Becoming a better Global Citizen – a challenge for the 21st century

Solar panelHagbourne Primary school is taking part in this Comenius Primary School Project along with schools from Greece, the Czech Republic, Spain and Germany. It is a three-year project designed to help children become better global citizens through education for sustainable development.

In Year One, children devised and implemented energy saving measures to reduce the school’s energy consumption by 5%, through a whole school approach.

All five partner schools investigated where and how energy was consumed in our schools. They all tried to think of strategies that would reduce their usage and teach them how to use it more carefully.

The pupils involved in the project discussed that the world uses too much energy and that we all need to work together to save energy. They identified what energy was and what it was used for. Students took digital pictures of appliances around the school and in the classroom that used gas and electricity.

In maths, pupils worked out how much it would cost to run these appliances for a year, and then did a separate calculation for how much it would cost to run the computers for a year. The teacher then exported the results into Excel.

Pupils looked at ways to cut back on their energy consumption and decided to do things such as turning down the heating and turning computers and lights off when they had finished using them. Over three weeks, the electricity consumption was measured on the meter.

  • In week one there were no energy saving strategies in place.
  • In week two the strategies were put in place.
  • In week three an extra big effort was made to carry out the strategies.

By the end of week three, the children managed to save 9% and were implementing the strategies at home too.

Each school shared their results and created an energy saving book in five languages.

This project helped students achieve a firmer understanding of…

  • how important energy is becoming as an issue in the world
  • how all energy used has to be paid for
  • how free energy can be harnessed via solar, wind turbine etc.
  • how the energy issue is important to other countries of the world.

This project also raised the following challenges…

  • how to work closely with other countries with different levels of ICT ability
  • how the language barrier can be overcome
  • how different countries adopt very different attitudes to energy matters.

Follow up work

The partners went on to do projects on water and recycling which have also been very successful. At the moment, the children are looking at strategies to reduce their carbon footprint that include replacing their large computer monitors with flat screen monitors and planting trees.

Find out more

Teaching resources: Find free resources around the topic of Sustainable Development

Hagbourne School: You can visit Hagbourne School’s website at: You can visit the project website at:

School links: For further information about issues to consider and organisations to contact, visit our School Links & Partnerships page.

Local support: If you are inspired by this case study and would like to do something similar in your school, or are looking for ideas for developing the global dimension, why not contact your nearest Development Education Centre?

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