycling and upcycling 2nd hand clothing
- Promoting biodiversity
- Reducing the use of plastics
- Conserving water and energy
We hope the Mustangs Challenge will help our students to develop a sense of responsibility from an early age through to adulthood; understanding that we can all have an impact on the future. Equipped with this sense of responsibility, our students will be inspired to positively influence the people that they meet around the world. We imagine and envision our students as responsible leaders who can and will have a positive impact on the world.
Tackling Global Challenges From a Young Age
At Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi, we also place great emphasis on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These goals aim to eradicate the huge social, environmental and economic challenges that we as a global society face. From worldwide malnutrition to hardship, to building an unprejudiced and peaceful society which promotes vitality, inclusive economic growth and an environmentally sustainable planet, these goals serve to direct us on a daily basis. These goals are presented, discussed and explored with our students through a variety of channels and serve as a constant reminder of our global responsibilities. As a result, we hope to make a difference to the outlook and perspectives of our students: to be more thoughtful, open-minded citizens who embrace the diverse world that we occupy.
Our students are exposed to an enriching and exploratory curriculum that aims to incorporate these goals wherever possible. Recognising the importance of reflection in the learning process, we provide time throughout the curriculum to allow students to reflect on the aims and purposes of the globals and consider ways to address them.
For example, Global Goal 11 explores the notion of building a sustainable cities and communities.
“Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities today and 5 billion people are projected to live in cities by 2030” (UN.org, 2021).
“Cities and metropolitan areas are powerhouses of economic growth—contributing about 60 per cent of global GDP. However, they also account for about 70 per cent of global carbon emissions and over 60 per cent of resource use” (UN.org, 2021).
Making our cities and communities more sustainable could have a dramatically positive impact on climate change. Our DUCKS students in Year 1 and 2 have recently had the opportunity to address this goal. Year 1 reflected on responsible consumption and production by designing and making sustainable toys from recycled materials. They then pitched these toy ideas to College Leadership, learning entrepreneurship, public speak and marketing skills along the way. Year 2 students contributed to Global Goal 11 by bringing in their unwanted clothing with the aim of upcycling them into new bags. Global awareness meets creativity!
These are just two examples, among many, which highlight how we can integrate the UN Global Goals into our curriculum, empowering our students to make a positive difference in the world. By integrating these aspects of our curriculum in an enquiry-based way, the lessons become more meaningful for the students, developing an intrinsic motivation to make a change for the better.
As we bring this academic year to a close and prepare to embark on our next academic year, I would like to express my gratitude to our students and my fellow teachers for continually building a more globally connected world.