'Planting the Roots of our Future'

By Grade 8 students Laura H and Francesco R (pictured above): In January 2015, we went to Cobham Hall School in England to represent ICS at a conference called ‘Planting the Roots of our Future’. The conference was organized to help us learn how we can make our world more eco-friendly and be more respectful of our environment.

Two keynote speakers talked to us. Tracey West told us how we can live normally but respect nature more by simply changing certain little habits. We came out of that talk with a new view on how we can save the environment. We were also given a talk by a lady called Jill Butler about ancient trees, showing how interesting they are and how many hidden secrets they have. She taught us that ancient trees are not respected enough in many countries and that they should be, because they are part of our past. She motivated us to take more action to protect these trees from being cut down.

We also took part in activities including building a greenhouse out of plastic water bottles. This showed us that something small and simple to do can have a big knock-on effect. And we visited Shorne Woods Country Park, which entirely relies on renewable energy like solar energy and biomass combustion. This was an example of a perfect building which does not use polluting energy like oil or coal, and showed us how much of an impact taking action could make, as through this they were preserving their nearby forest.

An important message that came out of the conference was that you can live in the same way as you do now and still be more friendly to the environment. The conference was a great experience for us as it gave us the chance to expand our knowledge and meet many great new people. We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to go to this conference and have the privilege to come back and share this with the rest of the school.

Round Square Youth Conference on the Environment and Sustainability

Three senior students travelled to a fellow Round school - Salem College in southern Germany - to attend a Round Square Youth Conference themed around the environment and sustainability.

Ehita, Elise and Valentina exchanged ideas about ways in which schools could cut their waste and consumption and improve their sustainability. They also listened to guest speakers and investigated the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

With the help of Ms Campbell and Mr Osborne, the students delivered a talk to the conference outlining the environmental measures here in place at ICS. They had been pleasantly surprised by the “green” programme being pursued here at ICS and were obviously proud to share this with the students from other schools. Did you know for instance that all the toilets in the Secondary building are flushed with rain water collected from the roof?!

The conference concluded with student groups drawing up resolutions that might help make our schools more sustainable.