Gleisdorf primary school - perceive, experience, respect

"The conscious experience and perception of the environment with all senses, as well as the mindful treatment of our environment is an educational goal of our school." An important statement on the homepage of the Gleisdorf Ecolabel primary school! This school was one of the first Austrian educational institutions to acquire the corresponding award and still holds it.

Gleisdorf primary school in Styria - an Austrian pioneer! The VS Gleisdorf has played in the "Champion League" of Austrian Ecolabel schools from the very beginning: This committed school acquired the state award as early as 2003, i.e. at the earliest possible time. Since then, VS Gleisdorf has been a permanent member of the environmental team and Umweltpeers! We therefore talked to the school's director, Martina Karner, about her perceptions in connection with the Ecolabel.

Headmaster Karner, 20 years of the Austrian Ecolabel at your school - what has changed in retrospect? What has been particularly successful?

"Through continuous work it has become a matter of course at our school that environmental protection counts, is an issue and is lived. Of course, the Ecolabel has significantly changed and shaped our pedagogy, as projects on ecology take place in all classes every year. The design of lessons with a focus on sustainability in environmental protection is evidence of our commitment in this area. In the area of management, I am thinking above all of internal and external information, peers and student parliament. The involvement of all members of the school community in consultations and decisions has been particularly successful. But also our school extension and renovation as well as the redesign of the outdoor area were planned according to ecological, social and health-promoting aspects. The preservation and care of the existing trees and plants was of particular importance. Waste management and cleaning of the school naturally also follow the Ecolabel criteria. A lot has been done in the last 20 years."

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Which Ecolabel projects at your school have been those with the greatest impact over the last 20 years?

"The participation of the entire school community in the construction and renovation of the school, and the permanent involvement of the pupils in information and decision-making processes as Ecolabel peers or as participants in the pupils' parliament - these were the initiatives with the most sustainable effects! Thus, the VS Gleisdorf fulfils the focus of the Austrian Ecolabel on the participation of pupils in a special way!

Which current Ecolabel project, which current environmental-pedagogical approach has the highest priority for you, Ms. Director Karner?

"Ecological mobility! We want to make VS Gleisdorf a mobility-conscious school: Going to school on foot or by bike or scooter should become a matter of course."

Conclusion. The experiences mentioned here by Principal Karner at the school she heads are important effects of the Austrian Ecolabel on the improvement of school quality. We warmly congratulate the school on the path it has taken since 2003, which provides the learners there with a sustainable perception, experience and mindful approach to the environment.

All pictures copyright by VS Gleisdorf.