Module 3 – Global Inequality

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    • #193496
      Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
      Course Facilitator

      Choose a topic related to the Sustainable Development Goals and consider how children might be affected by it at both local and global levels. Post your response (150 words min.) as a reply to this post on how you would encourage your students to take action to support the SDGs in Ireland in support of ESD to 2030 Priority Action Area 5: Accelerating Local Level Actions

      Comment on at least one other post.

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    • #194114
      Siobhan Rooney
      Participant

      <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 9.0pt; line-height: 107%; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’; color: #163c42; background: white;”>I have chosen goal 7 which is Affordable and Clean Energy. This goal aims to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. This is a topic that affects children both locally and globally and has a huge impact on the economic development of the area. Access to energy is a key driver in alleviating poverty and generating income for local communities. I would encourage children to take action to support this important goal by looking at increasing our renewable energy and energy efficiency in Ireland. The children could complete projects on increasing renewable energy sources both locally and nationally. Children could create energy audits in their local areas to increase more sustainable energy resources. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”> </span>This could be started within the school community to see how energy can be saved. Our school is involved in the green school project, and they have excellent resources available to encourage children to become more energy conscious. Similarly, it is very important we make children aware of the lack of access to affordable and clean energy that some developing countries face. It is estimated that 0.8 billion people live without access to electricity in 2020. Figures also indicate that many healthy facilities in developing countries have no electricity or have frequent outages. It is a very important that children are aware of these social injustices and seek to create a fair and more sustainable energy sources globally. </span></p>

      • #194209

        I think choosing this goal Siobhán was wise as it has implications on the future of the pupils we teach today. As we know it may be difficult to get our pupils to see into their own futures when they are so focused on today and tomorrow as young people, it is very important that they understand their role in taking care our earth’s resources. With role models like Greta Thunberg, this topic is becoming more accessible and realistic for kids as they witness the devastating impacts on our environments and therefore they may be more inclined to react positively to it as an element of development education in primary school.

      • #198817
        Robert Cheevers
        Participant

        I would choose number four and ten on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: quality education and reduced inequalities. Quality education and reduced inequalities related to people with disabilities making sure that they are treated fairly and there is an inclusive society and community that allow them the same opportunities.

        On a local level making sure that schools and public areas are wheelchair accessible. That there are toilets for wheelchair users in all schools and public parks. When building communities with the planning of schools and parks that people with disabilities are considered. There are not just steps but facilities provided so people with disabilities are independent or rely on assistance are little as possible.

        On a global level, governments around the world consider all people with their planning and building of infrastructure and take into consideration the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. All cities and streets have pavements and footpaths that can be used by wheelchair users and by people with disabilities.

        I would get the children to collaborate and engage through their work on the student council to bring awareness and attention to issues to other stakeholders in their communities. We could do this by creating projects trough the use of photographs and notes on issues facing children with disabilities. Taking pictures of poor paths, infrastructure and other facilities that unfairly impact the lives of children. The children could also host an event in the school and invite local TD’s and councils. We could do a news report and post it to our local newspapers.

      • #194251
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Siobhan,

        The chosen Sustainable Development goal is certainly one that is relevant and close to the hearts of many children in our schools. In many cases, children these days show a genuine care and interest in the environment. The figures you have quoted are quite stark and are certainly worth highlighting. Often, when facts and figures are presented like this, it can highlight just how fortunate we are to live in a developed country like Ireland.

      • #196308
        Robert Cheevers
        Participant

         
        <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 10.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;”>I would choose number four and ten on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: quality education and reduced inequalities. Quality education and reduced inequalities related to people with disabilities making sure that they are treated fairly and there is an inclusive society and community that allow them the same opportunities. </span></p>
        <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 10.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;”>On a local level making sure that schools and public areas are wheelchair accessible. That there are toilets for wheelchair users in all schools and public parks. When building communities with the planning of schools and parks that people with disabilities are considered. There are not just steps but facilities provided so people with disabilities are independent or rely on assistance are little as possible.  </span></p>
        <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 10.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;”>On a global level, governments around the world consider all people with their planning and building of infrastructure and take into consideration the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. All cities and streets have pavements and footpaths that can be used by wheelchair users and by people with disabilities. </span></p>
        <p class=”MsoNormal”></p>
        <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 10.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;”>I would get the children to collaborate and engage through their work on the student council to bring awareness and attention to issues to other stakeholders in their communities. We could do this by creating projects trough the use of photographs and notes on issues facing children with disabilities. Taking pictures of poor paths, infrastructure and other facilities that unfairly impact the lives of children. The children could also host an event in the school and invite local TD’s and councils. We could do a news report and post it to our local newspapers.   </span></p>
        <p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-size: 10.0pt; line-height: 107%; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin;”> </span></p>
         

      • #196324
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Robert,

        Thanks for your post and for highlighting the issues around the inclusion of children with disabilities, and the links this has with the sustainable development goals. I think it’s a very relevant and important point to raise. Thankfully, new school buildings are designed to be wheelchair accessible. However, may schools in older buildings are facing serious issues in this regard.  I like your idea of incorporating awareness of this through the student council. I think the role of ‘inclusion officer’ or similar could be something that brings a lot of value to a student council.

      • #198174
        eimear o callaghan
        Participant

        Hi Siobhán,

        I think energy audits it is a great idea to start getting the children to consider the impact they are making to the environment at a personal level, local level (within their school) and the wider community. From turning off the lights at home, to assessing their energy usage in school encouraging them to be more energy efficient. Encouraging them to find ways, create rotes to develop their sense of responsibility for make their homes, locality and school more energy efficient and sustainable for all.

    • #194219
      Linda Hennessy
      Participant

      <p class=”p1″ style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 23px; line-height: normal; caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”><span class=”s1″ style=”font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody;”>I have chosen goal 6 which is clean water and sanitation. This goal aims to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all and to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. I would start to increase the children’s awareness of others who are in this situation around the world by teaching some background lessons on the subject.</span></p>
      <p class=”p2″ style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 23px; line-height: normal; min-height: 29px; caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”></p>
      <p class=”p1″ style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 23px; line-height: normal; caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto;”><span class=”s1″ style=”font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody;”>Schools can often be a place where water is wasted so I would introduce an initiative in school where clean water would not be wasted and a system to monitor how much water we use as a school. The children could first research how much water is used per toilet flush, filling of water bottles etc. and then present their findings to the school by means of an assembly. Measures and reward systems could be put in place with small prizes as incentives. From here, the children together with the teachers could research how the initiative could be expanded to help reach others on a global level</span></p>

      • #196309
        Robert Cheevers
        Participant

        Hi Linda!

        I agree with your statements on water. It is the most important resource to humans yet so much of the world haven’t access to clean drinking water. There have been issues with clean water even at a local level with different levels of bacteria affecting the supply. But we are a wealthy country in comparison to countries that have little supplies or resources to keep their water clean.  But as you mentioned the excess waste of water is even a bigger problem. At school we are continually focused on the awareness  of water usage. Highlighting the waste by discussing the daily use of water for brushing teeth ( letting the tap run), long showers, washing clothes and other uses that aren’t necessary. I feel this generation are more conscious of water use than previous generations which can only be good for our environment in the long term.

      • #197916
        Peter Mc Mahon
        Participant

        Hi Linda, I really like the idea of a water monitor for whereby a school would see how much water they use. We are very lucky here in Ireland with the access we have to clean water in comparison to other countries. It it very important to get children to practice good water preservation methods from a young age, such as not leaving taps running, going for showers instead of baths and other ways we can minimalize water wastage.

      • #198156
        Niamh Mc Hugh
        Participant

        Linda I think your focus on Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation is so important and a great topic to start in schools with young children. We are so lucky in this country to have access to such clean and reliable water supplies and sanitation that I think many of our children and families take this for granted. It is something that the children can make some real changes in within their own context and their is now a wealth of resources out there to help them investigate this topic in other areas of the globe. I think the fact that you are getting the children involved in thinking and taking action around this goal at such a young age means it is something that will be imbedded in their everyday life skills long into the future.

    • #194352
      Marese Heavin
      Participant

      I very much like this idea of monitoring water usage in school. Very important for children to learn that running a tap for no reason is wasting water. You could add to this activity by aiming for the Green Flag, if you don’t already have it. I think the 2nd green flag is for water. This way the pupils have to monitor and record their findings more seriously but are rewarded with the flag for their achievement. To maintain the flag, they have to maintain their usage. It might be worth thinking about.

      • #197849
        Ann Gaughan
        Participant

        The Green Schools Programme(as one of their steps/ flags) also tries to promote the importance of conserving water and promoting the importance of water with our pupils. our school got involved with a charity called Wells for Water this year, a school assembly was held and pictures were shown to the children.  Some of the pupils in our school get their water from a well so would be very aware of the importance of clean water. News recently of counties having to boil water as its not fit to drink has also highlighted the problems we encounter. I think its really important to monitor an conserve our water usage in school. As part of our Action Plan we installed a water harvester to reuse rain water for washing art supplies etc. We also installed push taps that cannot be left on (essential with young kids)..Makes us think about poorer countries and the extreme conditions. We should not take this precious resource for granted.

    • #194354
      Marese Heavin
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal that I will chose is number 6, Clean water and Sanitation. I believe the pupils in my class are very privileged and therefore do not realise that children in parts of the world don’t have taps, sinks and showers or baths. I feel some pupils may be quite shocked by this. I would educate my pupils through various lessons on water and sanitation and its useage across the globe. We could then as a class draw up a plan to reduce water wastage in our school. This plan would also be encouraged at home. Therefore the pupils would be educating their families while at the same time learning themselves.

      We could use our plan to also aim for the Green Flag which as yet we do not have in our school. In striving to achieve this, our class will learn the interdependency that exists between people and planet. Using number 6 on the ESD, our class and their families will be enabled to understand the world around them and useage of water in a better way for our world.

      • #194397
        Susan McMahon
        Participant

        Thank you, Linda and Marese, for some great suggestions on how to encourage children to be aware of the goal for clean water and sanitisation. I think a water monitor is a great idea, as well as drawing up a class plan for water conservation.

      • #194782
        Niamh Hanlon
        Participant

        Hi Marese,

        Your post reminded me of a situation we had this year when the water in our area was off due to a burst pipe. It was early in the day so all children had to be sent home as we didn’t have water to flush toilets. It came as such a shock to the children that no working toilets meant no school and it did indeed lead to some discussions about how fortunate we are to have access to what they previously would have classed as very basic facilities. There is definitely a lot of scope to explore this goal in the classroom.

      • #194889
        Ailbhe Harding
        Participant

        Some really nice ideas there Marese, thank you for sharing. Our school gained our Water Flag a few years ago and it was certainly eye opening for the students to see just how much water was used (and wasted!) in the school on a daily/weekly basis.

        The topic of clean water and sanitation also ties in nicely with a lot of curricular areas, so would be a useful theme for integration as part of a wider unit of work.

    • #194401
      Susan McMahon
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal that I have chosen in Goal 15: Life on Land. The term ‘biodiversity’ is becoming more and more commonplace, and children at all class levels are learning about the diversity of nature, of our habitats and species such as plants and animals (including us!) and their interconnections with each other. It’s important for children to appreciate that we are a part of nature and everything in nature is connected. Within our school we have a section for wildflowers, where the children learn that insects do the vital task of pollinating flowers, many of which go on to create the food we eat. We also learn that worms and other minibeasts are like secret farmers, underneath the ground, breaking down old wood and leaves into fresh, fertile soil. Bringing the children’s awareness to things like these, helps promote appreciation for biodiversity, and halt biodiversity loss as specified in the Sustainable Development Goal.

      • #194437
        Linda Hennessy
        Participant

        The wildflower section of your school sounds ideal, Susan. I’m going to steal the idea of ‘secret farmers’ for use at school next term. You have also reminded me that I have a ‘bee hotel’ in a box just waiting to be used, so lots of exciting projects await the children and I next term.

      • #194442
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Susan,

        It sounds like your school are already very active promoting biodiversity. Just in relation to supports for same,  a brilliant biodiversity resource referenced in another one of our courses is Gardening for Biodiversity by Juanita Brown which you can download it from https://laois.ie/wp-content/uploads/Garden-Wildlife-Booklet-WEB-17MB.pdf. Alternatively if you prefer hard copy you can order for free from Create a Haven for Wildlife – Laois County Council. The book is a real treasure trove of practical ideas and tips that will support your school’s biodiversity drive. From building bug hotels, bird baths and bird feeders. All small steps but extremely valuable nonetheless….

         

      • #194834
        Susan McMahon
        Participant

        This is a fantastic resource, thanks Pat

      • #195576
        Niamh Brady
        Participant

        They’ve also created a lovely colouring book to accompany this book. It’s available from here in PDF or you can contact your local heritage office and request a hard copy. My student’s loved it.

        https://www.donegalcoco.ie/media/donegalcountyc/heritage/pdfs/Biodiversity%20in%20Your%20Garden%20Colouring%20Book.pdf

      • #196397
        Susan McMahon
        Participant

        Thanks Niamh, just seeing this now 🙂

      • #198919
        Julie Murphy
        Participant

        Thank you Niamh. I absolutely love this resource. It is so relevant and interesting.

      • #203539
        Sinead Moore
        Participant

        Thanks so much for sharing the colouring book link Niamh, looks like a great resource. I look forward to using it.

      • #204568

        Niamh, thank you for sharing this fantastic resource, looking forward to sharing it with my pupils.

      • #204582

        The SDG I have selected is no.3 . Good health and wellbeing are essential to healthy and happy children and thus leads to hapy and fulfilled lives. Our school is proactive in promoting mental and physical health.

        Walk on Wednesday, the daily mile and active homework are some of the initiatives we have undertaken in our school to promote the importance of good health and wellbeing among our students.

        We also have a healthy eating policy.

        We work on mindfulness using end of day short meditations.

        We praise the effort, the focus is always on enjoyment.

      • #206481
        Vivienne Doyle
        Participant

        Hello Niamh,

        This resource is brilliant. I haven’t came across something like this previously. I would love to use this with my class this coming year as I think it is extremely relevant and if I could source a local copy it would include the children’s own area/previous experiences.

      • #196129
        Hugh Rooney
        Participant

        Lidl often have bug hotels for sale in their plant section. We use them in school along with bird feeders to great success

      • #195819
        Patrick Curran
        Participant

        A wildflower garden sounds like a great way to teach biodiversity, Susan. Unfortunately the green space is very limited in my school as we are in a very urban area. There are plenty of “no mow” spots to be seen locally however, which I have pointed out to the children on nature walks.

        We do have a bug hotel on our school grounds which always provokes great discussion and interest from the children.

      • #197070
        Sam Wright
        Participant

        Hi Susan,

        We have recently begun work on our school garden with a mixture of biodiversity beds and also crops. It is great to see the children so involved and is amazing how little and much some know about plants and biodiversity in general.

        I feel it is often overlooked by parents at home, but it is so important that we educate our future leaders on the importance of maintaining biodiversity here in Ireland.

      • #198622
        Naomi Curran
        Participant

        Hi Susan,

        I really like the ideas that you have in your school. Like yourselves our school is very much into biodiversity.  I like the way you use child friendly terminology such as secret farmers in order for the students to understand biodiversity better. I will definitely be using these terms in the future.

      • #200310
        Kathleen Murphy
        Participant

        Hi Susan,

        I really like the ideas that you have mentioned. When children are given a practical task like planting and taking care of something they really enjoy it and I find that at times some of the children who may often be shy in class come into their own and show their talents with a task like this.

      • #203797
        Aoife Dorrian
        Participant

        They are some wonderful ideas Susan and I love the term secret farmers. I am sure the children love that term. It is so important to teach the children about biodiversity.

    • #194517

      I think I would zone in on Goal 3 ‘Good Health and Well Being’ as I believe to be an extremely relevant aspect of young people’s lives in today’s world, in both physical and mental health. It is no surprise that obesity amongst our children is becoming a very serious issue in our primary schools and even though many programmes have been implemented by the government, the problem is still present. This goal also mentions well being and this is quite topical even nowadays among our older primary school children. I believe this particular goal to be very relevant as our young people need to be made aware, need to be educated and informed and need to realise that they along with their parents possess a lot of power to counteract issues pertaining to this goal at a local level. As teachers we can enable them to support this goal through simple actions revolving healthy eating policies and promoting active lifestyles – although our main obstacle will be to motivate kids who do not enjoy sports, however, as their teachers we must enable them to access other activities outside of the typical sports to keep them healthy both physically and mentally.

      • #194685
        Mikey Flanagan
        Participant

        This was a very interesting read Clíodhna, similar to me I also have an interest in Goal 3.  I agree with your statement regarding motivating kids who do not enjoy sports. It is also important for the teacher to have a motivation and be able to think of their own motivations for a healthy lifestyle.

      • #194699
        Sean Finlay
        Participant

        I totally agree Clíodhna, wellbeing has become almost like a buzz word in schools with an increased emphasis on physical and mental wellbeing through various initiatives like Amber Flag along with whole-school policies where all children in our school are encouraged to run laps of the yard daily at a designated time which has had really positive effects. Certainly teachers have an important role in modelling healthy eating and active lifestyle but I also believe that it is important for schools to place some focus on staff wellbeing which will in turn allow educators to bring their own personal experience in supporting pupils’ mental and physical health.

      • #198105
        Helen Walsh
        Participant

        I agree Sean – it’s really important that teachers take a pro-active role in modelling healthy eating and active lifestyle (as far as possible) and that schools focus on staff wellbeing – this is most definitely an area for improvement so that the school community works as a whole & teacher’s well being is valued equally.

      • #200966
        Kate Liston
        Participant

        Yes, teachers have a very important role in modelling healthy habits that sustain our mental and physical wellbeing. Educating and supporting parents is vital though, and this requires more at a higher level than relying on schools. Schools alone cannot stem the tide against the increased physical and mental health problems due to children’s increased access to technology and unhealthy food. Schools in my opinion are making great efforts through various programmes and initiatives to address these issues but it needs a more comprehensive national approach.

      • #201003
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Kate,

        Your point on the importance of education parents is so relevant. This could carry weight in every theme related to development education, including gender stereotyping (as you saw in the last module). As primary educators of the child, the role of the parent has a huge role in how children view global inequalities. It is without question that schools are going above and beyond in this regard, but it is not possible for them to do it all with such little ‘contact time’.

      • #206757
        Lorraine Cleary
        Participant

        I agree Seán. The area of Wellbeing is getting a lot of focus at the moment and we need to be careful that we are not just teaching and awareness and writing a school policy, but that we are all actively promoting each others Wellbeing. That involves noticing when staff members are out of sorts and giving them space to talk or offer support through that period of time, in the same way that we check in with our students each morning to determine how good a start to the day they had in terms of the basic needs and their emotional needs, because without feeling supported and understood we fail to thrive.

