Sustainability - Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai

Hi,

My name is Jackie Schemenauer and I am the Sustainability Coordinator at SISD. I am originally from Canada and have over 10 years of teaching experience having taught in Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Oman and the UAE. My passion for helping the environment and helping others has always led me to the development of environmental clubs, school gardens, and service learning programmes where ever I have worked. I have a Master’s of Education degree with a concentration in Educating for Sustainability and an Eco-Schools assessor certification from the Foundation of Environmental Education.

Around the school you might see me tending to the organic vegetables in our school Learning Gardens, co-teaching sustainability lessons across various grades, working with the facilities team to reduce waste, or assisting students with an up-cycled project from reclaimed materials. If you would like to learn more about how SISD Educates for Sustainability, or are interested in volunteering for future projects, please contact me at jaclyn.schemenauer@sisd.ae

Jackie Schemenauer
Sustainability Coordinator

The United Nations defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).

At SISD we understand that Educating for Sustainability (EfS) involves a deep understanding and awareness of the interconnectedness and dependency of our social, economic and environmental systems. SISD, therefore, employs a whole school approach to Educating for Sustainability. Sustainability concepts and key understandings are woven throughout the curriculum and reflected in our school’s day-to-day practices. We are members of the Eco-Schools Programme.

Our main objectives of a Whole School Approach to Educating for Sustainability

  • Instill the knowledge, skills, attitudes, attributes, actions and enduring understandings of sustainability practices within the entire school community
  • Fully integrate the campus design, daily operations and local community into the curriculum and teaching and learning
  • Move SISD towards a Circular Economy model

The Ellen McArthur Foundation Circular Economy is used in the IB Curriculum.

We believe that social, cultural, economic and environmental awareness prepare us to play our part in shaping a better future for ourselves and those around us. SISD’s whole-school approach to sustainability can be seen in all facets of school life.

“Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important parts of their life” – Thomas Barry

At SISD we foster a deep love and connection with nature and strive to restore the health of the living systems which we all depend on.

  • Water Use & Management – SISD prioritizes water conservation throughout the school through water conservation technologies such as our Smixin taps and promoting conservation practices.
  • Land Use & Ecosystems – Working to increase natural green spaces and maintain healthy ecosystems around campus
  • Waste Management – All stakeholders work together to reduce waste throughout the school, reduce resource consumption and increase resource recovery rates. Our overall long-term goal is to reduce our waste to landfill by 75%.
  • Connection with Nature – We foster an experiential hands-on based learning process that ensures students engage with nature. We do this through planting and growing flowers and vegetables in our 30 raised garden beds in our Learning Gardens, our outdoor play spaces and by bringing plants and natural materials into
    the classrooms.

“The circular economy gives us the opportunity to build a system that can run in the long term, and the time is right for it to reach scale.” – Ken Webster

At SISD we believe a sustainable future is possible and that a move towards an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design is needed. We prioritize design thinking, systems thinking, product life extension, reducing and recycling.

  • Resource Use – SISD’s purchasing and procurement policy strives to outline standards and procedures for selecting sustainable and locally sourced products. Our Zero Waste Vendor Policy has been put into place to reduce items to landfill and increase reusability, recycling and compost.
  • Energy Use –SISD has installed various energy efficiency technologies and conserves energy through daily behavioral habits
  • Ethical Business Practices – SISD fosters the value of ethical business practice in all school endeavors.
  • Investment in Green Technologies – SISD is committed to investing in materials with minimal environmental impact and that increase social well-being.
  • Community Contributions – SISD supports the outside community for social and environmental projects

“Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro

At SISD we are inclusive and strive to create a strong social cohesion among our students, staff, teachers, parents and the wider community.

  • Social Cohesion – We strive to build positive relationships within our diverse community. We have conflict resolution and prevention policies in place that are continuously monitored and updated.
  • Sense of Place & Belonging – SISD ensures all students are engaged in the local environment, community, and school in a variety of ways that build a sense of place and belonging. SISD also strives to build understanding and empathy among teaching staff and students with the UAE.
  • Community Engagement & Partnerships – SISD develops relationships and partnerships with outside community stakeholders.
  • Service & Sustainability Action – SISD supports community projects at all levels and encourages the school community to act through service to others through a genuine sense of empathy and giving.
  • Cultural Preservation– SISD works to preserve individual and host country cultural identities, languages, and heritage through various celebrations and events.