eTwinnning is a community of schools in Europe. It offers a platform for people working in a school in a European country. Such people include teachers, LSEs, head teachers, librarians etc… On this platform, communication and collaboration take place especially when projects are created. When this happens, sharing of good practice becomes part of the most exciting learning community in Europe.
eTwinning is co-funded by the Eramus+, the European programme for education, training, youth and sports. On the eTwinning platform there are 931,814 registered teachers teaching in 217,079 schools across Europe participating in 121,568 projects.
Though the majority of registered teachers participate and collaborate in various projects, eTwinning is not only about projects. eTwinning helps educators to share ideas and learn through professional development workshops and online learning events which tear down the classroom walls and widens your horizons. Through eTwinning, educators can communicate to discuss difficulties they face in the classroom. It also gives a chance to participating students to motivate themselves, believe in their capabilities and realise that they can great things just like all other European children. Here students connect and collaborate with other students safely and learn about each other’s cultures and traditions while making new friends. They also realise that their European peers learn in the same way they do and encounter the same obstacles during their years at school.
During this scholastic year, our school, Hamrun GP within San Ġorġ Preca College, managed to win the eTwinning School Label Award once again. This award is not only a recognition of personal success of individual teachers, but also an acknowledgement of the great achievement of the entire eTwinning team in these schools. As a school, Hamrun GP participated in a collaborative project “Christmas in the City” with another European teacher from Slovakia. We shared Christmas traditions, children’s writings and crafts. Children involved in the project did their utmost to produce their work the best they could because now their work was going to be seen by other children. Positive comments encouraged children to shine, believe in themselves and produce neater work.
eTwinning is the way forward for schools across Europe because it helps both teachers and students to excel and be more motivated in their work
Participating in the Litterless campaign was very fun and educational. We enjoyed every little part of this campaign. As a freebie to encourage the reduction of single-use of plastic, the school gave a BPA free plastic lunchbox with our school logo.
Our teachers prepared an interesting PowerPoint which included a very interesting video clip. We learnt what single-use plastic is and how plastic is created. We became more aware of the idea that plastic is not only harming the ocean,
but it’s also harming our land and us as human beings. One quote that I really liked from the video clip was “This wonder of technology got a little out of hand”
(UN Environment). I liked it because it explains what is really happening. Plastic is very useful and practical too, but we are using it way too much. Even though we are disposing of it carefully, micro plastics still remain, and that’s why we are suggesting the need to reduce single-use plastics. This year our school participated in the Litterless Campaign. Year 4 students participated in this campaign as role models so as to spread the word among other students and their families to reduce the use of single-use plastics.
(Dyan Galea Christina)
At school, our teachers showed us some alternative products that we can use instead of single-use plastics. These alternatives were represented in guideline form:
- Shop friendly – carry fabric bags when shopping;
- Get rid of bottled water and to-go cups – take with you bamboo cups or thermos ones;
- Forget to go containers – do not take your lunches in plastic bags and avoid extra cling film;
- Say no to straws – get with you your own stainless steel straw;
- Do not let them give you #plastic bags – take fabric bags for fruit and veg and avoid extra packaging;
- Educate – teach the ones who are not yet aware of such simple changes;
- Get involved – spread the word and do so yourself, remember we must lead by example.
After getting some information about this litterless campaign, we went around the school in pairs, to find out how many students use single-use plastic or reusable plastic. We managed to keep up with the covid-19 restrictions and we simply asked the pupils from outside their classrooms and then recorded their answers on our handouts. Through this survey, we found out that reusable bottles, stainless steel cutlery and fabric bags are quite popular, as well as the use of plastic lunch boxes. However, we found out that a high amount of pupils still get their lunch wrapped in clingfilm even though it is then put in a reusable lunchbox. We also find out that many students still use plastic straws while stainless steel or bamboo ones did not seem to be popular as an alternative.
As year 4 students, we decided to spread the word amongst the whole school. To do this we organised two special assemblies. One was a short summary of what we learned so far about the harm that single-use plastic is causing to human beings, the ocean and our land. The second assembly was about what alternatives we can use to reduce single use plastics. We pointed out the 3R’s – Refuse – single-use plastic, Reuse – choose re-usable items, Reduce – plastic pollution.
Spreading the word
To help spread the word even further, together with our teacher we came up with the idea of creating a Tik-Tok video. We all know that Tik-Tok is very popular nowadays so we thought it was a good way to spread the word about alternatives to single-use plastics. Our class did two videos using Tik-Tok and we shared our best creation on our school Facebook page. It was fun working together for a good cause.
For this campaign, we also created a mascot. We created a small monster with a big mouth and called him P-eater because our mascot is a Plastic Eater. P-eater will help us teach other pupils and adults to refuse using single-use plastic and use reusable plastic to reduce plastic pollution.
(Jahel Chetcuti Vella and Shelston Mifsud)
Close to Earth Day, we organised a community action day. For this community action day, we created a poster with our slogan, we asked all the pupils to wear a green top and jeans, and to get lunch without any extra packaging. This day was a success, and we really enjoyed learning how we can get different lunches at school using sustainable packaging, rather than using ready packed food items. We also prepared a craft concerning earth day and watched a movie about a small tiny creature who wants to save the world, The Lorax.
Participating in this campaign was very nice, fun and educational. We enjoyed every little part of this campaign and we really wish that next year we can participate again. As a freebie to encourage the reduction of single-use plastic, our teachers are going to give us a bamboo straw. They will also be giving us a BPA free plastic lunchbox with our school logo and the mascot we created on it. Unfortunately, these lunchboxes will be distributed at school later on during the third term, because covid-19 restrictions delayed our order. Hope you liked our campaign and we wish that we did a good job to create enough awareness and education about how to avoid the use of single-use-plastics and use alternatives instead.
(Matija Lukovic and Gabriel Borg)
In a nutshell, this campaign was a very good reflection about what is happening to the environment around us, with the amount of single-use plastic we are using. We really hope that all of those who followed us are practising what we shared. Don’t forget ‘plastic try to reduce, find an alternative no excuse!’
(Lynette Micallef and Micharie Spiteri)
Dinja waħda is Birdlife Malta’s major educational initiative to protect wildlife and its habitats. Its projects motivate our young students to learn more about the natural world.
Being the most influential organisms on the planet, we humans are the key to sustain its health and maintain its beauty. Students are motivated as they unfold various activities not only held in class, but sometimes visit places of natural interest too.
Tapping young people’s innate fascination will trigger in our young ones behavioral changes that will lead them to being adults who love and take care of our planet.