      • #194707
        Sean Finlay
        Participant

        <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0px 0px 1.6em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif;”>The Sustainable Development Goal that I have chosen is Number 12, Responsible Consumption and Production. Coming from a very large urban school, we have a real mix of pupils coming from underpriviliged and priviliged backgrounds. Some of these pupils will be acutely aware of how important it is not to waste food, to compost where possible, and some parents may be more innovative when using foods. The EPA estimate that each household in Ireland wastes 130kg of food each year, the equivalent of 700e annually and a total cost of 1.29 billion euro each year. I believe pupils would be shocked qt those figures and would be eager to learn about practical solutions to reduce food waste such as brown bins and composting which they could bring home to encourage their parents. I believe the Green Schools also could play an important role in this by designing a plan for the school to reduce the amount of food waste in our school which they did very effectively with water this year which resulted in each pupil using 4 litres less daily on average. Furthermore, responsible consumption and production globally goes beyond just food waste and children should learn about the effects of fast fashion and the damage it causes the environment and the exploitation that occurs where appropriate so that they can make more informed decisions when it comes to buying clothes in the future. From this education and taking action at an individual and local level, I believe pupils would be more empowered in achieving SDG Goal 12.</p>

      • #194711
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Seán,

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts around this sustainable development goal. When you list the figures in black and white, it paints a pretty stark picture. €700 annually would translate to almost €25k over the term of a standard mortgage. There is huge scope to create some cross-curricular learning links around this goal. Environmental awareness and care could link to geography and science in terms of packaging, etc. In terms of food waste, there is also scope to get the children to creatively create meals and snacks using leftover food from home, etc. This is something that could be both fun and practical for children from all socio-economic backgrounds.

      • #196777
        Noreen Keane
        Participant

        I agree Seán, that children and adults need to be aware of the effects of fast fashion and the exploitation that occurs. The fast fashion industry is a contributor to the climate crisis also, polluting our waters and soils. We need to be educating our young students and create awareness about the fast fashion industry.

      • #197291
        Hugh Rooney
        Participant

        I thought it was very interesting that you brought up the issue of fashion and teaching children how to be more sustainable. This is not something I would have previously thought off but a huge issue for climate change. It is definitely something that both adults and children should be more aware of.

      • #203532
        Caroline Walsh
        Participant

        I agree, I think living in a world of cheap fast fashion, we really need to look at the source of this fashion and the sustainability. Also the possible inequality and poor conditions of the workers that provide it. It is important for children too to explore this area.

      • #195149
        Padraic Waldron
        Participant

        Great post Seán. I agree that using the Green Schools programme is an excellent way to encourage students to take action. I know the kids in my school are highly motivated by the Green flag!

      • #196729
        Laura Smyth
        Participant

        I was very interested to read your post Sean, some great ideas on Goal 12 there. It caught my interest as it very much pertains to a situation that has really caused annoyance in our school. We are DEIS band 1 & have in the past two years taken on the Hot Meals programme, there is not a day goes by that we don’t talk about the waste involved!! The amount of food that goes out to the bins each day is shameful. It is a very hard programme to get right in my opinion and because the food cannot be reused like the prepacked rolls & sandwiches we used to get the waste is much higher than before. If we were to perhaps focus through our Green School Committee on the issue of food waste we could perhaps make a difference to the amount of waste, at least raising awareness of the waste. I think there is an unhealthy opinion there that food is an endless commodity & the children need to be made aware of the people in the world who are not as privileged .

      • #196195
        Sam Briggs
        Participant

        I like the idea of implementing healthy eating policies Cliodhna. I have experience in schools which do and don’t have these policies and I think there is a noticeable difference in the children’s awareness on the importance of what they eat. I also agree that its important to give kids access to a range of sports during PE so that there is an opportunity for everyone to find something they enjoy… It’s easy to fall into the habit of letting the kids run off with a football for PE every time!

      • #204248
        Éadaoin Garrigan
        Participant

        Hi Cliodhna, I think your chosen goal is very appropriate and also very topical, especially these days with the increased use of social media amongst primary school children.

    • #194683
      Mikey Flanagan
      Participant

      To inspire my students to support the SDGs related to quality education in Ireland, I would adopt a comprehensive approach. I would raise awareness about the importance of quality education for personal growth and societal development. Through discussions and interactive activities, students would explore the impact of education on poverty reduction, gender equality, and overall well-being. I would encourage students to take local-level actions within their school and community. This could involve organizing educational campaigns, advocating for inclusive practices, or initiating projects that address educational disparities. By empowering students to identify and address specific educational challenges, they would develop a sense of agency and make a tangible impact. I would facilitate collaborations with local educational organizations, NGOs, and experts. Guest speakers, workshops, and field trips would provide students with insights into innovative educational practices and inspire them to think critically about the future of education. I would encourage students to become advocates for quality education by leveraging digital platforms. They would have the opportunity to create awareness campaigns, share educational resources, or participate in online discussions to engage a wider audience and amplify their voices. Through education, local-level actions, collaborations, and advocacy, my aim would be to empower my students to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs related to quality education in Ireland.

      • #194690
        Darerca Egan
        Participant

        Hi Mikey, you identify in your post making collaborations with NGOs.  Based on our experience as a school, we have gained so much through this annual contact.

    • #194688
      Darerca Egan
      Participant

      I was particularly drawn to the video relating to Cambodia in this module.  So our focus would be on Goal No 4 ensuring inclusive and quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.  A number of years ago a partnership was established between our school and an Education and Youth Leadership NGO in Cambodia.    The purpose of the partnership is to support young people near Siam Reap through an array of projects.  This is achieved through a summer teaching and teacher exchange programme.  A calendar of events is devised annually when our school hosts a number of visiting staff and trainee teachers.  All students in our school learn about Pepy (the organisation) through assemblies and in class – art, SPHE, Geography etc.  To ensure that all classes relate to our visitors, topics are adapted to be age appropriate.  In Second class this year we considered the manner how and the distance the Cambodian students had to travel on a daily basis in order to access their education in comparison to students in our locality.

      The visit culminates with a fun run in which the whole school runs a ‘notional’ section of the journey from Dublin to Siam Reap, bearing the flags of the different countries traversed. This in itself is very powerful and positive as we celebrate the many nationalities represented in our school.

      A visit by Irish teachers is then reciprocated in the summer to Cambodia.  It is a sharing of best practices from both countries. Some years there is fundraising involved but the purpose is to raise awareness of the programme. It has enabled our school build strong ties to Cambodia, forging lifelong learning opportunities between the two organisations in line with SDG 4.

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Darerca Egan.
      • #195353
        Eimear Boyce
        Participant

        Darerca, that partnership sounds like a brilliant idea and gives children a direct insight into education in different setting and the privileges that we have here in Ireland. The impact the connection of these two schools in two very different settings will have on the community and children to foster an awareness is profound. I really am impressed by the initiative.

      • #202320
        Niall Fitzgibbon
        Participant

        Hi Darerca, Having travelled to Cambodia a number of years ago, I really enjoyed reading your post about the strong ties between your school and the Pepy organisation. I believe it promotes great awareness of the global inequalities and differences for the children.

    • #194708
      Sean Finlay
      Participant

      <span style=”color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>The Sustainable Development Goal that I have chosen is Number 12, Responsible Consumption and Production. Coming from a very large urban school, we have a real mix of pupils coming from underpriviliged and priviliged backgrounds. Some of these pupils will be acutely aware of how important it is not to waste food, to compost where possible, and some parents may be more innovative when using foods. The EPA estimate that each household in Ireland wastes 130kg of food each year, the equivalent of 700e annually and a total cost of 1.29 billion euro each year. I believe pupils would be shocked qt those figures and would be eager to learn about practical solutions to reduce food waste such as brown bins and composting which they could bring home to encourage their parents. I believe the Green Schools also could play an important role in this by designing a plan for the school to reduce the amount of food waste in our school which they did very effectively with water this year which resulted in each pupil using 4 litres less daily on average. Furthermore, responsible consumption and production globally goes beyond just food waste and children should learn about the effects of fast fashion and the damage it causes the environment and the exploitation that occurs where appropriate so that they can make more informed decisions when it comes to buying clothes in the future. From this education and taking action at an individual and local level, I believe pupils would be more empowered in achieving SDG Goal 12.</span>

      • #195117
        Conor Beirne
        Participant

        <span style=”color: #374151; font-family: Söhne, ui-sans-serif, system-ui, -apple-system, Segoe UI, Roboto, Ubuntu, Cantarell, Noto Sans, sans-serif, Helvetica Neue, Arial, Apple Color Emoji, Segoe UI Emoji, Segoe UI Symbol, Noto Color Emoji;”><span style=”white-space-collapse: preserve;”>Interested with your dedication to addressing SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, in your urban school Sean.The awareness you have fostered among students about the impact of food waste and practical solutions like composting is inspiring. The success of Green Schools in reducing water usage further demonstrates your commitment to sustainability. By educating children about the broader aspects of responsible consumption, such as fast fashion’s environmental damage and exploitation, you empower them to make informed choices. Your efforts at an individual and local level are instrumental in empowering students to contribute towards achieving the SDG Goal. Well done!</span></span>

    • #194780
      Niamh Hanlon
      Participant

      The goal I have chosen is no.3 good health and well being. This goal aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages. It is no surprise that after the global pandemic, many schools have turned their attention to well being and made this the focus of their SSE. The students in our primary schools have spent a good fraction of their lives in and out of lockdowns, families were under drastically increased pressures and media updates often portrayed scary events globally. It is unknown what kind of lasting impact this could have on some children. However on the other hand, children learned a lot from the events of the past 3 years and the opportunity is there for educators to capitalise on this. Notably, students have learned about inter dependency in taking care of each other both in terms of physical and mental health which I believe allows for more open discussion on these subjects. This gives us scope to tackle some of the prominent health issues nationally including obesity and mental health.

      • #201869
        Declan Hogan
        Participant

        Great post Niamh.  Intriguing read!

    • #194908
      Ailbhe Harding
      Participant

      I have chosen goal 13, “Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and its Impacts”.

      Climate change is of course a very relevant topic in today’s world, and is certainly a term that most children are familiar with (or in the senior end, at least). I have found that it is important to approach the topic of climate change gently with the children, as it is something that could easily cause alarm or upset. As referenced in the article from Module 1, we need to be mindful of not allowing them to feel defeated by the scale of the problems but, instead, to start small and identify ways that we can make achievable, positive changes at a local and personal level.

      Some activities could include identifying ways that we use/waste energy at home and in school. An energy monitor could be appointed in the classroom to ensure that the lights are turned off/on appropriated, the interactive board is turned off when not in use, the windows are not open when the heat is on high etc. The children could also make posters and informational leaflets for the school, outlining ways to save and conserve energy. These could also be added to the school website or sent out in the e-newsletter.

      In the past, our Green Schools Committee have also worked as whole-school energy monitors, and have conducted spot checks in the classrooms to ensure that energy was being used sensibly. This was a great added incentive for everyone (teachers included!) as it really made us more conscious of how we were using electricity throughout the day.

      • #195107
        Aoife Coen
        Participant

        I agree Ailbhe, it can be difficult at times not to cause too much fear or anxiety in children when talking about climate change. we are very privileged in Ireland with our weather but that is not the case for so many other children, some of whom are now in our classes and perhaps worrying about family still in their home country. Green Flag is a fantastic initiative to make schools/children more aware in a fun and active way.

         

      • #196208
        Saoirse Rooney
        Participant

        The Green Schools Programmes is an excellent way to bring the goals into focus with the children. Energy monitors are a great idea in school and hopefully this will translate to saving energy in their own homes.

        I also agree on being sensitive to being too negative about Climate Change when introducing the concept to children. It is easily to be overwhelmed by all the forecast causing great anxiety in children. It is very important that we encourage to be active participants in a positive movement.

    • #195101
      Aoife Coen
      Participant

      I have decided to focus on SDG 3, Good Health & Well Being. Whilst I know people are sick of hearing and thinking about Covid, I believe we are truly only starting to see the effects academically of it on children. I teach in a DESI school with significant needs as it is, yet, at the end of Senior Infants there is a serious discrepancy between where children usually would be and where they are. These would be the first children into school who would have missed out on significant pre-school time. The baseline from where we started was way beyond the norm, most children having very little language and poor social skills which has impacted on their learning.

      Covid also brought about serious inequalities regarding vaccination worldwide and has led to a huge number of children being behind in their normal vaccination schedule with 22.7 million children missing out on basic vaccinations is 2020.

      Wellbeing is a very popular buzz word at the moment and it is essential that we as educators try to provide children with tools and skills to help them be resilient and solve problems.

    • #195106
      Conor Beirne
      Participant

      <p class=”MsoNormal”>As an educator passionate about promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among my students, I would focus on the SDG topic of “Quality Education” and its impact on children at both local and global levels. The video relating to Cambodia got my attention regarding this goal. In Ireland, I would encourage my students to take action by organizing awareness campaigns within their schools and communities to emphasize the importance of accessible and inclusive education for all children. This could involve fundraising initiatives to support educational programs in disadvantaged areas or promoting gender equality in education.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>At a global level, I would encourage my students to become global citizens by engaging in virtual exchanges with students from different countries, fostering cultural understanding and sharing knowledge about education challenges worldwide. By participating in international forums, they could advocate for policies and resources that prioritize education, ensuring that no child is left behind.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>Empowering students to take action on SDG 4, “Quality Education,” would contribute to building a more equitable world, where every child has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.</p>

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Conor Beirne.
      • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Conor Beirne. Reason: My reply keeps coming up as invlaid
    • #195109
      Padraic Waldron
      Participant

      I’d like to focus on Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. It’s essential for students to recognize the privilege they have in having access to running water, unlike children in certain parts of the world. I believe some children may be genuinely surprised by this disparity.

      Through SPHE and SESE lessons, students could gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by children in different regions regarding access to clean water and sanitation facilities. We could explore the impact this has on health, education, and overall well-being. By fostering empathy and compassion, students could be inspired to take action at a local level, e.g. by reducing their own water usage at home and in school.

    • #195347
      Eimear Boyce
      Participant

      I would focus on Goal 4: Quality Education. The sustainable development goal of quality education has a profound impact on children both locally and globally. In Ireland, children may face barriers to accessing quality education due to socioeconomic factors, learning disabilities, or limited resources. Globally, millions of children endure similar challenges, including lack of infrastructure, gender inequality, and conflict-induced disruptions to education.

      In school we can:

      1. Foster awareness: Educate students about the importance of quality education for personal growth, social development, and building sustainable societies.

      2. Promote inclusivity: Create an inclusive classroom environment that values diversity and ensures equal opportunities for all students. Encourage empathy, respect, and understanding among students to promote a culture of inclusivity and combat discrimination.

      3. Collaborate with local communities: Partner with local organisations, schools, and community centres to support initiatives that enhance educational access and quality. Involve students in volunteer activities, such as tutoring or mentoring programs, to provide assistance to children facing educational challenges.

      4. Advocate for policy changes: Teach students about their rights to education and encourage them to voice their opinions on policies affecting education. Engage students in writing letters or petitions to local authorities, advocating for improvements in educational resources and infrastructure.

      • #204070
        Michelle Ryan
        Participant

        You have made some really good points here! I think, especially after our period of remote online teaching, this is more important than ever and I think most children appreciate being back in the classroom now that they have that experience of being away for so long

    • #195592
      Niamh Brady
      Participant

      Sustainable Development Goal 14, “Life Below Water,” focuses on conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources. Children can be affected by this goal at both local and global levels in various ways:

      1. Impact on local communities:

      a. Livelihoods: In coastal areas, many communities depend on fisheries and marine resources for their livelihoods. If these resources are depleted or degraded, it can lead to reduced income and employment opportunities for families, potentially affecting children’s well-being.

      b. Food security: Oceans provide a significant source of protein and nutrition for many communities. Overfishing and pollution can disrupt marine ecosystems, leading to decreased fish populations and reduced availability of nutritious food for children and their families.

      c. Hazardous conditions: Climate change and sea-level rise can result in more frequent and severe storms, flooding, and erosion. These events can endanger the lives and safety of children living in coastal areas, where they may face displacement, loss of housing, and exposure to other hazards.

      Environmental consequences:

      a. Biodiversity loss: The deterioration of marine ecosystems can lead to a decline in biodiversity, affecting marine species and habitats. Children growing up in a world with reduced biodiversity may miss out on the educational, recreational, and cultural benefits associated with vibrant marine ecosystems.

      b. Pollution and health risks: Plastic pollution, oil spills, and other forms of marine pollution pose risks to human health. Children, especially those living near polluted coastlines or relying on contaminated water sources, may face health issues like respiratory problems, skin diseases, and developmental challenges.

       

      Global implications:

      a. Climate change: Oceans play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and heat. However, the increasing levels of carbon emissions contribute to ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures, negatively impacting marine ecosystems. Children face long-term consequences, including more frequent extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and altered marine habitats.

      b. Sustainable future: Preserving the health and productivity of our oceans is essential for future generations. By addressing Goal 14, we can provide children with a sustainable environment, ensuring they have access to resources and ecosystems necessary for their well-being.

       

      It is crucial to prioritise sustainable practices, raise awareness, and empower communities, including children, to contribute to the conservation and protection of life under water at both local and global levels.

      Students can be encouraged to take action to support this particular SDG by participating in various initiatives such as the micro:bit do your :bit challenge

      https://microbit.org/teach/do-your-bit/global-goals/life-below-water/

      or

      Green Schools Green Flag Programme

      Global Citizenship – Marine Environment

    • #195597
      Niamh Brady
      Participant

      <p class=”MsoNormal”>Sustainable Development Goal 14, “Life Below Water,” focuses on conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources. Children can be affected by this goal at both local and global levels in various ways:</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>1. Impact on local communities:</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>a. Livelihoods: In coastal areas, many communities depend on fisheries and marine resources for their livelihoods. If these resources are depleted or degraded, it can lead to reduced income and employment opportunities for families, potentially affecting children’s well-being.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>b. Food security: Oceans provide a significant source of protein and nutrition for many communities. Overfishing and pollution can disrupt marine ecosystems, leading to decreased fish populations and reduced availability of nutritious food for children and their families.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>c. Hazardous conditions: Climate change and sea-level rise can result in more frequent and severe storms, flooding, and erosion. These events can endanger the lives and safety of children living in coastal areas, where they may face displacement, loss of housing, and exposure to other hazards.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>Environmental consequences:</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>a. Biodiversity loss: The deterioration of marine ecosystems can lead to a decline in biodiversity, affecting marine species and habitats. Children growing up in a world with reduced biodiversity may miss out on the educational, recreational, and cultural benefits associated with vibrant marine ecosystems.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>b. Pollution and health risks: Plastic pollution, oil spills, and other forms of marine pollution pose risks to human health. Children, especially those living near polluted coastlines or relying on contaminated water sources, may face health issues like respiratory problems, skin diseases, and developmental challenges.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>Global implications:</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>a. Climate change: Oceans play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and heat. However, the increasing levels of carbon emissions contribute to ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures, negatively impacting marine ecosystems. Children face long-term consequences, including more frequent extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and altered marine habitats.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>b. Sustainable future: Preserving the health and productivity of our oceans is essential for future generations. By addressing Goal 14, we can provide children with a sustainable environment, ensuring they have access to resources and ecosystems necessary for their well-being.</p>
       
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>It is crucial to prioritise sustainable practices, raise awareness, and empower communities, including children, to contribute to the conservation and protection of life under water at both local and global levels. Students can be encouraged to take action to support this particular SDG by participating in various intiatives such as:</p>
      micro:bit do your :bit challenge

      https://microbit.org/teach/do-your-bit/global-goals/life-below-water/

      and

      Green Schools Green Flag Programme

      Global Citizenship – Marine Environment

    • #195863
      Patrick Curran
      Participant

      I have chosen Goal 12: “Responsible Consumption by All”. This is a goal aims to reduce food waste by individuals and companies, reduce the generation of waste, and ensure that large companies’ practices are responsible, open and environmentally sound.

