This is a bold attempt to steer a new course in education and to empower students and other stakeholders to shape the long term development of their school.
Steve Jones, Jan 2016
Here at Sector39 we are putting together an exciting and what we consider to be an essential project, exploring the potential of using permaculture design to transform a whole school campus and to shift a school’s ethos and outlook to be in line with climate science. We want to create an exemplary Sustainable School to inspire and enable others to do the same.
Principle aim of this project:
To develop a permaculture curriculum accessible to educational bodies to drive a culture change proportionate to the challenges presented by climate change and to develop this in partnership with our local high school.
Completing this project will also serve to establish our wider aims of founding a permaculture academy of partners to widen our reach.
Haulfre, Market Street, Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, Oswestry, SY10 0JN
Sector39 is a small grass roots teaching cooperative who build community projects, sustainable enterprise and new cooperatives by bringing together designers, growers, artisans and teachers working for a sustainable future. We run courses, training and deliver public speaking, working with schools, community groups and the general public in the UK and Uganda. We raise awareness and encourage others in how to make a difference in their community and their planet.
In Association with
Cae Badfach Community Orchard- a community field donated to the people of Llanfyllin, funded by Keep Wales Tidy, Welsh Cider and Perry Society and the Local Council. Here we have started a community orchard and other initiatives with high environmental value with the help of Llanfyllin High School. Other partners include to name a few Treflach Farm, Garth Organic Garden, Dragons Cooperative, Llanfyllin Workhouse, Dolyn Ffermio, The Permanent Housing Cooperative, Cultivate Newtown and many more.
Justification for Proposal
The Pope’s recent encyclical frames the looming issues of climate change as one of morality, placing us all in a position of responsibility and challenging us to action. His statement follows on the heels of both the scientific and political heavyweights in a call to action the scale of which has never been seen before. This proposal aims to connect this urgent need for thoughtful and constructive change at a global level to meaningful action at an educational level.
Permaculture is a design process that brings about change. Addressing climate change will require long-term political, economic and social changes. To achieve an 80% reduction in carbon omissions (as required by the climate change agreement) will require a fundamental behavioural shift.
Teaching permaculture within a school or educational body will initiate changes within the school. Sector39 have been working closely with Llanfyllin High school over the last two years. We have a well established relationship with the School due to previous work done on their land-based studies GCSE as well as with the wider community of that area through the community orchard project we ran there. Sector39 have already written and delivered a trial unit on ‘energy and climate’ for Llanfyllin High School 6th form which was well received and they have expressed interest in developing their school as a ‘Sustainable School’ through permaculture design.
This project aims to form a Mid Wales Permaculture Academy, a strong regional network of permaculture teachers and practitioners, drawing on 20 years of groundwork. Drawing on this network the aim is to develop a permaculture curriculum that is accessible to educational bodies and in a way that would create a mechanism to create and drive a culture change, proportionate to the challenges presented by climate change.
1. Bring Permaculture Education into the Mainstream; create ‘Sustainable Leader Schools’ reaching learning objectives whilst becoming sustainable. We will work with the school on an applied Permaculture Design Course or ‘PDC’, helping all, teachers, students and community, to develop an understanding of climate change and transforming the educational body’s behaviour; reduce waste, create productive systems, reduce carbon footprints and change the behavior of students.
2. Affect policy and initiate a wider change- Demonstrate to policy makers and councils the huge potentials to change the ethos of an educational body through sustainability. Changing young minds will affect policy as those young minds become our future generation.
3. Establish a Permaculture Design Academy- Support and encourage other practitioners and pioneers. Build a coherent network linking established permaculture projects, farms and co-operatives with teachers and educators in the formal sector.
This is a 3-year project:
Sector39 aims to influence policy, curriculum content and subject delivery at all levels from school to adult learning. They hope to see an increase in educational bodies across the UK offering more sustainability, environmental subjects with links to business studies and economics. By working with key partners they will demonstrate and develop learning processes which bring permaculture design tools and skills into every sphere.
By framing business skills and processes around the realities of climate change this would accelerate a shift in sustainability practices in all areas of the economy, which will better align business and investor behaviour with environmental sustainability and the long-term public interest.
We will begin writing the resources we will use in educational bodies. During this time we can begin working with Llanfyllin High school, allowing students to apply the design process, creating a design to produce a ‘Sustainable Leader School’. We will create a strong connection with headteachers, management, finance department, local farms and cooperatives. Working in the local orchard; Cae Bodfach, with existing projects and previous Permaculture Design Courses. Once the design has been finalised the design presentation can include school participants, council officials and policy makers.
To write a design for the school with the students identified for the course. Together make a timeline for the project. School trips and talks from local community permaculture projects. Activities and design trials.
Presentation in early September for entire school community including stake holders and wider Llanfyllin community. Begin the project in September and complete major aspects by December.
School write up, promotion work, prepare handover for following September starters/ induction
Year 2- In the second year we hope to work with further schools, ideally Newtown College, FE college for region, whom we have close working bonds with.
Year 3 – Long term Change.
Sector39 hopes to have excellent relationships with schools, communities, councils, educational bodies and policy makers to influence policy and help others to educate about sustainability. At this point they can use their resources to offer viable curriculum changes and begin writing online resources. Rolling out ‘Sustainable Schools’ across the UK, to change the face of our national curriculum.
Through working with its partners in farming, teaching, growing and communities across the UK, the teaching network can demonstrate real examples of how sustainable practices work and how each person can apply them.
Furthermore a permaculture course results in a practical design project as part of the final assessment and many of these projects are subsequently implemented. This means that running these courses builds the infrastructure and examples required to run more of them by creating case study examples and related infrastructure.
For example a school may implement strategies to reduce its carbon footprint, may begin growing food, composting human waste, fund new projects through capturing solar or wind energy. These design projects will be financially viable, be sustainable and act as a template for other educational bodies. These projects can be incorporated into all subjects taught by the school and improved on year after year, making the school or college more economical as time goes on.
Funding these changes within a school are not without cost but over the longer term will result in more sustainable and economic schools, reducing their financial outlays each year. This would increase the potential of each school.
We are approaching mainstream funders for support for this three year project, however it is an increasingly competitive environment out there, and funding is always pegged to very specific outcomes and timeframes. Consequently our ambition is to raise funds directly from supporters, to give us more freedom and flexibility to run the project according to ours and the school priorities.
Figures are available for a breakdown of planned expenditure.
Who will work on this project?
Sector39 aim to utilise those already working voluntarily for Sector39, as well as Dragons Cooperative, Llanfyllin High School, the Cae Bodfach project and the North Wales community.
Partnership building is an essential part of permaculture design academy process. Sector39 has an extensive list of 18 current stakeholders for the Permaculture Design academy. They are a varied and wide reaching group of professional people already involved in their network, who will make this project viable.
Sector39 will share the lessons learned from their work with others through PDC’s, the online resources, in schools and colleges, on social media and through their community base in North Wales, as well as encouraging the replication of their work both nationally and internationally with those that want to encourage the education and action against climate change in the UK and abroad.
How can you help?
Sector39 plan to fundraise to support Llanfyllin High School in its first year of this project.
Please contact Sector39 on the contact information at the top of this proposal, if you feel you can help in any way or have any suggestions for this project.
Please like and share this idea through social media to show your support and please contact us if you would like to donate or get involved with our fundraising initiatives.