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Becoming a Sustainable, Green School

Nachhaltigkeit SIS Regensburg

Keeping the green area intact and working with nature

The SIS Swiss International School took over the current school campus in Regensburg in August 2020. The building was an old training centre and was completely renovated to support the SIS educational concept as well as our aim to become a sustainable, green school.

When renovating the building, the concept focused on keeping the green area intact as much as possible and working with nature, not against it. The building is fitted out with solar panels to provide green energy. Another feature of the building is the nesting spots for the swifts and the peregrine falcons who have their natural habitat around the school campus. These are built into the exterior walls and give the birds a place to roost. This is not the only habitat that the birds have on the school campus. Behind our sports hall, SIS Regensburg has built a number of bird feeders, so that the campus is always surrounded by birdsong. In addition, it supports the learning environment of the students, who have the opportunity to see the birds up closer than many have had the chance to do before.

The building concept also considered the number of already existing trees that have settled here – we have pear, apple, and nut trees on campus -, around which the building was planned and executed. Not only do these feature in our lesson plans in a variety of subjects, the students also have a hands-on opportunity to see how everyday produce is created, for example, our Year 4 class made and could enjoy their own apple juice and understood how important it is for products to come from a sustainable source. The students are keen to help make the campus even more sustainable and therefore started the project of raised-bed gardens. Students are growing their own fruit and vegetables, such as strawberries, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, lettuce, and bean sprouts.

As the building was incorporated into the environment, it does not hinder the established fauna and flora but rather enables the wildlife to flourish. It is a privilege to see rabbits, deer, squirrels, and birds, all in their natural habitat. The school grounds feature a wild meadow, and the river Danube is not far away. Another student initiative is an insect hotel, which, as part of a biology project, will not only enhance the natural habitat but again place students in a unique position to see the wildlife in surroundings that many of us have started taking for granted.

Through the school building and campus, our students are very aware of the importance of sustainability, and what it means for their future. It is also with joy that they explore the campus for academic purposes. We are fortunate to have a school building and campus which is orientated towards sustainability and on which we, SIS Regensburg, can build.

Danette Brink, Principal, SIS Regensburg