      I feel that this is an important goal to focus on because we are all guilty of being irresponsible with food waste. I often see children’s lunchboxes being packed away at the end of the day and there is so much unconsumed food that is destined for the bin. I think that it’s important to make them aware of the impact of this kind of waste and to enable them to be more reflective when packing their lunches or when taking one bite out of an apple, etc.

      Some of the activities that I would do to promote Goal 12 would include:

      – Encouraging recycling in school. Ensure that the bins are correctly labelled and that the children are aware of what exactly should go into each bin.

      – Planning for more recycled art projects. Ask the children to bring in egg cartons, milk cartons etc from home and incorporate them into art lessons.

      – Conduct waste surveys in class. Look at the wrappers and rubbish left after lunch and encourage the children to reduce this throughout the week by using reusable and recyclable products (lunchboxes instead of ziplock bags etc).

      – Look at up recipes for common unfinished foods at home, such as smoothies etc. Show the children how to chop and freeze veg, fruit for smoothies etc to save them being dumped.

      • #196004
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Patrick,

        Thanks for sharing so many practical ways in which children and schools can work through the sustainable development goal in question. It’s a problem that I would be very conscious of, (from a financial as well as environmental point of view) and I’m sure many people are guilty of succumbing to food waste. Your suggestions offer alternatives to food waste, without placing extra burden on teachers in teems of time, workload, etc. The ‘recycling’ of leftover food for making pies, smoothies, etc. is a great idea. Perhaps a competition could be ran and they could bring in things made from leftovers at home.

      • #197331
        Eimear Donohoe
        Participant

        Hi Patrick you have made some fantastic suggestions for goal 8. I totally agree the amount of wasted food going home each day in lunch boxes is awful. I particularly liked your ideas of looking up the recipes for unfinished foods at home to save them from being dumped. I think children would really engage with this one.

        Recycling art projects would work really well as well. Children would really engage with this also.

      • #198093
        Michelle O Regan
        Participant

        I completely agree, the waste dumped from lunch boxes day in day out is terrible.

      • #200949
        Keelan Conway
        Participant

        Hi Patrick,

        You have made some great points here. I too have noticed the amount of food waste in classrooms that I have taught in, particularly in Deis schools where hot lunches are allocated to children.

        The idea of teaching the children how to make smoothies using fruit which would usually go to waste is a practical concept which I will look to implement in my practice going forward.

      • #201091
        Dara Feiritéar
        Participant

        Hi Patrick, we did a lunch survey on the food that was in lunch boxes in our class. It was surprising the amount of children who had one or more bits of food in their lunchbox that they didn’t like and that would usually either be swapped or end up in the bin. The amount of food waste decreased in our class after this.

    • #196040
      Triona Mullally
      Participant

      I would choose sustainable development goal 6 clean water and sanitation. Comprehensive water education provides the necessary tools to monitor water quality in order to reduce contamination, helps to improve water use by developing greater resources for its reuse and contributes to raising awareness among communities to ensure they play an active part in improving their water management and sanitation.

      There is a huge amount of activities and assignments that can be based on the theme of water.

      The theme of water offers a great opportunity for group work, I would ask the groups to list ways in which they use water in their everyday lives. E.g. washing, cooking, drinking, cleaning. This would lead to a discussion on the volume of water used in daily actions and habits. That would develop into why it is important to conserve water. Turn off tap when brushing teeth, taking short showers. Here the children would develop their understanding of conscious water consumption, thus motivating themselves and others to change patterns of unsustainable water consumption.

      This discussion would lead onto activities based on good hygiene and sanitation. Clean water is required for proper hand-washing and sanitation skills. I would discuss with the class how water is essential to life. I would explain that water constitutes up to 65% of the human body and 90% of the structure of plants. if we were deprived of water, no living being can survive for long. I would then guide the children on project work based on water pollution and discuss and research how the existence of human life, animals and plants are seriously threatened because of pollution of rivers, water shortages in certain regions of the world and droughts caused by climate change.

      • #196093

        You have highlighted some excellent ideas for addressing Goal 6 : Clean water and sanitation with primary school students. The idea of using group work as a teaching strategy when covering this topic is excellent as it would allow for good quality pupil led conversation and investigations.

      • #196128
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Tríona,

        Thanks for highlighting the integration that can occur through the topic of water. Many of these sustainable development goals lend themselves to cross curricular integration.

        Exemplar 8 from the Science Teacher Guidelines (pg. 48) also offers insight into how an integrated unit of work can be carried out on the theme of water. I like how you have mentioned the importance of covering the theory of the importance of water in the survival of plants / humans. There is scope to design an investigation around this then.

      • #197038
        Fintina Kealey
        Participant

        There is great linkage across the curriculum int the above post. Having read it I have gotten some lovely ideas for the theme of water and activities associated with it. It was a great post to read.

    • #196062

      One of the Sustainable Development Goals that has a significant impact on children is Goal 2: Zero Hunger. At the global level, millions of children suffer from malnutrition and hunger-related diseases, which can lead to stunted growth, cognitive impairment, and even death. This is particularly true in developing countries, where poverty, conflict, and climate change can exacerbate food insecurity.

      At the local level, children in low-income communities may also be affected by food insecurity, as they may not have access to healthy and affordable food options. This can lead to poor nutrition, which can impact their physical and cognitive development, as well as their academic performance.

      To address this issue, it’s important to promote sustainable agriculture and food systems, increase access to nutritious and affordable food, and support programs that provide food assistance to those in need. By doing so, we can help ensure that all children have access to the nutritious food they need to thrive, both at the local and global levels.

      • #196111
        Michael Conway
        Participant

        Hi Rachel

        I completely agree. It is an issue that affects many people around the world. Children do not realise that a student next to them may be experiencing this.

        Education is key to this. It always reminds me of ‘Teaching a man to fish as opposed to giving a man a fish’ analogy.

        Learners need to be equipped with the tools to provide for themselves.

        Donations do help but we also need to look long-term for solutions. It is a balanced approach and every small step brings us closer to a positive outcome.

        A holistic approach to this is so important- from field to table is a vital piece of practical knowledge all individuals should be aware of and exposed to.

      • #196127
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Rachel,

        Thanks for your contribution. It is certainly relevant and one which has been echoed throughout the forums on this course. Trocáire have a number of excellent educational resources which can be used to explore this theme. These resources are updated annually in time for Lent.

        The importance of diet and nutrition can be explored and discussed through the lens of the SPHE or Science Curriculum.  Indeed, the promotion of sustainable agriculture and food systems has links with the geography curriculum. This all points towards the truly integrated nature of development education, and how the sustainable development goals can be interwoven into many subjects.

    • #196108
      Michael Conway
      Participant

      <span style=”color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>Choose a topic related to the Sustainable Development Goals and consider how children might be affected by it at both local and global levels. Post your response (150 words min.)</span>

      Zero hunger is a SDG goal that connects with many people- it is something that is widely discussed in society and is often a concern that individuals donate to, to try and make a positive impact in other parts of the world. It is a real issue in our own country which is not often discussed. (or is not as highlighted in the minds of children)

      Teaching children to create their own school garden- showing them how to grow their own fruit and vegetables, how to care for them in environemntally friendly ways. Demonstrating that plants can be grown in very small spaces- window boxes, plant ‘walls’ and transferring this to allottments and gardens at home is important to show children that education can help individuals provide for themselves.

      Having gardeners come in and explain plants, plant seeds and how to care for plants and educating children and other stakeholders in the community would be great. I know close to our school are people who forage for edible plants and cook them into nutritious meals. (Discussing the dangers of choosing plants that are not good for us)

      Inviting a cook/chef into teach children how to cook and bake- make balanced meals and talk about the important of fueling our bodies is important also. Being able to source/grow, prepare and cook meals is an important life skill. It can be adjusted to the age of the learner.

      The children could also explore fair-trade and note how we can help by choosing to purchase from ethically sourced suppliers or co-ops which benefits individuals in other parts of the world. Recognising that inequalities exist locally as well as globally, hunger and food shortages are an issue for many.

      On the other side of this issue is food wastage- how we can be more mindful of purchases, use what we have and compost items that are no longer needed by us but can enrich the soil.

      • #196625
        Aisling Corbett
        Participant

        Love your idea of inviting a chef/cook into school Michael! Definitely one for the plans next year. The students would love this and are always motivated by outside visitors! I often feel like they are sick of the teachers telling them about topics like healthy eating, nutrition etc so the novelty of a visitor to speak to them about it and engage in hands on activities such as cooking lesson would be great for them! Could get the parents on board too!

    • #196133
      Hugh Rooney
      Participant

      I have chosen goal 7 which is Affordable and Clean Energy. This goal aims to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. This is a very topical issue at present, particularly as energy prices in Ireland are rising exponentially. Our own school energy bill has increased significantly. As a whole school community we could investigate how we could reduce our energy consumption within the school. I think having children complete energy project, looking at how we can save energy at home and at school would be very productive exercise. We could then look at how electricity and energy is not guaranteed in lots of countries worldwide. We could look at energy inequality between different countries. The children could research sustainable energy sources and how we can utilise this to more effect in the locality. There is a local wind farm that we could visit or have some representatives visit our school to highlight the importance of renewable energy.

      • #196514
        Sarah Muldowney
        Participant

        Hi Hugh,

        I like your idea of allowing the children to complete research for an energy project. I find that projects are a great way to spark interest with children. Looking at energy inequality is a nice idea and I think visiting a local wind farm would be a great opportunity for the school.

      • #199561
        Deirdre O’Brien
        Participant

        A brilliant, practical approach that we could all do with following. It is only by really looking at what we consume that we can do something about it.

    • #196194
      Sam Briggs
      Participant

      Children are really affected by Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3) – Good Health and Well-being, both in Ireland and around the world. It’s important to make sure kids have good health and feel well because it affects their growth and future.
      In Ireland, kids may face challenges related to their physical and mental health.

      I would teach my students about how to stay healthy and take care of themselves. We’ll talk about eating good food, preventing diseases, and taking care of our mental well-being. They can use new learning to make good choices for themselves. By nurturing a safe and supportive environment in school where students can help and support each other, it would ensure that if someone is feeling down or needs help, they can talk to their friends or teachers.

      By getting students involved in supporting SDG 3 in Ireland, we can make sure they grow up healthy and happy.

      • #196241
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Sam,

        Thanks for your post and for sharing your suggestions for this sustainable development goal. There is so much scope to develop this in classrooms, and it is of relevance to every child in every classroom. From a whole-school perspective, it shines an interesting light on the potential links between development education and the new Wellbeing Policy Statement and Framework for Practice. Potentially, schools may seek to use the framework (and the SSE process that goes with it) to look at specific sustainable development goals that relate to the area and cover multiple bases.

      • #196261
        Sam Briggs
        Participant

        Thanks Eoghan. Our school had a focus on wellbeing last year, which we really honed in on during SPHE. I think its great that the new curriculum framework includes ‘Being Well’ as one of the seven key competencies!

      • #200781
        Frances Walsh
        Participant

        Hi Sam, I believe that the importance of health and wellbeing cannot be ever underestimated. Studies show that positive childhood wellbeing is the greatest indicator of future success. It is greater that intelligence or economic advantage/disadvantage.

        This year we plan on using the Weaving Wellbeing programme across the middle and senior classes in our school. This programme really breaks down the concept of wellbeing and the skills needed for positive wellbeing, into easy to understand lessons for children.

    • #196206
      Saoirse Rooney
      Participant

      It the World Was Only 100 People is an excellent explanation to describe the population of the world and the global inequality that exists. It is very effective teaching tool to relay the idea of 7.6 billion people represented as 100 people. It is an excellent way to discuss global inequality and out position in the world.

      Goal 6 to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all can be linked to the Green Flag programme in many schools. It links very well into the third theme in the programme.  Ireland has excellent water resources and we often take it for granted. Schools and homes use vast qualities of water and we can all manage our water consumption better and limit wastage. Over 1.6 billion people lack safely managed drinking water. 2.8 billion people lack safely managed sanitation and 1.9 billion people lack basic hand hygiene facilities. These numbers are staggering. We need to inform students that we are privileged to have access to safe drinking water and to encourage reusing water where necessary. We harvest the rain water for use in the school garden. This is a good reminder of the importance of water in growing food and can be linked to goals 2 and 12.

      Giving children practical ways to reduce their consumption of water will help remind them of the sustainable management of water in Ireland and in the world.

       

      • #198444

        Hi Saoirse, I did not pick goal 6 to discuss but I think you made great points on it .  The Green Flag is a great initiative to use when discussing the sustainability of water at a school level. You also mentioned about practical ways children can reduce wasting water which can be quite broad and be used in a school setting, home setting or even in the Community.

      • #201274
        Dervilla Ryan
        Participant

        Hi Saoirse,

        I agree that if the World Was Only 100 People is an excellent resource in explaining the inequality that exists in the spread of wealth and resources among its poulation. A great starting point for discussion in the classroom.

        Some great practical ideas to explore sustainabiliy and conservation of water at a school and local level here too, thanks.

    • #196511
      Sarah Muldowney
      Participant

      I have chosen goal 3, ‘Good Health and Well Being’ as I feel this is ver topical today even with young people in schools. I teach 5th class in a DEIS school in the subarbs of Dublin and well-being is something I would tend to put a lot of focus on within the classroom. I think due to covid, this sustainable development goal is one that affects children locally and globally. The pandemic shed light on how important this goal is. Since the pandemic, there has been a rise in cases of anxiety in children and therefore I think the concept of promoting well-being in school is very important.

      I would encouarge my students to take action to support this goal by promoting healthy eating policies in school, allowing them to work on projects to look at why it is so important to eat healthy for good health and to work on a classroom plan to support our physical health (daily run a lap of yard etc.). Regarding well-being, I would encourage them to get involved in activities for themselves such as our daily mindfulness, journalling and coming up with ideas for the yearly well-being week in school.

    • #196623
      Aisling Corbett
      Participant

      One topic related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that significantly affects children at both local and global levels is SDG 2: Zero Hunger.

      Local Level:

      At the local level, children may experience malnutrition and food insecurity, which can have severe consequences for their health and development. Insufficient access to nutritious food can lead to stunted growth, micronutrient deficiencies, and compromised immune systems, making children more vulnerable to diseases and impairing their cognitive and physical development.Insufficient access to nutritious food and hunger can result in various health problems among children, including increased susceptibility to illnesses, impaired immune function, and higher mortality rates. Children experiencing hunger may also face psychosocial challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and stress, which further impact their overall well-being.

      Global level:
      Global efforts are necessary to address hunger and malnutrition effectively. International cooperation, support, and aid are crucial for developing countries to improve their agricultural systems, enhance food security, and implement effective nutrition programs targeted at children. Collaborative initiatives can help create sustainable solutions and ensure that children worldwide have access to adequate and nutritious food.

      How I would encourage students to get involved:
      Encourage students to get involved in local food initiatives that promote sustainable and equitable food systems. This can include community gardens, farmers’ markets, or supporting local food banks. Students can participate in volunteering activities, organise fundraisers, or advocate for policies that address food waste, promote nutritious diets, and reduce food inequality.

      • #196666
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Aisling,

        Thanks for your post, and I really like how you have broken this specific sustainable development goal down into its impact on both a local and global level. The idea of ‘hunger’ can be something which children often feel is reserved for third-world countries. Being able to provide examples of how it is happening (and how common it is) in Ireland adds that extra layer of relevance for the children. Your suggestions for getting children involved are all brilliant – depending on your school’s context and location, you may be able to undertake some of them on the school grounds, e.g. planting crops in school gardens.

      • #196820
        Imelda Whelan
        Participant

        Hi Aisling, I love your idea about involving the children in local food initiatives. an interesting point that was raised in the paper in module 1 was the idea of pro-active approaches to change the environment for all that are not seen as a charitable act but rather as a community enhancing initiative.

      • #197046
        Katie Doyle
        Participant

        Hi Aisling, I think the points you’ve made are very clear and breaking the goals down so that it is attainable both locally and globally is excellent. The concept of “starvation” may be something that children often think is reserved for third world countries. Being able to provide examples of how this happens  in Ireland adds so much importance to children. Your plan for involving all the children is wonderful.

    • #196733
      Laura Smyth
      Participant

      The idea of the children focusing in on the Sustainable Development Goals and fleshing out what it means for us locally & globally is a really effective way of highlighting global issues & making us realise how we are all part of a common humanity. What can we do to make a difference? What actions can we take? It will certainly help make our children become conscientious global citizens. It would be nice for schools to try cover all the goals over the course of a child’s school life and help raise awareness amongst the kids & community.

      The goal I have chosen is Goal 2: Zero Hunger. I teach in a DEIS band 1 area & on a daily basis can see the effect of lack of food & lack of nutritious food. Local food banks have never been as busy & cannot keep up with demand as costs soar for households. Bad nutrition has an effect in so many ways from obesity to bad concentration, poor growth etc. Unhealthy choices are so readily available and are often cheaper than healthy foods. Life’s pressures can also effect what meals are made if at all. On a local level we can educate children about healthy eating through looking at meal plans, food pyramid etc but I think it is key to involve education of parents here. Local community initiatives are plentiful in our area for example Healthy Meals Made Easy & all for free. HSCL co-ordinators also run Parents Plus Healthy Families courses which teach the importance of good nutrition & meal planning in an affordable way. Primary children very often don’t have control over what they are eating so it is very important to involve families. I think as part of looking at Goal 2 we would also have to look at highlighting & reducing the food waste generated daily by the Hot Meals Programme. It would tie in nicely with looking at the global situation with hunger. Looking at the global situation with the children we could have children learn about a country or region effected by hunger -look at the daily food consumption & compare with our own, look at the daily struggles people encounter just to get food & water and also look at initiatives that have been implemented to help people overcome these issues- communities who have been educated in growing crops in adverse conditions for example. Trocaire have some good resources for looking at this. Maybe a whole school initiative one a year to support a charity that helps with world hunger could be part of the project also. Reducing food waste in the school could extend to families also, with the children bringing home their ideas.

      • #196766
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Laura,

        Keeping the two questions you have listed (What can we do to make a difference? & What actions can we take?) at the centre of your learning intentions is so important when it comes to looking at these sustainable development goals. In a DEIS Band 1 context, you could argue that some of the sustainable development goals have an even greater significance. You have listed some of the amazing work being carried out in your school, with the HSCL coordinator at the forefront. You have alluded to the importance of acknowledging the global issue, as well as the local issue, and the organisation of an annual fundraiser is a great idea.

      • #198514
        Amy Craven
        Participant

        Hi Laura, I really liked your points about Goal 2: Zero Hunger. I think it’s vital to involve the parents when it comes to looking at nutrition and healthy eating. Cooking lessons where parents can come in to support the lessons, while also picking up some healthy recipes sounds like a great idea. We’re also part of the Hot Meals Programme and the amount of waste this generates is staggering, particularly in comparison to the rolls and sandwiches they used to receive. We used to donate these sandwiches and snacks to a local food bank each week, where as now the hot meals can’t be reheated and must be dumped.

    • #196767
      Noreen Keane
      Participant

      I had this poster of Sustainable Development Goals on my classroom wall this year. We often discussed the different topics as they came up across the curriculum and how we can address inequality through these goals. As an urban school, with no green space I would focus on goal ‘Life on Land’. It is good to show the children that changes can be made even in limited and challenging circumstances. Biodiversity is the variety of animals, plants, fungi and bacteria found in one area and how they work together to support life. Our school, as part of the Green Schools programme, has installed bird and bat boxes to the building. We hang bird feeders outside classroom windows or on the balconies. One of my colleagues had a wormery on the balcony, which got children and teachers from all classes involved. Growing vegetables in window boxes is something that is in our plans to create ecosystems. We are and want to do more to promote biodiversity in our urban school, they may be small changes, but very worthwhile for the school community.

