ISY is committed to reducing our negative environmental impacts as much as possible and in doing so strive to become a force for positive change.

Our Commitment

Establishing the Theme

To provide direction toward our guiding statements, ISY has adopted  five strategic themes. 

One of those was ‘Sustainability’.  A committee drafted a 5 year plan and developed a common understanding of what ‘Sustainability’ means to the ISY community.  ISY also established a baseline of our carbon footprint to understand better how we can offset our carbon use with the aim of eventual carbon neutrality and began integrating environmental issues into the curriculum.

Theme Statement

ISY will support the global sustainable development goals (SDGs) by developing Environmental Consciousness through programs, policies and procedures, including a “greener” campus.

The Environment and the Curriculum

Elementary School
Integrating Environmental Consiousness into the curriculum happens in all Grade levels with teachers encouraged to create innovative units.  One example was a bird box building project undertaken by Grade 4 students.  Students learned about different birds and their habitats and then investigated what birds could be commonly found on campus.  Using the ISY design cycle they then designed bird boxes and worked with the High School Design Technology teacher to actually build the bird boxes.  Cameras were installed in two of the boxes so students are able to see the birds building nests and rearing their chicks.

Another example this time from Kindergarten students saw an aquariam filled with dirt with other items added like paper, food waste and plastic.  The items are then monitored to see what is best for the soil.



Secondary School
Secondary students work across disciplines to calculate and document ISY’s carbon footprint creating a matrix of carbon usage such that we can track usage over time and offset carbon reduction efforts from the community.

Food waste is examined in the classroom and strategies then transferred to Service Learning groups to put into practice what is learned in theory.  One such unit led a group of students to start an initiative of no meat consumption on one day of the week – ‘Meatless Mondays’.  This led eventually to the ISY food vendors stoppoing all sales of meat with one entirely vegan vendor and one vegetarian.

Other examples of cross discipline studies include humanities units on how civilizations are effected by drought and what solutions they have come up with from the ancient Mayans to modern day Dubai.  SDG 6 -Clean Water and Sanitation is studied and students come up with ideas on building clean water filters.  These have in turn led to STEM fairs where their ideas are created and exhibited to the community.

Events and Activities

Many Service Learning activities and trips have been redesigned with an environmental theme.  Examples include a Week Without Walls trip where students learned how to make bricks out of a certain type of clay.  They worked with local people where this clay can be found, mined the clay and made bricks.  These bricks were then used for the walls of a library.  On a different trip, students built a greenhouse entirely out of used plastic bottles and others built solar panels from scratch. 

Secondary students staged an impromptu classroom walkout to support the global climate strike initiative founded by the environmental activist, Greta Thunberg.  Students made signs and walked around campus with a loudspeaker chanting slogans they had come up with in support of environmental action.

Subsequently, another Service Learning student group called ‘Global’, wrote about the event for their student magazine.  This magazine reports on student service learning groups and their activities.  The article was picked up by a major International School magazine and stunningly made front page news!

Solar Panels at ISY

One of ISY’s biggest steps forward with Environmental Consciousness was the installation of a large number of solar panels on the roofs of ISY in February of 2021.  The project began with a student who worked as an intern at a Sola Panel company during a summer break.  He then  presented to the Leadership Team ideas on how ISY could utilize solar panels.  Another alumni from the Class of 2015 also worked at this company and took on the project eventually leading to the completion of the project.  During peak hours of the day ISY now gets around 90% of it’s power from the solar panels.



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