Education for Sustainable Citizenship (ESC) Conference

Preparing early years children of today, for tomorrow, through us…

In January 2023, colleagues from across the Tops Day Nurseries family were invited to attend an ‘Education for sustainable citizenship (ESC)’ conference. During the conference, colleagues learned about how they can work in partnership with parents towards a range of objectives that will teach children about sustainability.

The morning started with an incredibly informative presentation by Dr Siraj Blatchford, leader of ESC in the UK. John guided us through the alarming consequences of climate change and provided an introduction to Early Childhood Education for Sustainable Citizenship and the OMEP-UK Education for Sustainable Citizenship Award.

Our teams were given the opportunity to take part in a range of activities and workshops where they learnt about the 3 pillars of sustainability and how we can use our SchemaPlay pedagogy to plan activities to promote an awareness of sustainability in young children.

After a delightful Vegan / Vegetarian lunch, our colleagues attended workshops with a range of ESC trainers who guided them through the award criteria.  Our colleagues shared many wonderful ideas and suggestions of activities that they could do with the children and they are all incredibly excited to take these ideas back to the setting and put them into practice.

Over the next few months, each of our settings will be supported by an ‘Education for Sustainability Trainer’ who will support the settings with their development plans in order to meet the criteria set out in the bronze award. As part of the award, we also need to have a minimum of 60% engagement from our parents. Our parents will soon be sent information on how they can access an online tool where they can complete activities to support their child’s awareness of sustainability. E.g I care about plants and can tell when they need watering.

Tops aims for all of its settings to have achieved the ESC bronze award by September 2023.

For more information on Education for sustainable citizenship, please see the website here –

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