      • #197051
        Patrick Brophy
        Participant

        I love the idea of having it on display as so many aspects of the school day apply to one of the goals. Making reference to it regularly can reinforce its importance very subtly with the students. Thanks!

      • #203558
        Sinead Moore
        Participant

        Hi Noreen,

        I love the idea of integrating the SDG into many areas of the curriculum by displaying the goals and regularly linking back to them. This can help the children identify and explore the meaning of each goal as well as apply and relate the goals to their world. Thanks for the idea!

    • #196818
      Imelda Whelan
      Participant

      <p class=”MsoNormal”>I choose Goal number 12 Responsible Consumption and Production. As a senior girls’ school, I think that it would be very beneficial to look at the role that the fast fashion industry plays in challenging effective sustainability. It would be very interesting, informative and beneficial to challenge our pupils to explore the social, economic and environmental impact that the fashion industry has on a global level. It would be thought provoking for the children to explore how small changes can change this narrative and to identify the role that they can play in this process. Our pupils would be very keen supporters of certain large online retailers who mass produce high demand items with low end focus on ethical sourcing, employee support, working conditions and sustainability. It would be interesting to explore this topic with our pupils and identify alternative approaches and choices that could be made with a stronger global citizenship consciousness.</p>

    • #196828
      Niall Hickey
      Participant

      While all these goals are important in their own ways, I think I would zone in on goal 3 “good health and well being”. I think we’ll being is the centre of all lives now especially in our young people growing up. This year in my school we had a healthy eating policy. We introduced the food dudes programme and gave children the opportunity to taste some fruit and veg that they hadn’t had before. It was a real success and it gave children opportunities to monitor each others progress and get certificates when reaching their end goal. I think PE and sports play a huge part in children’s well being and physical appearance as obesity has become a major topic of discussion on recent years. I also would use weaving well being programmes to help children realise their character strengths and how they can use these for any difficulties that might arise.

      • #196882
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Niall,

        The sustainable development goal you have chosen is very apt, considering the national focus now being placed on this field. Between the onset of the Wellbeing Policy Statement and the new curricular area in the Primary Curriculum Framework, the topic of ‘wellbeing’ is going to be at the fore over the coming years. Many of the programmes and initiatives you have mentioned (whilst having a heavy workload on teachers in the ‘set up’ phase) can have huge benefits for the children.

      • #198339
        Kevin Barry
        Participant

        Hi Niall,

        I agree with you about the important of health and wellbeing in schools. The food dudes programme is an excellent one to help children with healthy eating and to try and encourage them to eat new foods. Wellbeing is something that is becoming more and more important in schools and there are lots of new initiatives to promote it in schools.

    • #197037
      Fintina Kealey
      Participant

      I think goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all is a goal that would really strike a cord and have significant meaning for the children we teach (on a local level) as the children I teach all have access to education, an education that we strive to make inclusive, equal and of a quality that promotes life long learning opportunity giving prosperity for the future. It is something that not all children across the world have and would offer the children we teach an opportunity to feel empathy for children of their age who do not have the opportunity or access to covid.

      Covid took the opportunity for face-to-face education away from children in March 2020 and the children came back to school with a new found appreciation for what they had missed. I feel the need for quality education across the world is a goal the children would strongly connect with and invest interest.  Children in older classes could take action with research and awareness campaigns as well as contacting local councillors to see how our government are supporting efforts for these goals to be met globally.

       

    • #197043
      Katie Doyle
      Participant

      <span style=”color: #354254; font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;”>I think there is a lot of relevance today to Goal 3, “Good Health and Well Being. Obesity is an issue for young people in Ireland, and it’s been a problem for a long time. This problem has only increased since covid 19. </span>

      <span style=”color: #354254; font-family: Roboto, sans-serif; font-size: 15px;”> While we need to work on this problem at the national level, it’s important for young people to be made aware of this goal, and the ways they can help achieve it. In my view, this goal is relevant because kids today need to learn about good health habits and how they can keep their bodies healthy both physically and mentally. Their teachers can play an important role by implementing policy changes that lead to more active lifestyles for kids who don’t enjoy sports.</span>

    • #197048
      Patrick Brophy
      Participant

      I would choose a combination of the sustainable development goals focusing on ‘Life on Land’ and ‘Reduced Inequalities’. One of my favourite lessons to do is the Cocoa trading game where students begin to recognise that the top Cocoa producers are all located in the South but the main consumers are in the North. On a local level we would look at where the price of a locally purchased bar of chocolate goes, and how much of the cost is returned to the farmer who grows the Cocoa (an example of the game is available here https://www.christianaid.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-07/chocolate-trade-game-introductory-activities.pdf These activities create much scope for cross curricular learning, comparing our lives and looking at the role of advertising in our consumption. I would encourage the students to choose a separate commodity and present their projects their class and/or the school community, and perhaps and advertising poster comparing the rights of workers and farmers abroad to those we have at home.

      • #199060
        Teresa Gillespie
        Participant

        Christian Aid’s Cocoa trading game is a great resource. Thank you for sharing.

    • #197069
      Sam Wright
      Participant

      Sustainable Development Goal 3, ‘Good Health and Wellbeing,’ is a critical goal that has profound implications for children’s lives locally and globally. Access to quality healthcare, nutrition, and a safe environment significantly impacts children’s physical and mental health, development, and overall well-being. At the local level, children in Ireland may face challenges such as unequal access to healthcare services, mental health issues, or lifestyle-related health concerns. Globally, children in marginalized communities often lack access to essential healthcare, face malnutrition, and are vulnerable to infectious diseases.

       

      To encourage my students to take action in support of SDG 3 and other relevant goals in Ireland, I would adopt an ESD approach focused on local-level actions. Firstly, I would educate students about the importance of good health and well-being, fostering awareness and empathy for the challenges faced by children both locally and globally. This could involve exploring topics like nutrition, mental health, physical activity, and promoting healthy habits.

       

      I would encourage students to take action by initiating local-level projects and campaigns. For example, they could organise health awareness events. By involving students in hands-on activities, they can develop leadership skills, critical thinking, and a sense of responsibility towards sustainable development.

       

      Furthermore, I would encourage students to advocate for policy changes that promote good health and well-being. This could involve writing letters to local representatives, participating in community forums, or discussing healthcare-related issues. By amplifying their voices and promoting their active participation, students can contribute to the achievement of SDG 3 and make a positive impact on the health and well-being of children in Ireland and beyond.

    • #197327
      Eimear Donohoe
      Participant

      In reality children on various ages are affected to varying degrees by the 17 sustainable development goals locally and globally. The goal I would focus on is goal number 3: Health and Wellbeing.

      Good health and wellbeing is absolutely necessary for everyone. In Ireland if we are unwell we know we will have access to medial support. In other countries, developing or undeveloped countries this is not always the case. I think as educators it’s important to explore this with the children. This could be done with children with group work or as projects. Children could explore and compare the differences in health and wellbeing in Ireland and other countries basing it on statistics etc. I think to do this as a starting activity it would open the eyes of the children to how privileged they really are to have easy access to support with health and wellbeing. To follow on for this to promote this goal locally children could explore ways of having and maintaining good health with a focus on healthy eating, exercise and minding your wellbeing. There are lots of resources for this and it would fit in nicely in SPHE, PE, history and many other subjects. As taking care of mental health is such a challenge for children nowadays especially with the influence of social media, peer pressure etc a lot of talk and discussion is needed in this area. I think a school and community environment needs to be very open and welcoming to talking about this, so that children feel that there is a place to turn to should they feel that they are struggling with their mental health.

       

      • #197442
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Eimear,

        Thanks for your post. There are so many different avenues in which you can explore with this sustainable development goal. You have correctly noted that less developed countries have very poor health services. Despite being much maligned, the Irish health service is likely to be better than many around the world. This could form the topic for a debate, with children researching different health systems for facts and figures to back up their arguments for/against the motion.

      • #197781
        Mary Mc Elvaney
        Participant

        Hello Sam,

        You have listed lots of interesting ways of engaging in conversation with health, well being and mental health. As a whole school initiative we have a positive quote that is shared in every class each month. There is a visual and short phrase that teachers refer to. This is a motivational way of reinforcing positive self-talk and acts as a reminder to think about others.

    • #197774
      Mary Mc Elvaney
      Participant

      Number 15 involves ‘protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems is the area of ‘Life on Land that I feel has been explored at a local level in our school through the Green School initiative. We were awarded the Bio-diversity flag. This involved many similar ideas such as a bug hotel, bird feeders, wildflower area, herb and flower garden. With an aim of helping the local eco-systems thrive and spread awareness amongst students. The next flag will involve a global focus on litter and waste. I feel this will make us all question the items that we purchase and order ie. deliveries, single use items.

      The global element of this goal i.e. the desserts or forests was researched in junior classes but I feel there is more scope in the senior classes through independent research of child friendly articles using I pads and technology. The videos shared in this module really makes us reflect on the wider impact our day to day choices have on our local and global community.

       

    • #197859

      I was very interested in Mickey Flanagan’s post regarding the 4th sustainable goal i.e. “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote learning opportunities for all” as I would like to explore this one too with my 5th class, as it can highlight large disparities in regard to children’s access  to and quality of education from a very young age.Project work in groups to explore the child in Global North in contrast to the child in Global South would inform the children of this.Oxfam have a great range of books with these types of facts and I have frequently used the one called “Mo Scoil” which lists examples of children from around 30 countries in the world and how they access school, what facilities they have, the number of children per class etc.It was particularly interesting for the children to see a young child wash her hair in a bucket of water as opposed to taking a shower before walking 10km  barefoot to school.

      We bring our 6th class to Irish Aid for a talk and to get resources every year as a regular event. We would have the poster on the wall in the classroom and refer to it when discussing situations like Afghanistan and the ban on girls ‘ education.Malala is of course a very interesting and brave example of a young activist for her community and we have learned her story.

      Darerca Egan who has outlined her and her school’s partnership with a school in Cambodia, which is a very hands on and vibrant initiative. This is what schools which are in priveleged areas should seek out to encourage their pupils to take an active part in the Global World. This initiative is undertaken by a few secondary schools in our area as regards the Mellon Housing Initiative and some of our pupils will hopefully be a part of it when they enter secondary education.

      • #197885
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Caitlin

        I agree exploring education opportunities and access would be an excellent topic for your 5th class to explore. Education like so many things can be taken for granted and highlighting some of the extreme disparities will certainly provide food for thought and maybe a degree of appreciation for how fortunate they are. Thanks too  for sharing the information on the Oxfam books and your experience of using the examples to compare and contrast with their peers in other less advantaged countries. Another poignant approach to explore educational inequality closer to home is to remind them of the two unprecedented lockdowns recently lived through which highlighted education inequality. Whilst learning continued remotely it was inhibitive and unsocial and once the initial novelty wore off the reality of the have access to face-to-face teaching and learning was evident to all.

      • #198991
        Grainne Murphy
        Participant

        Hi Caitlin,

        I enjoyed reading through your post! Thank you for sharing lots of practical resources that you use in your school. I got a few ideas from them that I would like to adopt with my own class in the coming school year!

         

    • #197870
      Ann Gaughan
      Participant

      Sustainable Development Goal 3 ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’ is an important goal that affects children locally and globally. Since covid, anxiety and resilience have been at an all time low, especially with the older pupils (in my opinion). Teaching 6th class, I feel this goal can be incorporated into SPHE but 30 mins a week just simply isn’t enough time! I think all senior class teachers should promote this goal but in a curriculum heavy environment, this is easier said than done, I am hoping the new framework will allow us more time to have open discussions, raise awareness, introduce a variety of programmes such as promoting healthy eating, introduce a variety of sports/ exercises not just the typical soccer, GAA..who don’t suit everyone, coping strategies to deal with difficult situations, recognising our feelings…all lovely topics to promote good health and wellbeing. In doing this, it should highlight how priveledged we actually are..but this shouldn’t belittle anyones feelings/ make them feel bad about feeling a certain way so this would nee to be done with sincere compassion and sensitivity.
      In short, it’s not rocket science…we all work better when we are happy! Providing our children with the skills to be content and happy will prepare them for the world out there.

      • #198290
        Kieran Ormond
        Participant

        Hi Ann,

        I agree that health and well-being needs to be more prominent across the whole curriculum, and that the time allocated for SPHE just isn’t enough. It’s true that we all work better when we are happy and healthy. Equally I think, a bigger emphasis needs to be put on understanding our emotions in higher year groups so that children become more resilient and have stronger coping mechanisms when they have tougher and less happy times.

      • #199388
        Deirdre Seery
        Participant

        Hi Ann,

        I also agree that well-being is an important goal and definitely since Covid it should be a priority. I think using an array of coping mechanisms would help, like you said we need different strategies.

    • #197918
      Peter Mc Mahon
      Participant

      The goal that I have chosen is Affordable and Clean Energy (Goal 7). This goal aims to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.  This is not only something which effects people globally, but also closer to home as well. Throughout the school year there has been a number of occasions where children have not had access to electricity in the area where I work. It is important to raise awareness of the different types of renewable energy sources that can be used. We have a Green Schools committee and the children on this help to raise awareness on energy consumption in our school. We have introduced initiatives whereby ‘inspectors’ monitor each classroom to ensure lights, switches and devices are turned off when not in use, with the most efficient classes receiving rewards. This helps the children to learn and to practice energy management. Following current trends it is projected that in 2030 nearly 700 million people will still be without electricity globally. It is important to raise awareness of this to the children.

      • #198034
        Emma Molloy
        Participant

        Hi Peter,

        Thank you for your post, I enjoyed reading through it. You made some great points of how we can raise awareness among the children we teach about renewable, affordable and ‘green’ sources of energy. Particularly because some children in your school have experienced a shortage at some point.

        That is an eye-opening statistic also that in 2030 nearly 700 million people will still live without electricity. A lot of children tend to live in their own ‘bubble’ and it is important we highlight that not everyone, globally, is as fortunate as many of us in Ireland. It is important also to make children aware of how their own actions can impact the globe. We can inform them of how to be better global citizens to protect our planet and to live sustainably.

    • #197967
      Emma Molloy
      Participant

      I enjoyed reading through the ESD TO 2023 document. Here is one quote that really stood out to me: Education for Sustainable Development empowers learners with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to make informed decisions and to take responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society empowering people of all genders, for present and future generations, while respecting cultural diversity.

      The topic I chose in relation to sustainable development goals was the strategy for Quality Education. This approach puts a systematic plan in place for all learners to receive education that is of a high standard, regardless of their background or social context. This affects children at a local level as there is a plan being put into place for children to gain an education that is relevant in shaping their education for a prosperous future. All children deserve an education that is tailored to their individual needs, while also incorporating development education to incorporate global citizenship. This opens a child’s eyes to the wider world around them and gives them the tools they need to be an active citizen. It also helps the child to realise that they can have an impact in their world through activism and ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

    • #198096
      Michelle O Regan
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal I have decided to focus on is Good Health and Wellbeing. We have invested a lot of time and energy into promoting positive wellbeing in our school. Wellbeing being part of the School Self-evaluation next year will be mean a huge drive for Wellbeing across the country. Admittedly, having a WSE this year made us look at how we run our school and refocus our minds on wellness. It rightly so, was investigated by our inspectors and was a great opportunity to showcase how we weave wellness into all aspects of school life.

      While wellbeing in our school is a very localised drive, our hope is that the children will carry the gems with them and use them throughout their lives. We love to involve parents and encourage their involvement when possible. One way in which we do this is through homework. For the last fortnight in June, the children forget their traditional practices and focus on wellbeing. Teachers give tasks focusing on mindfulness, positive affirmations, gratitude etc. This is one small way in which we promote wellbeing, but small changes like this make a huge impact over time.

       

      • #198247
        eimear o callaghan
        Participant

        Good Health and wellbeing

        I was delighted to see more emphasis on Wellbeing in the new curriculum. Especially after Covid and the effects that this had on children’s physical, mental, emotional wellbeing, social connections and even negative habits adopted during this period of time. Good health and wellbeing  is imperative to happy, healthy child.

    • #198107
      Helen Walsh
      Participant

      I have chosen the Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land.

      We are fortunate to have access to large areas of outdoor space in our school and local community including a river which is ideal for observing frogs & various fish and creatures – with access to such habitats the children are able to develop first hand knowledge and responsibility.

      Similarly, a bug-hotel provides a rich environment for lessons promoting discussion and interest as well as a wildflower garden and no-mow areas. Learning is often incidental during outdoor play time when insect & minibeast hunts happen ‘naturally’.

      Local and national initiatives have enabled the children to take ownership of various areas of the school grounds and children have researched and grown various flowering plants, with sunflowers being a firm favourite!

      An activity which the children have enjoyed for the past few years is planting & growing vegetables then preparing a soup which is enjoyed by all pupils on a cool Autumn day.

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Helen Walsh.
      • #198803
        Christine O’Brien
        Participant

        I love the idea of planting and growing and going on to make soup.  This could then very naturally lead on to looking at SDG 2 – Zero Hunger and how due to climate, governments, oppression of the Global South, some people have not got the same privilege.  In turn, this could lead to focusing the children engaging in activism of their own through awareness-raising, letters to national/international representatives etc.

      • #199066
        Celine Glynn
        Participant

        Hi Helen,

        I’ve set up a similar area in my school. The vegetable idea is fantastic and it would be a real full circle moment in the school I’m sure. I’ll have to look into doing this in the future.

        Thanks for the great idea.

    • #198155
      Niamh Mc Hugh
      Participant

      As we are currently working on our Green School Energy Flag I would choose goal number 7, Affordable and Clean Energy. I think it is a really important topic for children of all ages to explore and better understand. Energy is something we can take for granted everyday and forget how important it is that we decrease our dependence on energy that comes from fossil fuels and increase renewable energy sources that do not emit harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and further increase the negative impact on Climate change. We can easily help our children to identify the positive impacts renewable energy can have on our world. Reducing energy is something we can support and encourage our children to investigate themselves and a topic that they can feel they can have a real impact on with some simple and consistent actions. In our school we would carry out energy audits and help the children to identify areas around the school where energy can be saved and encourage and support them in finding solutions as to how this can be achieved.  I would hope that by educating our children around this topic in school and facilitating them to create their own solutions in addressing this issue within the school environment that they can then take this learning and apply it in other contexts outside of school at home and in the wider community. By doing this they will also help to educate others in their lives around this topic and hopefully set examples for others to continue to follow for long-term sustainable change.

