How Mougins School is nurturing global perspectives through sustainability education​

Posted on 29th Mar 2023 in School News, France

With a focus on sustainability, Mougins School brings the nebulous concept of ‘Global Perspectives’ into real-life scenarios, ensuring all students feel they can have an impact.

As an International School with a student population from many countries around the world (40 and counting), students at Mougins British International School have a unique insight into their position in a global society. From the age of three, they interact with a diverse school community of their peers, teachers, staff and families, who work together to foster a spirit of collaboration and to inspire a lifelong love of learning.

Diversity, empathy, intercultural awareness: these are all buzz words that have been building in momentum over the last few years. But how exactly can a school guide students to embody these ideals, and reflect these teachings in the surrounding environment? A term such as “Global Perspectives” can feel intangible and ambiguous, but by directly linking it to sustainability and planet preservation, even the youngest students can understand the stakes and feel motivated to play a role.

“No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.” - Sir David Attenborough

The school is a proud member of Globeducate, one of the world's leading premium bilingual and international schools groups with more than 55 schools and online programmes in ten countries. Globeducate has established a Global Agenda as a conduit for bringing their vision to life in classrooms all over the world, and have formed partnerships with internationally recognised change-makers including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Eco-Schools.

All Globeducate schools work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. Therefore, by focusing on partnerships that highlight sustainability and responsibility towards our planet, students are guided to recognise their role in the preservation of the environment, and to understand how climate change is impacting others.

The school has seen a lot of momentum around working towards Eco-School Green Flag certification since the start of this academic year, partly inspired by the hard work of the other schools in the group, as currently 27 Globeducate schools are Green Flag certified. Students have participated in beach and forest clean ups, two ecosystems that are right on their doorstep due to Mougins’ location on the Côte d’Azur in the South of France. They have also been busy making compost and reorganising the recycling system at school. At the end of January 2023, the school held a ‘7 days for 7 changes’ campaign, to raise awareness of the small actions everyone can take to reduce energy consumption, that encouraged students to spread the word both at school and at home, and implement lasting change in their daily habits.

At an infrastructure level, the school recognises that it is just as responsible as students for implementing change, and is keen to practise what it preaches. Maintenance staff have recently swapped 1850 light bulbs for LEDs, allowing savings of at least 40% on electricity; installed water reducers to monitor consumption; and added thermostatic valves on heaters, helping the school to meet the new recommended heating temperature of 19 degrees.

Students are encouraged to see themselves as the caretakers of the planet, steering them to the realisation that their responsibility lies not just on a local or national scale, but internationally too, to protect the futures of millions of citizens, many of whom lead lives very different to theirs. This is important in developing their emotional intelligence, the basis of all soft skills, and in this case particularly pertinent to empathy and interpersonal awareness. As students move through Primary and Secondary education to university and beyond, they will continue to nurture - and value - their role as global citizens.

Head of School, James Wellings, recently shared his thoughts in a communication to families: “I listened to a talk a number of years ago that argued we should stop using the word international and instead consider referring to ourselves as cosmopolitan which comes from the Greek work kosmopolitēs meaning “citizens of the world”. This is a lovely idea. If we see ourselves as citizens of this planet we might do better at looking after it and each other.”