    • #198165
      Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
      Course Facilitator

      Hi Niamh,

      I think the Green Schools initiative is really effective way for children to learn about the effects of climate change and actively do something about it. The work done by GS committees the length and breath of the country is inspiring, educating children practically that they all can help address the problems with small steps in their lives. Working towards the second energy flag raises awareness of climate change and gets children thinking about reducing energy and more sustainable way of generating same. One suggestion I would have to run in tandem and complimentary to the GS work is Climate Detectives (Covered in detail on one of our other courses) from ESA. You can find out more about it at Climate detectives – Climate detectives (esa.int)

       

      • #198241
        eimear o callaghan
        Participant

        Affordable and Clean Energy SDG 7

        The introduction of the Green Schools initiative in 1997 has had a positive affect in bringing awareness to children about sustainability. It encourages children to get flags when they reach certain goals including saving energy, water and waste. In our school we have a Green School Committee made up of 2 pupils from 1st to 6th class. It is a sought after position and the children feel a great sense of purpose and achievement when they get recognition for their hard work throughout the year. We intend to achieve all 7 flags. So far we have received The Litter and Waste Flag . By asking the children to bring their rubbish home has really helped towards this. Also introducing a compost bin in the school garden has helped reduce the amount of waste. It is important that everyone gets on board with these initiatives and I have seen a great change in culture within our school over the last decade with regard to personal responsibility from staff and pupils to ensure that they are correctly using the recycling and compost bins within the classroom/staffroom.
        We are proud of our school initiative ‘WOW’ ‘Walk on Wednesdays.’ Thankfully most parents, teachers and even the local creches  are on board too.
        Most recently we received our Water Flag. The children enjoyed monitoring and encouraging water conservation throughout the school. As a whole school unit, we had an assembly about the importance of water conservation and responsible usage throughout the school.
        As our school is growing, we are hoping to get ecar charging units in the carpark to encourage sustainable transportation methods. We will continue to work hard to achieve The Biodiversity Flag and Global Citizenship Flags over the next 2 years. It is undoubtedly a whole school plan that cannot be achieved without everyones support and cooperation.

    • #198289
      Kieran Ormond
      Participant

      I would enjoy investigating sustainable development goal number 11 with the students of primary school, sustainable cities and communities. Particularly in 4th class where the children explore renewable and non-renewable forms of energy. The students always love exploring ways that we can make Ireland greener and the energy that is around them in their localities but it’s important to highlight that different climates, terrains and economic statuses have on what energies and transports they can best utilise. This lesson in the past has broadened students understanding of how geopolitics can impact the people of a countries’ privilege. Children can investigate the public transport and ways this could be made greener and the pros and cons of the public transport in their locality or the region in the world that they chose to research. This could be extended to the children taken action by promoting conservation of energy and taking data on types of renewable energy their community utilises.

    • #198337
      anny hynes
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal I have selected is number 14 – Life Below Water.

      I chose this goal, as this is one our school as a community have been working on. Our Green School Committee, along with two different classes made two trips to the beach to help with a clean up organsied by Flossie and the Beach Cleaners. The amount of rubbish that collected was both disturbing and brilliant. We later found out, several of the children encouraged their family members to join them on different weekends after this, to help make a difference by cleaning up the beaches. This is an initiative, we have said we would like to be a part of each year.

      The SDG 14 says
      By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution

      This date is unfortunately very close and the impact made isn’t as significant as I think people would hope. We will continue to create awareness and contribute as much as we can to achieving this goal.
      We have two local parks and do a clean up day twice a year with the whole school. Picker pals is a great initiative to encourage this.

      • #198355
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Anny,

        Thanks for sharing, what a wonderful practical example of getting children active in their own locality and better still how some went back of their own accord with parents at weekends to continue the clean-up. As teachers it’s a great feeling to know what we’re doing with our students extends beyond the classroom walls.

        As for Green Schools, it’s an excellent initiative as it helps relate climate change to the children’s lives and reinforces the idea that changes that we make locally no matter how small can have significant impact.

    • #198338
      Kevin Barry
      Participant

      The goal that I have chosen is Water and Sanitisation SDG 6. Clean water and sanitation is a critical issue for both children and adults, both at local and global levels. In Ireland, students can take action to support SDG 6 by raising awareness about the importance of clean water and sanitation, and by actively participating in initiatives to conserve water and improve access to sanitation facilities in their local communities.

      I would challenge the students to identify water-related issues in their own school or community, such as water wastage or inadequate sanitation facilities. They would research and propose practical solutions to address these issues, considering factors like water conservation, rainwater harvesting, or promoting reusable water bottles.

      To engage the wider community, students could create informative posters or organize a campaign to educate others about water conservation and the importance of maintaining clean sanitation facilities. They could also collaborate with local organizations or government agencies to advocate for improved infrastructure and policies related to clean water and sanitation.

      • #198340
        anny hynes
        Participant

        Hi Kevin,

        This is a great SDG to pick.  Your suggestion to challenge the students to identify water related issues in their own areas is great and quite topical for us at the moment.  We had a ‘No Drink!’ notice for 3 days last week and I have just come back from Thurles today where there was a similar notice.  It can really give the children a sense of the impact this has on them with just a few days compared to numerous children all over the world that this is in fact a daily reality for.  This could make this SDG a lot more relatable for them.

        I love your idea of creating a campaign to educate others and the collaboration with the wider school community.

      • #203355
        Pauline Cahill
        Participant

        Water and sanitation is a very important goal for all countries. Access to clean drinking water is essential for everyday living. It is something that is often taken for granted and it is only in times of water disruption where there are possible contaminations or leaks that we really appreciate how dependent we are on it.

        Kevin has made a lot of good suggestions about raising awareness in the schools and the wider community. Researching and providing possible solutions for these issues will really help the children to focus on the problem and to look carefully at possible solutions. The ideas about creating posters is also great, as it can help to remind us all of the importance of conserving water. Making contact with the local organisations will also help the children to understand where clean water comes from and the requirements to maintain good quality and service to those using it.

         

    • #198388
      Naomi Curran
      Participant

      I have chosen goal 13 climate action because this is a goal that affects the daily lives of children on a local and global level. In our school we encourage our students to take a variety of actions themselves to help with the SDGs through the following ways;

      Only turning on the lights when we need them.

      Put the materials into the correct bins paper, plastic and compost.

      Do not waste paper when it is not needed-for example when a member of staff prints a sheet one sided that they did not mean to print or it did not turn out the way they wanted it to ,we use them pages in the classroom for the kids to draw on or use for art so nothing gets wasted.

      At the end of the school year 6th class organise an end of year sale where all the children of the school bring in unwanted items if they want too. The 6th class set up the sale and each child brings in a maximum of two euro and they can buy other children’s items in the sale once again only if they want too. This is a great day out for all and the money goes to a different charity each year.

    • #198441

      In relation to the Sustainable Development Goals, I have chosen goal number 2 “Zero Hunger”. This goal aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. At a local level, children in low-income families may experience food insecurity. This has a negative impact on their overall wellbeing and the development of the whole child. This can impact their performance both at a physical, emotional and academic level in school. At a global level, millions of children suffer from malnutrition. This weakens their immune system, making them more likely to pick up diseases. Malnutrition also causes a higher level of death rates. I would encourage my students to take action by inviting them to grow their own fruit and vegetables in the school garden. Additionally, they could explore fair trade products in their local supermarket and complete some research on this. Whole class discussions on “Reducing Food Waste” could occur. The whole school community could get involved by having trocaire boxes in the school that children and staff could contribute to.

      • #198927
        Julie-Ann Murphy
        Participant

        I too encourage my pupils to grow their own food. We established a school garden and gardening club a few years ago which has been a huge success.

    • #198504
      Amy Craven
      Participant

      I chose Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. For lessons, I would focus on Target 12.5: By 2030 to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. This topic has links locally and globally as children can get steps in their own lives that will impact global sustainability.

       

      Local Level:

       

      -Lessons on recycling and reducing waste in our classroom

      -Discuss the importance of composting and how we use this waste in our wormery and school garden

      -Use of lessons from Repak about becoming recycling ambassadors and encourage children to continue this work in their homes.

      -Children could complete their surveys about their own consumption and waste and try to make improvements based on the tips they’ve learnt

      -Links to the Green Schools Initiative

       

      Global Level:

       

      -Lessons on the effects of deforestation and why these areas are being destroyed

      -Lessons about the fast fashion industry

      -Lessons about eating local seasonal food

       

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Amy Craven.
    • #198802
      Christine O’Brien
      Participant

      The topic that I am looking at is ‘Poverty/Homelessness’ and it relates to the Sustainable Development Goal No. 1 – ‘No Poverty’. This topic has implications locally and globally. Firstly, within the classroom, it is important to be sensitive to the children you are working with and recognise that poverty/homelessness may be a lived experience for some of them.

      On a local level, poverty/homelessness may mean children do not have enough (healthy) food to eat and may be hungry. They may not have adequate regular access to sanitation/hygiene facilities. If they are over 6, attending the doctor may be too costly and their health may deteriorate. They may not have an appropriate place or supports to engage in homework or other educational tasks so they may fall behind in education. The goals are interlinked and here we can see how SDG 1 can directly influence SDG 2, 3, 4 and 6. This all serves to perpetuate the poverty cycle.

      Globally, similar can be said on a larger scale, poverty/homelessness can lead to hunger, displacement, loss of employment, ill-health, poor or no access to education, clean water and sanitation. It can result in a seemingly never-ending cycle of poverty which ensures a massive divide remains between the Global North and Global South.

      To encourage your students to take action to support the SDGs, we would begin by using the philosophy for children approach to discuss the topic of poverty/homelessness in a safe, secure, familiar way. I would then encourage and facilitate research on the meaning of equality by examining poverty/homelessness. The children would then explore the work of a prominent figure or group in social justice activism in Ireland in relation to poverty/homelessness in Ireland e.g. Focus Ireland, Peter McVerry, Simon Community. Using active student voice, the children would choose one aspect that they too can become activists on locally through awareness-raising, letters to local representatives etc.

    • #198909
      Julie Murphy
      Participant

      I really had to reflect on this. When being asked to choose or pick a topic related to sustainable development goals and consdering how children might be affected by it at both local and global levels. I am refering to the united nations sustainable development goals. I am going to choose number 6 clean water. Firstly, children need to be explicitly taught about water and sanitation. They need to be shown examples of peoples lives all around the world. They need to see the conditions in which other people live in. They then need to look at themselves, how they use water. They could design a poster to show ways in water in an effective and efficient manner without wasting water. They could work in groups to collaborate listing ways in which we can reduce wasting water, such as, using the dishwasher once a day instead of twice a day in the staffroom, turning the boiler off at the end of the day when we know no one will be using it.

    • #198926
      Julie-Ann Murphy
      Participant

       

      One topic in the Sustainable development Goals is very close to my heart and that is number 12-Responsible consumption and Production. Several years ago I established a gardening Club in my school. We have several raised beds which the children tend to. We grow organic crops and then take the time to involve the rest of the school by regularly updating them on the progress of the crops using power point presentation and encouraging them to visit the garden. When crops are harvested some are sent home with children while the remainder is used in our kitchen and children are taught basic cooking skills. The importance of this seed-to-plate lesson cannot be overstated. Children are taught about the levels of time and energy needed to grow their food and therefore they are less likely to waste it. They can very clearly see how there are no pesticides or huge transport times and costs involved either. By educating children we can open their eyes to both the local and global issues of food production and waste.

      An area where I empowered my pupils to use their voice was when a local hotel was developing its gardens. A fountain in the garden was a known refuge for frogs to lay frogspawn. The children wrote a letter to the owner of the hotel encouraging him not to demolish the fountain. Unfortunately their pleas fell on deaf ears but it led us to install a small pond in our school garden.

       

      • #199407
        Kate McCarthy
        Participant

        Hi Julie-Ann, I agree that gardening is a great activity to get the children evolved with. It really educates them on food production whilst activating life skills for them also.

      • #199712
        Ellen Stack
        Participant

        I love this idea, this is something that was started in our school and then fell by the wayside post covid. I would love to get things up and running next year again. I think it’s a great idea to get the students involved in the process of growing. It really does bring the whole idea of seed to plate to life.

      • #207042
        Patrycja Mazurczak
        Participant

        This is a great idea and I can see how it would work well in promoting awareness around food production and wastage while also providing lifelong skills!

    • #198989
      Grainne Murphy
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal that I have chosen is Goal 13 Climate Action. This Goal is vitally important as climate change, global warming and issues of pollution etc. has an effect on everyone and we all need to work together as a global community to solve this issue. I would encourage students to take action firstly by using the resources from this course to educate children on what Climate Action is and how it can be done, starting with simple things that we do in our day to day lives at home and at school eg. Saving energy, saving water. We would continue to implement the Green Flag in our school and encourage all children to get involved. At a local level, we could link up with the local Tidy Towns committee and link in with local organisations responsible for climate action and climate change. We could also invite in guest speakers to talk to the children about these issues.

    • #199056
      Teresa Gillespie
      Participant

      The sustainable development goal I’ve chosen is number six: clean water and sanitation. Water is essential to life and a person’s survival depends on the availability of clean and wholesome drinking water. As a child I often heard my mother talking about having to walk to the well every day to get drinking water. I really enjoyed walking the half mile or so to collect water for my grandparents when I visited them. For me it was a novelty as I was brought up in a housing estate where the mains water was potable.

      Millions upon millions of people in the global south have to walk on average six kilometres  per day to collect water from rivers, wells, ponds and streams. This has a profound effect on the ability of children, particularly girls, to attend school.

      Poor sanitation contaminates drinking water, rivers, beaches and food crops. It is estimated that 3.6 billion people don’t have toilets that work properly. Walking barefoot in an area where open defecation is practised increases the risk of contracting such deadly diseases as cholera and typhoid. Children of course are particularly vulnerable.

      The Green Schools website has excellent resources on water. I particularly liked the book ‘Water Stories for Around the World’ which includes beautifully illustrated stories from India,Botswana, Spain, Nigeria, Australia , China and Grecce.

      Children are wonderful at brainstorming ways to conserve water eg switching off the tap when brushing teeth, taking a shower instead of a bath, washing the car by hand, only putting  the dishwasher on when it has a full load , using a water butt to collect rainwater etc.Having a class monitor to remind others not to leave the tap running when cleaning art palettes and brushes etc is just one example of a  small step used  to teach children to have respect for water,  our most valuable  natural resource.

      • #199257
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Teresa,

        Having to walk 6km for safe drinking water, 3.6 billion people without adequate sanitation and children being continually at risk of contracting deadly diseases like cholera and typhoid are all shocking facts about the reality of so many lives in the global south a reality our students will find difficult to appreciate and understand. Separately your own real-life experience of walking half a mile should work as a powerful segue into the topic. I’m minded of my own father’s story of bringing a bottle of tea and a sod of turf to school daily. The Ireland children inhabit today is such a radically different one to that such experiences date back to.

        Thanks also for sharing your recommendation of ‘Water Stories for Around the World’ which I’ve taken the liberty of linking to here so other participants can explore on the Green Schools website.

    • #199065
      Celine Glynn
      Participant

      The topic that I have chosen to the Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land.

      In my school I have resurrected a small bit of green at the side of our school into our ‘Outdoor Classroom’.

      Each class group in the school have ownership of different areas of the classroom. Some of the initiatives that are included in our garden are an insect hotel. This has been made out of old pallets and builder waste materials such as blocks, wood offcuts and pipes, as well as some household items such as food tins. The children love to observe the residents of our hotel. Our top layer is made up of some wildflowers which help to attract visitors.

      Another class made scrap art bird feeders using old milk cartons. We also having a hanging herb garden where children planted herbs into 2l bottles lying on their sides. We have a mowed path through this area and the rest lies ‘no now’ for most of the year.

      There are so many opportunities for children to observe life on land in this small area.

       

      • #199228
        Aoife Slacke
        Participant

        Think it is so important that the children have ownership of the work and it makes it much more meaningful to them and they are much more likely to engage.

      • #199264
        anna keyes
        Participant

        These are such excellent, hands on ideas for your students to explore!

      • #199400
        Kate McCarthy
        Participant

        I love the idea of an insect hotel! I can really see how children of all ages would be interested in this and certainly it would motivate them to care for life on land.

      • #202916
        Danielle Phillips
        Participant

        These sounds like some great ideas I would say these would work great in both infants classes and older classes.

    • #199226
      Aoife Slacke
      Participant

      I have chosen Goal number 13 and have done so for a number of reasons:
      I have just completed a course on Climate Change and Action so the themes are very much aligned to what we are discussing here so I feel I can use resources from both.
      I think this is a goal that everyone can become involved in because we can see the impact of climate change on not only a global level but also on a local level too.
      As climate change affects us all I feel children are more likely to get involved and also it doesn’t single out one country, culture, religion, etc so it is less likely children will feel embarrassed because of their personal history.
      Little everyday things can have a big impact on climate change and there is no dependence on fundraising etc.
      It is a great way to involve the wider school community such as parents/guardians, local sport clubs, shops etc.

      • #199249
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Aoife,
        As I’ve mooted on another forum on this course I think no matter where children are growing up in Ireland today, they can see the effects of climate change, an unfortunate reality. However, using this shared local experience is a powerful springboard for engaging your class and developing their awareness causes and effects of climate change both locally and globally. As you noted it’s about getting the students to realise that the little everyday changes that we all can make can have significant impact.

    • #199261
      anna keyes
      Participant

      I would choose to look at the Sustainable Development Goal number 7- Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for us all.

      I feel that this goal overlaps with many of the other objectives in this course, as it touches on inequality between countries and their access to energy as well as their role in producing it. It also is vital when it comes to climate change- modern and sustainable energy needs to be clean and renewable.

      I would explore this goal with the children accross various subjects on the curriculum. In maths, I would look at data, exploring the data given on the United Nations Goals website. In SESE, I would look at renewable energy sources and how they work, landscapes that would produce and harness natural, clean energy. And I would also look at the history of power, electricity and the Industrial Revolution. Obviously, SPHE would be a subject in which you could really delve into the Sustainable Development Goals and our roles as Global citizens.

    • #199387
      Deirdre Seery
      Participant

      Clean water and sanitation are essential to the health and well-being of children both locally and globally in Ireland we can take action to support the sustainable development goals by educating ourselves and others about the importance of clean water and sanitation, and by taking practical steps to reduce our own water usage and waste.

      One way to encourage students to take action is to provide opportunities for them to learn about issues and get involved in local initiatives. For example, you could organize a school-wide campaign to reduce plastic waste or work with local organizations to support community-led efforts to improve access to clean water and sanitation. Another way to support SDGs is to integrate the principles of sustainability into the curriculum. This could include teaching students about the science of water and sanitation, As well as the social and economic factors that influence access to these resources. You could also explore the role of technology in addressing water and sanitation challenges and encourage students to develop innovative solutions to these issues.

      Overall by empowering students to take action and supporting them in their efforts, we can help to accelerate local-level actions towards achieving the SDGs in Ireland and beyond.

       

      • #199420
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Deirdre,

        Teresa, a previous contributor on the forum outlined a number of facts relating to access to clean water and sanitation which are truly sobering when you see them in black and white. Probably most shocking is that around 3.6 billion people live without adequate sanitation. However, getting our students t0 fully appreciate and understand the reality if this is difficult as their own life experiences are so far removed. Your suggestions of getting students to link in with local initiatives around improving water quality and sanitation should improve understanding as looking at the topic through the lens of their locality makes it more relatable and real.

    • #199399
      Kate McCarthy
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal that I would chose is Goal 2-Zero Hunger. As I work in a DEIS 1 school, where often children in the school are hungry or sufficient food is not easily assessable to them, I recognize that this could be a sensitive topic. However I also think it would be very beneficial to the children.

      I think this goal could be linked well with themes of nutrition and healthy eating, the importance of good food etc. It would resonate with the children in my school that lack of money is a barrier to them being well-fed/ getting sufficient nutrition. I would then delve into other areas of the world or the wider school community where hunger is as prevalent, if not more so. This would enable the children to create connections between different areas and people in the world and highlight to them the collaboration that is necessary to end hunger. On a school level I would encourage children to be grateful of the food they have, to recognize organizations and food banks that provide food for those in need. I would engage my class with the school polytunnel and garden in which we could grow fruit and veg which would open discussion and prompt realization that countries can work together to provide for those who are hungry.

      • #199719
        Louise Brosnan
        Participant

        I agree Kate, I work in a special school and many of our pupils would come from a disadvantages background and may not have an adequate lunch, snack each day.

    • #199560
      Deirdre O’Brien
      Participant

      Sustainable Development Goals – Climate Action
      I think climate action is something we need to focus on and support the sustainable development goals on both a local and global level. My school are considering trying to obtain another green flag and I think we can tie these things together. Climate change is visible all around us, especially when we look at current weather trends being experienced in several countries around the world. Unfortunately, it is generally the people who do the least to cause climate change that suffer the most and I think we need to do as much as we can to help. It goes without saying, but there are many things we can do in school and in the community which can set a good example for others. I would begin with a village mapping exercise that relates to how environmentally conscious we are (presence of recycling banks, electric car chargers, access to public transport etc). I would ask the class to create presentations which would be delivered to our local councillors. I firmly believe that we can’t control other people’s actions but we can set a good example and encourage others to follow by showing them the benefits of small changes in their lives.

      • #199580
        Profile photo ofpbrennan_jy7f6fe0Pat Brennan
        Course Facilitator

        Hi Deirdre,

        You haven’t mentioned specifically what flag your school are going for this time, but I suspect if you plan linking in with the SDG 13 – Climate Action. it’s probably related to one of the five Green Schools Global Citizenship themes. As mooted previously on this forum I think the Green Schools initiative is a brilliant whole-school programme that empowers students meaningfully and practically, instilling in them the sense that we can all make a difference by being more environmentally aware. I like your idea of mapping your village to highlight where eco-friendly amenities and services are, even just from an information perspective. Another suggestion which dovetails with what you’ve detailed is getting your class to examine their carbon footprint by examining energy use. SEAI’s energyineducation.ie site is a great place to start for ideas to get your class involved in energy data gathering which in turn can link in with your Green Schools programme.

         

      • #204873
        Deirdre Ryan
        Participant

        Hi Deirdre, I love the idea of mapping the local area and highlighting eco friendly amenities. All to often people are unaware of resources on their door step! Raising awareness is key to making change. I will definitely take this back to my school locality in September.

    • #199705
      Ellen Stack
      Participant

      I would choose Goal 15 Life on Land because biodiversity is a current focus in our school as part of the Green Schools initiative. This year the students also were lucky enough to get to join forces with the local Tidy Towns committee and learned a lot from the work they were undertaking in the area. They took us on walks aimed at learning about the habitats and species that are on our doorstep in the locality. It was so informative for teachers and students alike. Some participants on the forum mentioned wildflower  gardens within the school which is something I would love to get up and running. It would be an excellent real life resource in terms of learning about pollination. Locally, we are looking at helping the local ecosystems thrive but on a global level this could be looking at forests etc. Having the children become part of all these processes would help to to prevent biodiversity loss.

      • #199753
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Ellen,

        This particular sustainable development goal is one that fits in very well with the Green Schools movement. Much of what you have spoken about here has been referenced by participants in module 5 (when discussing the role of the Green Schools committee in relation to climate change). Obviously, the schools location and geography would have to lend itself to the creation of gardens, etc. I really love the idea of involving the local Tidy Towns representatives – this creates a great link with the community and encourages young people to ‘buy in’ to their work. This will help spread the message to parents and other members of the community.

      • #202164
        Eleanor Curran
        Participant

        I love the idea of getting involved in the Tidy Towns competition, its taken very seriously in our area along with Fingal’s Beach clean up.  So it would definitely get our parents attention. Biodiversity is big in our school we have bug hotels, wormeries and bird nest cams. Its a popular topic in our school!

    • #199718
      Louise Brosnan
      Participant

      Children can be severely affected both locally and globally by food shortages. Locally, food shortages can lead to malnutrition, stunted growth, and increased child mortality rates. Lack of proper nutrition can impair cognitive development, reduce school attendance and performance, and increase vulnerability to exploitation. Children may also suffer from social and emotional impacts, leading to long-term consequences for their physical and mental health. Globally, the impact of food shortages on children can result in reduced human capital, increased healthcare costs, and hindered economic development. Addressing food shortages is crucial to ensure children’s well-being and the overall progress of societies.
      Community and school actions to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include promoting awareness and education about the SDGs, organizing community clean-up and recycling initiatives, supporting local sustainable businesses, advocating for renewable energy sources, implementing sustainable practices in schools (such as reducing waste and promoting eco-friendly transportation), fostering inclusive and equitable communities, supporting local farmers and sustainable food systems, and engaging in partnerships and collaborations with local organisations and government agencies to address specific SDGs. These actions empower individuals and communities to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and create a more sustainable future.

      • #199755
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Louise,

        It is certainly true to say that this is both a local and a global problem. Very often, when we think of this SDG, we think of the children portrayed in Trocáire/GOAL advertisements in the third world. Ehigie’s article in module 1 spoke about the global interconnectedness that is part of citizenship – exploring this issue through this SDG is a great way to explore and raise awareness of this. Indeed, links could also be drawn with Ellen’s earlier post about biodiversity (Goal 15) and using the school grounds to promote sustainable food practices, etc.

    • #200779
      Frances Walsh
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal that I have chosen to focus on is number 13 ‘Climate Action’. Nowadays more so than ever before climate is at the forefront of the media. The recent flash flooding here in Ireland during the summer months and the extreme heatwaves and wildfires in Southern Europe are events that are familiar to our pupils.

      Pupils need to become aware of firstly the causes of climate change, the effects that climate has and then finally the action that can be taken.

      The ‘Climate Action Superheroes’ resources from the United Nations would be a fantastic resource to explore the various ways to support climate action in a fun, interactive way.

      I believe that literature is an excellent way for children to explore sometimes complex notions in an interesting and useful way. The book ‘The Cosmic Climate Invention’ would be a great resource to enable discussion about individual and group responsibility to our planet.

      Finally, the ‘Design Thinking for Climate’ circular economy project would be a superb practical, STEAM project that would help children understand how circular economy would work towards climate action.

      • #201016
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Frances,

        Thank you for your post. It goes without saying that it is extremely topical and of the utmost relevance in the modern world. There are so many examples of extreme weather to draw upon, and it’s likely that the children will be shocked with how many of these have occurred in the last 10 years. Breaking temperature records and rainfall records on an annual basis is certainly not something that could be considered as ‘normal’. I was unaware of the ‘Design Thinking for Climate’ project, but it certainly sounds like it could add serious depth to your work on this sustainable development goal.

      • #203061
        Shona Barrett
        Participant

        Hi Frances, I agree that Climate action is more important now than ever and evidence can be seen of such change in recent times but in Ireland as well as in Europe this Summer. The “Climate Action Superheroes” resources are an excellent way of making a hard hitting topic relevant and engaging for kids. I will definitely be using it with my 6th class in the coming year.

      • #202288
        Maire Stokes
        Participant

        I was between writing about 2 SDG goals & I chose goal 3 however I intend to work a lot on climate change also. As you mentiones Frances the ‘Climate Action Superheroes’ from the UN is a great resource that I intend using.

    • #200944
      Keelan Conway
      Participant

      The topic I have chosen is quality education, which relates to goal number 4 of the Sustainable Development Education goals. The goal of quality education seeks to ensure that inclusive and equitable education is provided for all. As a teacher in an educate together school, the issue of inclusivity is of central concern to me as an educator.

      At local level, schools should be equipped with the necessary resources and facilities to ensure that wheelchair users are not at a disadvantage. A variety of factors need to be taken into consideration to ensure that schools are made wheelchair accessible. A wheelchair user may be at a disadvantage if a school does not meet the requirements of a wheelchair accessible facility, for example the inclusion of accessible toilets and a lift if the school is a two-story building. To ensure quality and inclusive education is provided for all, it is necessary that these factors are considered by schools at local level.

      Globally, it is crucial that governments across the world keep inclusivity at the core of their planning when planning for and building the infrastructure which exists within a school and its environs. Footpaths and roads surrounding schools need to be accessible for all. If this is not provided in all schools across the world, children with disabilities are limited in terms of the educational opportunities they may wish to pursue.

      To encourage my students to take action to support this Sustainable Development Goal in Ireland, I would organise a walking trip around our local community whereby we would investigate the infrastructure of our local area. If it was found that certain aspects or areas of the community were inaccessible for all members of the community, I would allow the children to take pictures. Upon reviewal of the images and considering what could be done, I would assist the children in writing letters to local TD’s.

    • #201078
      Dara Feiritéar
      Participant

      The SDG goal that I have chosen is number 13, Climate Action. I think in the past few months that this has been to the forefront of media reporting both locally and globally and every global citizen has a responsibility towards. Children in school are very aware of Climate change, be it when they holiday abroad to our extremely wet weather during the summer. In school, we can always identify what we can change or do better to play our part. We participate in Cycle to School days, recycling, turning lights on only when needed, water conservation to name but a few. The hope is always that this will be practiced at home also. Our school, has an active Green Committee when ensure that the classes are being as ‘Green’ as they can be. The global effects of climate action are in everyone’s interest, and ones that we must not shy away from. Changing behaviour must start locally.

    • #201271
      Dervilla Ryan
      Participant

      Choose a topic related to the Sustainable Development Goals and consider how children might be affected by it at both local and global levels. Post your response (150 words min.) as a reply to this post on how you would encourage your students to take action to support the SDGs in Ireland in support of ESD to 2030 Priority Action Area 5: Accelerating Local Level Actions

      Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. This goal aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
      Unfortunately food poverty is something that is experienced by children all over the world. Children globally do not have access to nutrient dense, healthy food which impacts the child’s social, emotional and physical development. In the Global South, children die from malnutrition every day. In the global North children suffer from serious health implications due to poor diet and obesity.
      There is so much room for meaningful discussion and raising awareness here with an older class, being mindful of the sensitive nature of the topic. Learning about the benefits of healthy foods and making good food choices is so important, whilst also discussing the barriers to gaining access to these foods, money. This is relevant both locally and globally.
      In motivating the children to take action here to support SDG2 I would draw on the resources in this module and encourage the children to engage in gardening activities combined with eating foods produced by themselves.Shopping locally and looking at where our food comes from is an interesting topic to explore. We could study and decode food labels and promote healthier and sustainable choices across the school in an awareness campaign. A field trip to a local supermarket to research how far our foods have traveled and how this impacts the world could also be linked here. Taking action to support SDG2 will impact other goals too.

      • #201295
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Dervilla,

        Thank you for your post. The sustainable development goal you have chosen is particularly relevant in Ireland these days. When we read about the goal initially we can feel that it relates to hunger and poverty in the third world. However, the reality is that thousands of children in our own country are living in food poverty. The consumption of processed and fatty foods in the ‘Global North’ is also having huge health implications, as you have alluded to. You have provided many excellent examples of ‘real-world’ activities that we could use explore this goal – I really like the idea of researching the origins of our food.

    • #201873
      Declan Hogan
      Participant

      Children’s health and wellbeing are essential for their development and growth. They also play a role in reducing poverty, inequality, and improving the environment. Pupils in primary schools can take action to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ireland by promoting healthy eating and physical activity, educating about the environment, raising awareness about global issues, and volunteering in the community. They can also plant trees, reduce, reuse, and recycle, conserve water, and be kind to others. By taking action, pupils can make a difference in the world and create a better future for themselves and for all children.

      Here are some of the key points that I’ve noted as part of my studies:

      Children’s health and wellbeing are essential for their development and growth.

      Pupils in primary schools can take action to support the SDGs in Ireland in a number of ways.

      By taking action, pupils can make a difference in the world and create a better future for themselves and for all children.

    • #202104
      Maire Stokes
      Participant

      <p class=”MsoNormal”>I have chosen Goal 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good health & wellbeing.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>Good health & wellbeing is an extremely important & relevant goal for us all. It helps us lead happy & fulfilled lives & helps us to get through difficult times in our lives. Our school is proactive in promoting both physical & mental health. It is something I have always focused on in my own classroom. We establish good relationships with our pupils. (Boys’ school 2<sup>nd</sup>-6<sup>th</sup>), where they know that we are there for them & that we will try our best to help them in any way we can. As well as scheduled movement breaks for children with additional needs, we have movement breaks for the whole class also. These can take the form of a 2 minute dance, circuit based exercises or yoga poses & stretches. We also work on mindfulness using end of day short meditations.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>We compete competitively in lots of sports, however the focus is always on enjoyment & on how much each individual has improved personally. We are conscious that competitive team sports may not be for everyone & we try to expose our boys to a wide range of physical activities such as, tennis, parcour, orienteering, kayaking, climbing (school tour), different styles of dance, cycling etc…..</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>We try to lead by example, with staff trying new sports/activities also & always praise the effort & the participation rather than just the outcome. S.P.H.E. lessons on Healthy eating are another focus for us as well as learning about our bodies in science, with the focus of how exercise enhances everything for us physically & mentally. ( dopamine & serotonin)</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>We have a Special class & an Autism class in our school & the boys in these classes are integrated as much as possible with full support from both class teachers & SNA’s. It is wonderful to see boys not in these classes supporting, encouraging & celebrating the physical achievements of these pupils.</p>

    • #202161
      Eleanor Curran
      Participant

      I think I would focus on Goal 3 ‘Good Health and Well Being’ as I believe it to be an extremely important aspect of young people’s lives in today’s world, in both physical and mental health. We all know that obesity amongst our children is a very serious issue in our primary schools and even though many programmes have been attempted by the government, the problem is still present and growing. This goal also mentions well being and this is quite topical more so than ever since Covid with our primary school children. I believe this particular goal to be very relevant as our young people need to be made aware, and educated and need to realise that they and their parents have the ability to fight these issues at local level. As teachers we can enable them to support this goal. In my school we have the Amber Flag, we follow the Friends for Life and the Weaving well Being programme all of which promote health and positive well being.

      • #202208
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Eleanor,

        Thank you for your post. The findings of the ‘Growing up in Ireland’ study point to this being of particular importance in Ireland. The fact that over 1 in 5 Irish children were categorised as ‘obese’ and almost 1 in 2 had not mastered the fundamental movement skills before leaving primary school is a testament to this. Promoting healthy choices is a key element of the SPHE curriculum, and carries resonance within the realm of development education also. The use of whole-school programmes in relation to any of the sustainable development goals is an excellent idea, as it promotes greater investment and can lead to community involvement also. The ‘Amber Flag’ initiative ticks both of these boxes.

      • #202368
        Joanna Hughes
        Participant

        This is another very interesting and relevant topic Eleanor, I am also studying psychology part time, and the impact Covid has had on childrens mental health in Ireland has not yet been measured but is predicted to be immense,

    • #202300
      Niall Fitzgibbon
      Participant

      The topic I have decided to focus on is SDG 3, Good Health and Wellbeing. I believe  in recent years there is a lot more focus and emphasis on this topic in our schools and at both local and global levels, particularly since the Covid pandemic. I think this is due to many factors such as child obesity, poor diets and an increase anxiety and mental health issues among children.

      I teach in a very active school where many of the teachers would have a keen interest in sport and fitness, healthy eating, wellbeing and mindfulness, etc. As a school we have undertaken many initiatives to promote the importance of good health and wellbeing among our students. For Wellbeing week , pupils had daily gratitude journals linked to the weaving wellbeing programme, time out Tuesday – Where everyone, including teachers, had to disconnect from using electronics, workout Wednesday – every class had to take part in a fun ‘boot camp’ activity during the day, Meditation Thursday, fruit tasting Friday. We also had a fundraiser on Friday where everyone had to dress up as a colour of the rainbow. These activities created a great sense of the importance of wellbeing, both physically and mentally among students and teachers and created a great atmosphere around the school.

      We also had a 20, 20, 20 challenge where children had to replace one piece of their homework with 20 minutes of something active for 20 days. This was a great success and children posted videos of their chosen activity. It even benefited teachers – doing 20 minutes of yoga, going for 20 minute runs daily or meeting up for a 20 minute sea swim before school.

       

      • #202490
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Niall,

        The importance of this sustainable development goal at an Irish level is underpinned by the findings of the longitudinal study, entitled Growing Up in Ireland. It is fantastic to hear that your school is doing such fantastic work in this regard, and is certainly creating an environment that promotes positive health and wellbeing. I love the concept of the ’20 20 20′ challenge – we are all acutely aware of children’s dispositions towards homework, and doing something innovative like this certainly breaks the monotony and promotes buy-in among the pupils.

      • #203203
        Anderley Kooner
        Participant

        Hi Niall,

        I love the ideas that your school have adopted for the health and wellbeing aspect of SDG. We have active homework once a week and mindful Monday the first Monday of each month where children are not given any written homework and are instead encouraged to do something active or mindful with their families. The ideas you outline would also be great additions.

    • #202347
      Joanna Hughes
      Participant

      I have chosen the topic of good quality education to discuss. I teach 6th class (and have done for the past 2 years). Each September in our English scheme there is an excerpt from I am Malala. I find that my students generally respond with interest to the piece, and I use it as a stimulus to look at education both in Ireland and in other countries around the world. My goal is to help them understand the value of a good education, why they should feel privileged to receive such high-quality education, what blocks might face children in Ireland to receiving a high quality education e.g. homelessness, language, cost of living, and the repercussions for children where they may face blocks to education e.g. distance, prohibition, lack of resources, lack of objectivity. I think that this year, I could improve this lesson topic by engaging in some more activist activities such as tweeting about the right to education, holding an awareness day, creating posters on chrome books and sharing them on the school website.

      • #202492
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Joanna,

        Good quality education is the precursor for change in the world. We have seen this happen throughout history, and it is the single biggest factor in making a country or continent more progressive. The idea of comparing and contrasting education in Ireland with education in less developed countries is a fantastic way of highlighting our privilege. However, as you have alluded to, it is important to consider educational disadvantage within Ireland. Discussions could centre around some of the following points: Do some children in Ireland face similar barriers to those in the developing world in terms of accessing education? Why is this the case and what steps can be taken to address this?

    • #202386
      Kate Liston
      Participant

      I think one issue that needs serious consideration on the part of us in the north is responsible production and consumption. Many children I know spend their weekends in Pennys or Smiths buying new toys or cheap clothing without any thought on the part of their parents as to the environmental and social impact that has on everyone globally. The same can also be said of food consumption and waste in this country. Food that is flown thousands of miles and grown at the determent to local environments is not even given a second thought by most as they fill their trolleys. We live, in this country, in an age of fast, cheap consumerism that is having dire consequences on the environment and negatively impacting on those living in more vulnerable situations in our world. Education for everyone on this issue is paramount in order for people to be more conscious in their consumer habits. Classrooms are a good starting point for this and there are fantastic resources available.

      • #202487
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Kate,

        You have hit on so many pertinent issue in modern society, particularly relevant to the ‘developed north’. The level of waste is shocking, and this can be seen with the amount of space afforded to landfill dumps in Ireland. Fast, cheap consumerism has a huge impact on the environment and large companies have little incentive to change to more sustainable practices. The interconnected nature of the world that was discussed in module 1 seems to be forgotten when it comes to consumerism and meeting the needs of those in the developed world. It is going to require people shouting ‘Stop’ and voting with their feet in terms of purchasing these products.

    • #202566
      Anderley Kooner
      Participant

      <p class=”MsoNormal”>The SDG which I have decided to focus on is SDG 4 quality education. I have chosen this for a simple reason. I feel that if one receives a quality education as a child it will further their understanding of the other 16 SDG’s as they grow older.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>Creating an environment which is safe, welcoming and nurturing is a key part of providing quality education for students. We know that the experiences felt by the youth of today at school will directly influence the feelings of the children of tomorrow, if we provide quality education to our students it will create a positive mindset for the next generation.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>I am biased obviously, but I feel that the school in which I am employed are striving to create quality education for our students. We are a Déis 1 bracketed school. With help from the government in reducing class sizes in recent years our teacher pupil ratio is about 1:12 if resource and learning support teachers are factored in. All students are provided with a hot meal everyday which aids both attendance and overall engagement. Trying to provide quality education doesn’t end there as parent workshops are provided in the school to also help to improve education levels.</p>
      <p class=”MsoNormal”>One area of education which I believe is important to understand and get right is the relationship nowadays between quality internet and quality education. An ever growing proportion of secondary schools insist on each individual student owning their own ipad. Quality internet will be needed by more and more children globally with each passing year if they are to receive a quality education. Would it be a good idea to ensure that every school going child in Ireland has internet connection in their home? Should a parent not be able to provide internet access for their child’s education for whatever reason they should be aided towards doing so.</p>

      • #202583
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Anderley,

        Quality education is both a sustainable development goal and a fundamental human right. Education is the path through which doors can open for individuals, and ensuring we do our best to allow everyone access to education is one of the key challenges across global society. From teaching in a Deis Band 1 school, you will be acutely aware that barriers to quality education exist in this country also, and it is not simply a problem confined to the developing world. The pandemic highlighted the divide in terms of access to devices and internet among our pupils. It’s fair to say that some pupils thrived and that the gap between those with and without access to internet/adequate parental support grew wider.

    • #202569
      Barry Wall
      Participant

      Working in a DEIS band 1 school also I see how personal experiences with education has a knock on effect for the next generation. We should endeavour to provide quality education (SDG 4) as sometimes parents have their own negative experiences from their time at school and may not put the same value on education. Also parents can feel that they are unable to help their children with homework. I think that as a society in Ireland that we are trying to bridge the gap within education and trying to improve its quality. Ratio of teacher v pupils is down, books are free for the first time ever in all primary schools and many schools have food provided. This in turn has really helped with school attendance and in class learning. Barriers to quality education should be taken away such as poor internet. As of census 2020 a figure of 92% had internet access which sounds fantastic but if one were to look at it in a different light approximately 410,000 people do not have internet access. It was clear from that module that Internet access is a barrier to quality education in the global south.

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Barry Wall. Reason: Crazy mumbo jumbo in the text
      • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Barry Wall.
      • #202586
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Barry,

        Like Anderley above, the setting you are teaching in makes this sustainable development goal all the wider. When discussions around children not being able to access quality education are taking place, very few will initially identify this as an issue at local level. There are clear efforts being made to address the situation in Ireland, and as you have pointed out the ‘stats’ look and sound good. However, when you break in down 10% of our population is over 500,000 people. This is quite a significant tranche and we need to work on ways to make access to education easier for as many of these as possible.

    • #202667
      Ronan McGrath
      Participant

      Sustainable Development Goal: Education Equality

      Structural inequality is manifested in inequality in education, housing and healthcare. To focus on education, it is certainly a sector where children can be affected by both local and global inequality. From the module, we see the number of children unable to avail of any form of education globally is a growing and worrying number. Often these children are suffering from other inequalities, such as inadequate housing, no healthcare and worse a lack of clean water. Education can be something that could be provided to these children and as demonstrated in the video the more children are educated, the better chances of success they can obtain and in turn the better chance of helping themselves and others lower the inequalities in the world. Educational inequalities is not just a global phenomenon, it is happening right here in Ireland and in our classrooms. This became very evident over the past two years, during the lockdowns. To alter a phrase from George Orwell’s Animal Farm “All people are equal, but some people are more equal than others.” As an educator, I got an even bigger insight into the lives of my students and how much their lives can differ.

      • #203235
        Yvonne Newman
        Participant

        Hi Ronan, I completely agree that the covid years highlighted the inequalities in education as pupils from disadvantaged areas didn’t  engage as much as pupils from middle class areas with the digital learning due to lack of technology in the home , lack of parental intetest/knowledge of technology and difficult home environments . Going to school can be a haven for young people and a place where they grow personally and academically . It is so important that all children all over the world should have a school thety can go to everyday .

    • #202910
      Danielle Phillips
      Participant

      The goal I have chosen is no.3 ‘Good health and Well being’. Its focus is to promote healthy lives and encourage well being in children and their families. I think this goal looks further than the school itself but also is aimed at including and targeting the wider school community. There are numerous different policies and initiatives that can be put in place to achieve this. I teach in a DEIS school and in the last number of years we have introduced things such as; walk on Wednesday, the daily mile, active week, active homework etc. There are so many benefits to introducing these type of initiatives to the school. It creates a healthy and positive environment among children, families and staff. I encourage the children to get involved and work towards goals such as the daily mile. We also have a healthy eating policy in the school and I encourage the children to help parents choose healthy snacks for their lunchboxes.

      Additionally, we engage in daily mindful activities and do daily circles to discuss our feelings and begin the day with positive primers. The children love this routine and engaging in meaningful conversations with peers.

      • #202912
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Danielle,

        I think you have touched on a very important point when you speak about the sustainable development goals being the catalyst for further involvement with the local area and wider school community. The SDG chosen certainly hits on that criteria. Many of the initiatives you have referred to are effective ways of fostering a positive school culture and show clear regard for the promotion of wellbeing across the board. The idea of a ‘positive primer’ is one I was unfamiliar with, but sounds like an excellent way of promoting communication and dialogue being pupils in a meaningful setting.

      • #206360
        Jamie Owens
        Participant

        Hi Danielle,

        I think this is very important goal. I believe wellbeing is such an important area among children and if anything Covid highlighted how important well being is for children.

        I am part of the Well Being committee in school and we have Well Being Wednesdays once a month. This entails children getting activity ( no written homework) for homework such as going for a walk, planting in the garden, visiting grandparents and asking questions etc. We also make sure that on this day its also well being for staff with after school activities organised and teachers choose what they would like to do whether it be sport, games, yoga.

      • #207374
        John Merrins
        Participant

        Hi,

        We have also introduced the “Daily Mile” in our school. It has been a great success promoting not only a healthier lifestyle for students in school but this concept has also become a regular activity at home for some students.

    • #203060
      Shona Barrett
      Participant

      I believe that good health and well being is extremely important and striving towards being healthy both physically and mentally is one of the most important goals any person could aim towards. Therefore I would zone in on Goal 3 ‘Good Health and Well Being’ as I think that a positive outlook towards health both locally and globally should be a very important aspect of young people’s lives. Both obesity as well as disordered eating are prominent locally whilst on the other end of the scale malnutrition is evident in many third world countries (as well as locally in certain pockets of our society). Locally, obesity amongst children is becoming a very serious issue. Although many programmes have been implemented by our government, the problem is still present. I believe that this goal is extremely relevant as emotional well being is also just as important for school children in order to feel safe, happy and encouraged in their environment. It is important for us, as educators, to ensure that children know that they hold power in their well being both physically and mentally.

      As teachers we can enable children locally to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. In our school all classes are allocated a slot on yard throughout the day to run or walk around the track which caters to all levels. I believe that as well as this enabling the children to be active it also provides them with time in nature which can promote mental well being.

      • #203110
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Shona,

        The importance of good health and wellbeing (and education around what constitutes this) cannot be overstated. You are right to point out that there are two ends to the spectrum in terms of the issues surrounding the provision of food and healthy eating. Malnutrition exists in the developing world (and to some extent in parts of the developed world). In parts of the developed world, poor choices around the choice of food and the consumption of too much processed food can lead to obesity and other health issues. Educating children around this, and how food poverty does not necessarily always relate to malnutrition is very important.

    • #203128
      Niamh Flannery
      Participant

      The goal I would chose would be goal 6 which is clean water and sanitation. This goal aims to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all and to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. To start, I would teach lessons based on water sanitation to develop the children’s awareness of people in the world who are affected by the lack of clean water and how terrible the situation is.
      A great place to start is in our own school. Schools and our homes are places that we waste clean water everyday. By bringing awareness to this it helps the children see how much we take for granted. The children could engage in a project of researching how much water we roughly use in the day, this includes finding out how much water we use by flushing the toilet and filling our water bottles. Children could then make a group effort by encouraging people not to waste water while washing or flushing the toilet unnecessarily.

      • #203191
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Niamh,

        Clean water and sanitation is a clear basic human right, and it is very important that children are educated about this, and how inequalities around the world are depriving some people of this. I love the idea of children measuring the amount of water they use on a daily basis and coming up with ways in which we can reduce the ‘waste’. This could take the form of a whole-school project, and involve classes attempting to conserve as much water as possible through various creative means.

      • #203209
        cristina bermudez
        Participant

        Hi Niamh,

         

        This is a great concept to bring into the classroom and one I will refer back to thanks

    • #203208
      cristina bermudez
      Participant

      Hi, I would choose numbers four and ten on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: quality education and reduced inequalities.

      It is so sad to read and listen to how many children do not have access to education around the world. they do not have the opportunities that are afforded to the children here in Ireland where education is compulsory. however, teaching practices vary. in the classroom, we can look at what constitutes quality education and what are the barriers to accessing education. we can look at reduced inequalities such as children with disabilities and how we can break down those barriers on a local level and extend that globally. two years ago I taught a class of children that are wheelchair users. Life as a wheelchair user is still restricted here in Ireland. from going on holidays on an airplane to even going shopping and not having toileting facilities such as hoists restricts wheelchair users from being fully part of their society. Even the paths on the street can be dangerous around cities.

      Having access to quality education is vital and as one man said in his video is that in order to eradicate poverty, children need access to education. This is an aspect that older primary children can look at and do research in their school and see from their findings how we can improve our school. it can be presented and a student council can be formed if not already. children can advocate for other children or future children to be enrolled. other projects can focus on reaching out to local TDs or representatives in their community. roots of inequality affect all essentially.

    • #203234
      Yvonne Newman
      Participant

      First of all I would start off generally creating awareness and solidarity in the school community by displaying the poster of the ‘17 Sustainable Development Goals ‘in key places around the school . Through a whole school assembly I would show the video of Masala -Introducing the World’s largest lI would choose is ‘Quality esson .
      It would be productive to maybe choose a different goal per term , 3 in the year . The first goal I would choose would be SDG 4 ‘Quality Education’. The other 2 goals could be done through a vote from 3rd to 6th class pupils . In terms of highlighting the importance of ‘quality education ‘ many of the pupils in my school could relate to being deprived of a proper education during the covid years and the impact it had on them socially, emotionally and academically and how it had a negative impact on many young people in Ireland . Pupils could empathise with children from the developing world where it is ongoing how they are deprived of a fundamental human right of a basic education . The Student Council could set up a weekly/ fortnightly station in the school reception area where they could be ‘Fact-a vists’ where they could speak about the inequality in educational access throughout the world .A short video could be presented in the school Assembly to highlight the importance of equality of education across the world . Posters could be made to develop the awareness of the importance of education for everyone in the world . The UN rights of the child could be integrated with this ideal . This lesson is a nice lesson that could be covered on UNICEF Worlds children’s Day or any day. https://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/WLL_Flip-the-Script-lesson-plan_v2-1.pdf

    • #203351
      Pauline Cahill
      Participant

      Quality Education

      We are fortunate in Ireland that quality education has always been prioritised and attempts are made to make it accessible for all. It is expected that children here will follow a certain route, starting at pre-school, moving onto primary and then secondary education, with further educational opportunities after that if desired. That is not the case in all countries.

      The SDGs provide a good starting point for children to explore differences in other countries. It is important to raise their awareness of what happens in other countries. In the case of quality education, not all children will have the opportunity to attend school or completely focus on education if they do. They may have other responsibilities that are essential for ensuring the survival of the family.  Lesson four, which deals with education, is a good starting point for raising awareness in the classroom. Initiating discussions among the children is a good way to help the children to understand and also to empathise with those who are not fortunate enough to have access to education. This understanding is important in order to allow them to share this with other people and raise awareness at home and in other places. Participating in activities like Concern debates will also further this.

       

      • #203394
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Pauline,

        We are so fortunate to live in a country with a functioning education system. While there are issues and some children remain at risk of educational disadvantage, it’s important to acknowledge all the positive aspects of the system. I really like your choice of SDG lesson – I think it’s important that we educate children around the reality for children in certain countries, and look at ways of developing empathy towards their plight. It can also spark conversations around the inequalities that exist and how these are in opposition to the ‘interconnectedness’ of the global community.

    • #203529
      Caroline Walsh
      Participant

      Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education

      Child well-being is both an indicator and a foundation of social and economic development, and children are at the heart of the concept of sustainability.
      Successful societies invest in their children. Investments in children’s education and development accumulate throughout the child’s lifetime, also benefitting society as a whole.

      Investments in children are among the most cost-effective that governments can make. Many children are still at risk of not meeting their development potential, for example not attending school.

      Thinking about this at a local level, I work in a DEIS band 1 school where there are too many children missing significant periods at school. On a global scale, data in 2015 highlighted that 75 million children in the world were not in school. Education is a right, not a privilege. With education, nothing is impossible.

      Lesson 3 in this module deals with Child Inequality. It looks at the similarities and differences between the lives of children in the class and children around the world. It explores the inequalities that may exist and the reasons for them. One example given is that of the children discussing in pairs their morning routine and the use of water in it, brushing teeth, having a shower etc. Then the teacher can play the relevant video that shows children in other parts of the world going to collect water before school. Then discuss similarity/difference. Role play cards are then suggested that give a brief outline of a particular child in different parts of the world. The teacher calls out different statements and if true based on their role play card, the children step forward and if the statement is not true, they step back. It is advised to use role play cards and not to base it on the children’s real lives. Statement examples are: “I go to school” or “My country is peaceful at the moment”. When the statements are complete, the children can visually see the children have less opportunity than the other children and vice versa.

    • #203556
      Sinead Moore
      Participant

      The sustainable development goal I have chosen to write on is number 3, ‘Good Health and Well Being’. Although we have come out the other side of the covid-19 pandemic I think we are now starting to see the effects of the missing school days, the lockdowns and the lack of social interaction within our students now. The pandemic has affected our students both academically and emotionally. I teach Senior Infants and have done for a number of years, however this year I really noticed a difference in their social emotional and academic development in comparison to previous years, they seem to be significantly behind in social skills and some areas of academics. These students missed out on significant pre-school time due to school closures thus greatly effecting the level of language and social skills the students had upon entering primary school. We are now playing catch up to try and bring this generation up the previous ‘norm’ for that age which is proving challenging.

      Wellbeing is a term we are hearing more and more nowadays. It is going to become an integral part of the new primary curriculum and I think now more than ever following the pandemic it is so important for everyone, especially our young people. We as educators need provide children with the necessary skills to help them solve problems and build resilience.

       

      • #203656
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Sinead,

        Thanks for your post. The effects of the pandemic can still be seen and some children are only now starting to show adverse reactions to certain triggers. The Department’s new Wellbeing Policy Statement and Plan (which involved surveying the school community) outlined a significant proportion of children in our school with various social anxieties. It is very interesting that you have noted such a difference in the level of your senor infant classes. This cohort of children would have missed a significant amount of the ECCE years – this time is so important as it allows them to develop and mature through interaction with their teachers, and with peers at a similar level to them.

      • #204361
        Darragh Greene
        Participant

        It’s clear that the pandemic’s effects extend beyond just academic setbacks; the social and emotional aspects are equally important. The focus on well-being in the new primary curriculum is indeed a step in the right direction. Equipping our young people with problem-solving skills and resilience is crucial, especially in these changing times. By addressing these aspects, we can help them navigate challenges and build a strong foundation for their future. The repercussions you’ve noticed in terms of social skills and academic proficiency emphasise the importance of holistic education. And while It’s heartening to see that well-being is becoming an essential component of the primary curriculum, recognising its vital role in equipping young learners with the tools to navigate challenges and foster resilience continued commitment to supporting this generation is a vital part of ensuring that these students can overcome the setbacks they’ve faced.

      • #204617
        Ann-Marie Ronan
        Participant

        Hi Sinead,

        The effects are most definitely apparent. So many areas of development have been effected negatively. There has been such a knock-on effect and I found this year, taking a different approach to teaching and learning to accommodate areas the children missed out on. ‘Good Health and Well-Being’ are priorities as having these, create a foundation to learning.

    • #203748
      Peter Gillooly
      Participant

      I have chosen the sustainable development goal 4 (Quality education).

      As an educator and someone who works in the field of education this sustainable development goal is so essential for the progression of the world in which we live in. Children are the future of our world and every child deserves the rights and opportunities of a quality education. I teach 5th class in a Deis Band one school in Dublin and the children get some incredible opportunities when it comes to receiving quality education. However, some of the bad attitudes that can sometimes raise it’s head with regards education can sometimes raise it’s head and we often incur attendance issues and misbehavior which can affect the ‘quality education’ that the children are lucky enough to receive. We then have a complete lack of education, funding and services in third world countries. The need for universal quality education on important matters has never been as vital as it is now with the world facing a huge climate crisis as well as huge issues of homelessness and war. This development goal should be a major focus.

    • #203795
      Aoife Dorrian
      Participant

       
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>The sustainable developmental goal I have chosen is number 15 – Life on Land. In the classes I have taught so far, the children have a huge love for all life on land- humans, animals and insects. However, they are not confident in explaining how to care for them or how to keep them safe. With my class this year, we spent a lot of time learning how to look after insects, animals and even fruits/vegetables. Each class in the school had their own area to grow what you wanted. We grew carrots, celery, spinach and strawberries. Each week different children were responsible for looking after them. We also have a bug hotel in our school. Each week, we would go out and see what we could find in the bug hotel. If we found any new insects we would use the school chromebooks to learn more about the insect. The children loved this and learned a lot of new facts throughout the school year.</span></p>

      • #203921
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Aoife,

        Thank you for your post. Having an appreciation of the variety of life forms on land is really important, and many children are so passionate about wildlife and nature. Furthermore, there are so many opportunities for cross-curricular integration in respect of this sustainable development goal. Much of Ehigie’s article from module 1 echoes the importance of this. The global community we are all part of is central to an appreciation of the main development education themes.

    • #203988
      Jamie Owens
      Participant

      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Zero Hunger</span></p>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>I choose goal number 2 Zero Hunger. Children are significantly affected by hunger and malnutrition, both locally and globally. In Ireland, as well as internationally, children can play a role in supporting this goal with learning about and understanding how they can support and be more mindful of what they can do every day to help. I think it would be such a great idea if schools took a week in a year with one of the goals a focus. Some ideas that schools/children could support this would be:</span></p>
      <b id=”docs-internal-guid-6c5686b3-7fff-eebb-7300-5e2e39f079dc” style=”font-weight: normal;”> </b>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Raise Awareness: </span><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Children can learn about the importance of food security and share their knowledge with family, friends, and classmates. Raising awareness can lead to informed decisions and actions.</span></p>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Food Drives:</span><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”> Organize or participate in food drives to collect non-perishable food items for local food banks or organizations that support those in need. A great whole school activity.</span></p>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Fundraising: </span><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Children can engage in fundraising efforts to support organizations working to alleviate hunger, both locally and globally. This could include bake sales, charity runs etc</span></p>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Community Gardens:</span><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”> Getting involved in community garden projects can teach children about sustainable agriculture while contributing to local food production.</span></p>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Reduce Food Waste</span><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>: Children can learn about the importance of reducing food waste and practice mindful consumption to help conserve resources.</span></p>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Engage in Sustainable Practices</span><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>: Encourage children to adopt sustainable practices such as composting, recycling, and using reusable containers to contribute to a more sustainable food system. Do a full lesson on this in the classroom.</span></p>
      <p dir=”ltr”></p>
      <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>These are all very easy and manageable tasks for school/children but I do feel they would have a lasting impact on the children which will only bode well for the future and trying to eliminate zero hunger both locally and globally.</span></p>

    • #204071
      Michelle Ryan
      Participant

      I am choosing SDG3 – Good Health and Wellbeing. Children in Ireland have been hugely affected by this in recent years with the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a worldwide issue which affected children all over the world.

      In Ireland, we promoted good health and wellbeing through initiatives such as Mindfulness, Food Dudes and Green Schools. Mindfulness promoted positive mental and emotional health which was greatly affected during the pandemic with many children isolated from their friends and wider families. Food Dudes aims to provide healthy food to foster healthy eating habits and an awareness of the nutritional value of foods from an early age. Green Schools is a great initiative which covers many SDGs but also, by incorporating Walk on Wednesdays it encourages children to be mindful of the effects of fossil fuels on our world but also, to get outside and enjoy some fresh air which again supports their mental health.

      Some other ways I would encourage students to support this goal would be to set up a form of our government in my classroom, whereby children have the opportunity to make changes and become aware of inequalities. Children could explore different laws and how people are affected by these and how we might change them to make our classroom a more inclusive and respectful place for everyone

       

      • #204081
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Michelle,

        Thanks for your post. The Covid pandemic, and the myriad of social issues it left behind, certainly means that a greater emphasis is required on this specific sustainable development goal. It is clear that your school is already making a great effort in this regard, and the many initiatives you have listed would all be feeding into the promotion of wellbeing and healthy lifestyles. The idea of giving the children the lived experience of democracy and campaigning for change in classrooms is an excellent one. It is essential that children experience this, as it shows how change can be brought about in a range of settings.

    • #204249
      Éadaoin Garrigan
      Participant

      I found the information on the sustainable development goals very interesting and also many of the lessons contained in the module are very enticing and I would definitely like to try many of the lessons in the coming school year. The sustainable development goal that I have chosen is goal number 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. I work in a large suburban school where there is a mixture of children from various backgrounds. Some children would of course be very aware of food wastage and sustainability whereas other children would not be so aware. I think a good way to enforce the above goal would be to focus on the use of green and brown bins and how we can make use of these bins at home and in school. Our school operates a Green Schools programme and I think this would link in very well with this programme as a way to teach children about responsible consumption and production. We could also make use of a brown bin in the classroom and transport the waste to the school composter and then the children would be able to see how food waste can become a sustainable product.

      • #204289
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Éadaoin.

        Thanks for your post – the sustainable development goal you have chosen is very relevant and permeates many of the others that have been discussed on this forum to date. The variety of your student’s backgrounds and the diversity in your school presents a good opportunity for the children to learn from each other, and share their own experience at home in relation to this area. Developing education around the importance of sustainability and the ways in which waste can be reduced is essential. There is potentially scope for a class project on what can be created from old packaging / what meals can be made from food in their houses that is about to expire, etc.

    • #204359
      Darragh Greene
      Participant

      Goal 4, Quality Education is crucial for children in Ireland, both at the local and global levels. Quality education is a fundamental human right that lays the foundation for personal development, social progress, and economic prosperity. Our students and children in Ireland might be affected in a number of ways.

      1. Locally- In Ireland, access to quality education is generally good. However, certain vulnerable groups, such as children from disadvantaged backgrounds, may face barriers to accessing high-quality education due to socio-economic factors. Disparities in educational outcomes can exist between regions and communities within Ireland. Children in underserved areas might have limited access to resources and opportunities, leading to unequal educational experiences.

      2. Globally- Encouraging children to understand the global impact of education is crucial. They should be aware of the millions of children worldwide who lack access to basic education, which hinders their chances of breaking the cycle of poverty. Nurturing a sense of global citizenship among Irish children is essential. They can learn about cultural diversity, the importance of cooperation, and how their actions can contribute to a more equitable world.

      Consideration of the following strategies can serve to encourage students to take action in support of SDG 4 in Ireland, aligning them with ESD Priority Action Area 5.

      1. Encourage students to advocate for equal educational opportunities within their local communities. They can support initiatives that aim to reduce disparities in educational outcomes, such as mentoring programs, tutoring for underprivileged children, or advocating for additional resources in schools that need them.

      2.Organize workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns about the importance of quality education and its impact on local and global levels. Help students understand the interconnectedness of education, social progress, and sustainable development.

      3.Collaboration between local schools, community organisations, and government agencies to create educational programs that address local challenges. Students can actively participate in these initiatives, contributing their ideas and efforts.

      4. Teach students about global issues related to education, such as the lack of access to education in certain parts of the world. Encourage them to support organisations working to improve education globally, either through fundraising or by raising awareness.

      5.  Highlight the role of education in promoting sustainable practices. Encourage students to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives and share this knowledge with their families and communities.

      By focusing on these strategies, we can empower students to become advocates for quality education, not only in Ireland but also on a global scale.

    • #204861
      Deirdre Ryan
      Participant

      The Global Goal that I have chosen is number 13 “Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and its Impacts”.

      All of the goals are hugely important and relevant but I was drawn to this one as Climate Change and its effects are clearly visible in the world around us. We have just had the wettest July on record, across the continent of Europe temperatures have soared leading to wild fires etc. Hawaii has experienced devastating fire hurricanes and the list goes on.. Often there is a feeling of hopelessness when it comes to climate change and many people experience a great deal of anxiety about the current state of our world. Our children are also very aware (especially at the senior end of the school).  We as educators have an important role in highlighting climate change and its impacts here in Ireland and across the world; however we must support our students and empower them to take action and to raise awareness further without overwhelming them.

      The Green Flag initiatives are a wonderful way for schools and communities to reflect on their consumption and identify areas for improvement. Ad campaigns and poster competitions would be useful here to promote their message locally. The World’s Largest Lesson would help to support the SDGs globally.

       

      • #205111
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Deirdre,

        Thank you for your post. The particular sustainable development goal you have chosen is extremely topical at this time. It is fair to say that climate change really seems to be racing ahead of all projections in recent years, and it really is necessary to take drastic action to stall this acceleration. All around the world, extreme weather events are more common. This points to the need for a global solution to a global problem – countries really do need to be singing from the same hymn sheet in regards to implementing change. It really would be amazing if our work in this area empowered children to take action and become leaders in the fight to stall climate change – people like Greta Thunburg are great role models in this regard and children are generally intrigued by her activism.

      • #205385
        Sarah Coughlan
        Participant

        Hi,

        Thank you for your response. Climate change is  a very interesting and relevant topic at the moment. Children should be made more aware of the impact they can have on climate change.

         

    • #205330

      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0px 0px 1.6em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif;”>The SDG I have selected is no.3 .</p>
      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0px 0px 1.6em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif;”>A greater emphasis is required on this sustainable goal.  Good health and wellbeing are essential to healthy and happy children and thus leads to happy and fulfilled lives. Our school is proactive in promoting mental and physical health. As teachers we can empower our students to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.</p>
      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0px 0px 1.6em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif;”>Walk on Wednesday, the daily mile and active homework are some of the initiatives we have undertaken in our school to promote the importance of good health and wellbeing among our students. There are many benefits to introducing these initiatives to the school. It creates a healthy & positive environment among the whole school community.</p>
      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0px 0px 1.6em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif;”>We also have a healthy eating policy.</p>
      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0px 0px 1.6em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif;”>We work on mindfulness using end of day short meditations.</p>
      <span style=”color: #163c42; font-family: ‘Hind Madurai’, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>We praise the effort, the focus is always on enjoyment</span>

    • #205382
      Sarah Coughlan
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal I have chosen to focus on is Goal 3 ‘Good Health and Well Being’. I believe good health and well being are extremely important components of young peoples lives and should be a big focus in their school life. Children are affected by obesity as a result of poor good health, including making poor nutrition decisions and also by living sedentary lifestyles. This is problem is affected at both local and global levels. Children are also affected by anxiety as a result of poor Well Being.

      There are many school initiatives which promote ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’ including Walk on Wednesdays (WOW), Food Dudes, coaches for football/swimming/ dance. Teachers can also promote mindfulness in the classroom by assigning time at the beginning or end of each day to complete activities such as meditation, mindful coloring, positive affirmations etc.

      The aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure good health and wellbeing throughout their lives.

      • #205669
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Sarah,

        Thank you for your post.  As with many others above, you have chosen a very relevant sustainable development goal in 21st century Ireland. Good health and wellbeing is so important, and is certainly being prioritised at national level by the DES. Raising awareness around ways in which we can build resilience, enhance wellbeing and make good choices around our health. The Growing Up in Ireland study has highlighted the major issue of childhood obesity here, and international studies have showcased this as a global issue too. As you have said, educating children about health and wellbeing can have a significant impact on their decision making.

    • #205838
      Ann-Marie Ronan
      Participant

       

      The goal I have chosen to discuss is Goal 3 ‘Health and Well Being’. I have chosen this goal as I believe it is very relevant to todays society. Health and Well-being are topics that need to be targeted, especially in children. Children need to be provided with a knowledge, an understanding and be given relevant skills to implement in order for a positive ‘health and well-being’ outcome. Firstly, by being a positive role model to the children in our classroom, promoting healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness etc. Secondly, providing lessons based around such topics throughout the year to develop this knowledge and skills. In relation to well-being, many children if not all have experienced the effects of covid. Social, emotional, language, physical and intellectual skills have all been affected to some extent. I found these past two years, my teaching style had to change to cater for the needs of the children, some areas of the curriculum needed to take a back seat while other areas such as, social, emotional and language skills needed to be addressed. We do have initiatives running in our school throughout the year, it would be the ideal world if these could take place more frequently.

      • #205923
        Gwyn Bhreathnach
        Participant

        I think that is a very worthwhile topic to engage with Annemarie, particularly as you said after the long term effects of teaching and learning through a global pandemic. There are so many emerging needs in terms of health and well being that we need to address and by doing it in small steps on a school wide basis, hopefully this will filter throughout the school and help our children going forward.

    • #205840
      Anna O’Gara
      Participant

      In 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to promise to eradicate hunger, global poverty and inequality by 2030 (Yanniris, 2021). The SDGs agenda supports global citizenship in a fairer, more sustainable world by promoting prosperity while protecting the planet.

      Sustainable Development Goal 10 is reduced inequalities.

      Within the school, a student council could be formed to ensure that student voice is heard and student issues are resolved. A democratic and inclusive school would welcome all students of all religions and race. The school would campaign to achieve a the Yellow Flag against racism.

      Locally, the school must be wheelchair accessible and accessible to all.

      • #206206
        Sarah Farrell
        Participant

        I really like how you could link SDG 10 and forming a student council. When education children about this goal the formation of a student council is a very practical way of teaching children about equality.

    • #205920
      Gwyn Bhreathnach
      Participant

      One area that I am very interested in after reading this module is choosing goal 6 which is clean water and sanitation.  We do a lot of work around recycling, re-using etc under our Green Schools Initiative but I am very interested in exploring with the children how other children and families are deprived of this basic right I would love to engage the children with action projects which raise awareness and solidarity and help them to feel empowered about their ability to make a difference when it comes to clean water and sanitation for all. I would also be interested in exploring marine biology and how are ecosystems and biodiversity are under threat. Our school is beside the sea and what better way of learning about marine life than engaging with the local area and resources. I  feel that the children working in collaboration  with each other to produce projects on this very important topic is a great learning experience for children and teachers alike, particularly if these projects and this work under the Green Schools Initiative is done using a whole school approach.

    • #206181
      Sarah Farrell
      Participant

      I have chosen two SDGs to consider as I think they are both linked and needed for the successful achievement of both goals. I have chosen goal number 3, Good Health and Wellbeing and goal number 4, Quality Education. The Pandemic really highlighted to the world the gaps in education both locally and globally. This goal places a huge focus on ensuring inclusive and fair education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. The pandemic also shone a light on mental health issues in children. At the most basic level, happiness is conducive to learning and hence why I have chosen to speak about both goals. Wellbeing has become an extremely important topic and focus to everyday life here in Ireland. It is of huge importance that children learn about this topic so they can understand themselves better and gain the tools to help themselves and others in the area of wellbeing and can therefore navigate this busy world we are living in.
      I use yoga techniques throughout the day (eg breathwork, mindful listening, movement) to show children how to firstly check in with themselves and also to give them pro -active things to do if feeling anxious, angry, overwhelmed etc.
      I saw in my own school a complete contrast in how different children could access education and learning remotely. I was also very aware how greater this contrast was on a global level. This gap is something that still exists even in a post pandemic world. I think it is important for children to learn and have the opportunity to participate in the achievement of this goal. Ways to do this are through project work where the children can have the opportunity to learn about education throughout the world. I whole- heartedly agree with the module when it stated that “action projects should focus on raising awareness and solidarity – rather than charity and fundraising”.

    • #206496
      Vivienne Doyle
      Participant

      After completing the online course, I have learnt of the importance of all these goals.Each goal is important in their own ways. I have decided to zone in on goal 3 “good health and well being”. I have chosen this goal as I have learnt from experience that Well-being is extremely important across all ages. I think it is vital to start straight into it promoting the importance of good health and well being from junior infants.

      I was based in a national primary school and had senior infants on placement recently. This school had a healthy eating policy. I found by using a SPHE healthy eating/ balanced diet lesson the children could understand the key concepts behind the policy.This lesson included moving items of food into different lunch boxes and identifying which item went into which lunch box. I was wary to inform the children of the concept of balance, in that unhealthy foods can still be eaten in moderation.

      At a local level I tried to encourage healthy eating in particular fruit and veg. Our school did not have food dudes set up so through the use of Aistear I was able to give children the opportunity to taste some fruit and veg that they hadn’t had before. This was done through the implementation of a ‘tasting area’ as one of the Aistear stations. We also reused the leftover fruit that we used for an art lesson.our story of the week was Handas Surprise. This looked at eating from a global perspective as they learnt about a girl who travelled carrying fruit in her head and were introduced to a number of different fruit they may not have heard of before. Overall it was a real success.

      • #206540
        Eoghan O’Neill
        TeachNet Moderator

        Hi Vivienne,

        Like so many others on tis forum, you have selected ‘good health and wellbeing’ as your chosen SDG. I think it speaks volumes that this has been so widely selected on this forum – it certainly is considered to be one of the most important elements of schooling in recent years. Creating a welcoming and nurturing learning environment is really important, and providing children with ways to enhance their wellbeing is so important in a rapidly changing world. The importance of healthy eating and making informed choices around what foods we eat is really important also – education around nutrition is something which has only started in recent years in a wider sense.

    • #206609
      Jamie Owens
      Participant

      I choose goal number 2 Zero Hunger. Children are significantly affected by hunger and malnutrition, both locally and globally. In Ireland, as well as internationally, children can play a role in supporting this goal with learning about and understanding how they can support and be more mindful of what they can do every day to help. I think it would be such a great idea if schools took a week in a year with one of the goals a focus. Some ideas that came into my head for this are:

      Raise Awareness: Children can learn about the importance of food security and share their knowledge with family, friends, and classmates. Raising awareness can lead to informed decisions and actions.
      Food Drives: Organize or participate in food drives to collect non-perishable food items for local food banks or organizations that support those in need. A great whole school activity.
      Fundraising: Children can engage in fundraising efforts to support organizations working to alleviate hunger, both locally and globally. This could include bake sales, charity runs etc
      Community Gardens: Getting involved in community garden projects can teach children about sustainable agriculture while contributing to local food production.
      Reduce Food Waste: Children can learn about the importance of reducing food waste and practice mindful consumption to help conserve resources.
      Engage in Sustainable Practices: Encourage children to adopt sustainable practices such as composting, recycling, and using reusable containers to contribute to a more sustainable food system. Do a full lesson on this in the classroom.

      These are all very easy and manageable tasks for school/children but I do feel they would have a lasting impact on the children which will only bode well for the future and trying to eliminate zero hunger both locally and globally.

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Jamie Owens.
    • #206769
      Lorraine Cleary
      Participant

      I would like to promote SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being.
      At our school we are part of a Nurture program which pays close attention holistically to each individual child and tries to identify any children coming from a vulnerable, unsafe or just highly stressful or struggling home lives. They may be acting out as a result of the need for attention. We take children in small “Nurture” groups, to a comfortable space before they start their day in the morning to have tea and toast and to talk while doing an activity. We find it helps them separate themselves from their difficulties at home, find a bit of peace and become ready for the rest of the day. It has had excellent results. This year we hope to try the approach as a whole school program.

      We are also ensuring that all our staff (teachers and SNAs) are being trained in the Berry Street Education Model which helps you implement a trauma-informed education approach in our classrooms. We had a small number of teachers trial it last year and now this year we hope to take a whole school approach. Children suffer various degrees of trauma in their lives from the loss of loved ones, to living as a refugee, to homelessness, hunger all the way up the scale to feeling trauma each day because the teacher might realise they are unable to read well or complete that maths sum. The strategies taught to help the children explain and identify how they feel and to promote a positive, understanding and safe environment are very enlightening. There is a strong focus on staff Wellbeing and support. If anyone is interested check out https://www.berrystreet.org.au/

      We are also hoping to achieve the Active School Flag this year, which has promoted both physical and nutritional health within the school. So 3 big goals for us this year that fit under SDG 3.

      In terms of bringing it to the community also, we are developing an allotment with parents and members of the community where the children plant and weed their own vegetables, harvest them and use them to make vegetable soups etc and distribute vegetables crates to the old folks homes in our neighbourhood.

    • #207043
      Patrycja Mazurczak
      Participant

      I have chosen to discuss Goal 3: Health and Well Being. I have chosen this goal as I think it is a big component of not just childhood but life in general. It should be a big focus in school life as it is vital to gain knowledge early on in the aspects of health and well being as well as skills necessary to implement this knowledge. Obesity, poor diets and increased anxiety levels are amongst some of the issues affecting children today.

      As teachers we can enable them to support this goal by being positive role models and promoting healthy eating habits, mindfulness and meditation, physical activity etc. We can also encourage children to participate in programmes such as Friends for Life and the Amber Flag to promote better mental health and social skills. I would hope that by educating children around these topics and facilitating them to create solutions in addressing those issues it would allow them to apply it in other contexts outside of school eg home.

    • #207373
      John Merrins
      Participant

      The Sustainable Development Goal that I have chosen is, clean water and Sanitation I have decided to look at this goal as hygiene has been a huge issue within the classroom environment during recent years due to covid, because of this I feel students have become more aware of their own hygiene within the classroom environment. I feel that they may grasp the ideologies behind this lesson easier as they have all followed school policies in recent years. I feel students would be able to make comparisons between their own school environment and that of a school environment which may be less privileged and may not have the same clean water and sanitation access that we do in our school. This lesson could be incorporated into a fair-trade geography lesson. Students could research the topic further using class iPads and desktops while working in groups to gather information. I would hope from research students would become aware of the importance of clean water and how we should be putting plans in place within our school to minimise our waste of clean water while also looking at ways in which we could recycle water. For example, students could be tasked with collecting rainwater for watering plants around the school.

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